I’m sure you’re thinking:
It’s super TOUGH to punt a soccer ball far and high.
Is it really?
It just so happens that you can radically change the way you punt a soccer ball by learning the right punting technique…
…a technique that will allow you to make your soccer punts go farther and higher.
In this post here, I’m going to show you which technique I am talking about… and exactly how you can master and add it to your soccer skills arsenal.
So much about the game of soccer is dictated upon the pace of play you can bring to the table.
Even before today’s counterattacking craze (and all the different tactics that changed the game as we know it), there was a desire and need to get the football down the field quickly and as far as possible.
On paper, the best way to accomplish that is via a goalkeeper punt.
This article today will take a look at the punt, how you can do it accurately and, perhaps most importantly, with more power to give you and your team a decisive advantage.
What Is Punting in Soccer?
Before we go any farther, we need to look at what a punt is exactly.
Depending on where you are from, the definition can change, so I want to make sure you know what we are talking about here.
For the purposes of this article, a punt is a kick made by the goalkeeper from his or her hands.
This is akin to the punt that is seen in American football, but it is much more of an attacking move in soccer, especially at the youth level.
A punt can also be classified as any long, aimless kick, but that is more of a European definition and that is not what we are speaking about here.
Please note that only the goalkeeper may punt the soccer ball, at least given the definition we have went with.
This is the case due to the simple fact that that specific kind of player is the only one who may use their hands.
Key Rules Surrounding a Soccer Punt
In this section we’ll take a look at some key rules and useful considerations to bear in mind when punting, or attempting to punt a soccer ball.
The first rule is: a goalkeeper — in theory at least — only has six seconds from the time they pick the ball up with their hands to the time they have to get rid of it.
Most referees will give you a little more time, but don’t expect to get away with too much delay.
The second rule is: you, as the goalkeeper, cannot carry the ball outside of the box with it in your hands.
This will give away a direct free kick from a dangerous area and it could very well get you a red card. That is why we wanted to make mention that you must release the ball from your hands before this line.
You can always set the football down on the ground, but that is another article for another day!
The third and final rule is: the goalkeeper, after having released the ball from his or her hands, cannot touch the ball with his or her hands for a second time.
If you happen to punt the ball very poorly, even if it lands inside your own box, you cannot pick it up again.
These are elementary errors seen occasionally at youth level.
To avoid the trouble, just know the rules.
However, as we are going to teach you all about punting better, that won’t be a worry!
How to Punt a Football Far and High
Let’s now understand the basic steps behind punting a soccer ball the right way so you can make it go farther and higher.
Here’s how to punt a soccer ball farther and higher:
- Hold the soccer ball at your waist. This is of huge importance as it will prevent you from making some mistakes. (More on that in a second.)
- Two steps are all that is required. Taking more will allow more room for error, so just cut out that by going with two steps.
- Push off your back foot — which is the foot that supports you, not the one you are kicking with.
- Bring your punting leg straight ahead toward your intended target.
- Drop the ball down straight to your foot.
- Hit the ball with your laces and point your toe, but do not forget to follow through.
Check out this great video that shows you how every step is done:
You could very well own the best football there is but, as with any other area of the game of soccer, it all comes down to mastering the right technique.
And, make no mistake; there is a technique to punting!
The essential parts of a proper punting technique are:
- Following through.
- Leaning back and,
- Not dropping the ball onto your foot.
Just like you would for a normal pass on the ground, you need to line up with your intended target and swing straight through the ball to achieve a good soccer punt.
Always bear in mind:
When you are doing something that requires a long distance you need to follow through.
If you were to kick a ball, whether it is grounded or in the air, without following through with your momentum you would be giving away a lot of power from the kick.
Instead you need to line up straight ahead of your target, keep your eye on the ball and lean back.
You want to line up straight with your target so that you are on balance and that you don’t shank the ball off line and out of bounds.
NOTE: To “follow through” means to carry on with the motion.
For instance, if were swinging a golf club, you wouldn’t hit the ball and then stop.
This is the same principle in soccer as well. You want to continue the kicking, or in this case, the punting motion.
Leaning back is a big factor at getting the ball to fly higher.
Whether you want to get better at goal kicks from the ground or punts, this is the way to go.
Watch professional goalkeepers and you will see this in practice all of the time.
Leaning back is a recipe for disaster for shooting on goal, but it is very helpful for those that are having problems getting the ball off the ground.
Because, whether you’re the goalkeeper or an attacking player, leaning back almost always produces the same outcome: the ball flies high!
Leaning back will position your body and foot to hit the ball on its lowest half making it go up.
Do NOT Drop the Ball onto Your Foot
This is another part of the right technique to punt in soccer.
It is actually so crucial that I had to put it in a section for itself.
More times that I can count, I have seen goalies take the ball, drop it and then swing their foot at the ball.
This is a huge no-no! This is NOT a drop kick.
A drop kick, like a punt, is a type of kick used by goalkeepers, with the difference that it involves actually dropping the ball onto the ground.
Although it can be very effective if done right, this is a more difficult move.
The reason you don’t want to drop the ball from up high onto your foot is because it creates so many problems.
First, you have to deal with any wind. The wind can blow the ball off line.
By that I mean that the wind could push the ball to one side or the other, making it practically impossible to accurately aim your kick.
Second, players tend to lose eyesight with the ball when they do this.
It’s harder to concentrate on the football when it’s dropped from height than it is to simply kick it from your hands.
Third, once the soccer ball is out of your hands, it is a free ball and any player may make a challenge for it!
Conclusion: Technique Is Everything
As a coach, I’ll be the first to admit that my smallest goalkeepers have trouble in comparison to other goalkeepers at punting the ball.
Genetics play a big role in who kicks the football the longest, but technique is the only way to get the ball to go as far as you can get it to go.
Dropping the ball onto your foot, trying side-winding kicks, not watching the ball and not lining up straight will just cause problems for you.
At the end of the day, you must have the right technique.
Hopefully, by now you have already understood what punting in soccer is and, more importantly, how to punt a soccer ball farther and higher.
What you want to do now is to train your soccer punting a lot of times.
Practice, practice and practice will get your kicks going the distance you want them to go. Training hard and following the right recipe is basically how anyone can become better at soccer.
Don’t be discouraged because it will eventually come together for you through your hard work!
Punt it far and high!