Types of Soccer Kicks: Crucial Shots You Need to Master

By | Last updated November 15, 2017

There a ton of kicks you can use in soccer…

…which makes it even harder to know and master.

But(!) things can become much easier if you learn the most crucial ones…

… those that will make you improve and turn you into a great player.

In this post, I’ll be showing you what those types of soccer shots are and how, when and where you should use them to yours and your team’s advantage!

Knowing the Many Types of Soccer Kicks

The game of soccer is much easier to master when you know all of the various types of kicks that can be used to take a shot at goal.

There are many things you can do to shoot, pass or cross and, sometimes, even multiple kinds will work in a given situation.

However, knowing which type of shot is needed, when and where is of paramount importance to you and your team’s chances.

A footballer that is able to master each of these skills is a very desirable commodity and a valuable member of any team!

With that said, let’s get down to reviewing our comprehensive list of the most crucial types of soccer kicks!

Laces Kick

The most well-known shot among all the types of soccer kicks is the one with the laces.

How to execute the Laces Kick:

  1. Keep your toe pointed down and,
  2. Make your laces strike through the ball.

Generally speaking, the Laces Kick is the best option to use if you are looking to go for power and placement.

For more advanced players the options do equal out but, at the youth level, this is the way to go if you want a hard shot that is also accurate.

This technique is really only useful for shooting, though it can also be used to launch the ball a long way down the field if needed.

Push Kick

The most basic skill that any soccer player, no matter their age, size or ability level has to master is the Push Kick.

Using the Push Kick is how the soccer ball should be moved down the field, as it allows for you to accurately pass it to a teammate.

Most passes are fairly short, so not much movement is needed to make the ball go.

The Push Kick is easy to learn and put into use, even for the youngest and the weakest players.

How to execute the Push Kick:

  1. Simply use the instep to nudge the ball along.

Other areas where this type of kick can be used are in situations inside the box when you are very close to the goal and looking to score.

Instep Kick

Using the Instep Kick is a skill that takes a lot of practice, but it can bring you a huge amount of benefit if it is learned properly.

The Instep Kick is very similar to the Push Kick, but there are some tweaks to it.

First of all, this is an advanced move. It creates and also requires a lot more power than the Push Kick.

It doesn’t rival the Laces Kick, but it can come close for those that are well-trained.

How to execute the Instep Kick:

  1. Start at an about 45-degree angle when running up to the ball.
  2. Then, use the same basic part of the foot as in the Push Kick.
  3. Try and make the football curve on its path to the goal.

The objective with this type of shot is to make the ball bend into the corner of the goal.

This way, you can score goals without hammering the ball every single time or you can use it to bend it over a wall.

It is also a very effective way to cross the ball from a wide area; making it very important to learn it if you are a winger or a full-back.

Outstep Kick

Much like the Instep Kick above, the Outstep Kick (or “outside of the foot kick”, if you will) is also a tough skill to master. But it has a ton of advantages to it.

One of the advantages is that the Outstep Kick can totally mask a deficient weaker foot.

If you simply don’t have a good left foot (or a right one, in case you are left-footed), then you can use this to make up for it.

How to execute the Outstep Kick:

  1. Use the outside of your foot to make the ball bend.
  2. You don’t have to manipulate and contort your body much, as this type of kick typically requires little body movement.

The goal here is to make the ball curve away from the goalkeeper or the target.

Not only is it great for shooting really hard and low, it is also great for crossing if you find yourself playing on the opposite side that you are used to playing on.

The Outstep Kick is a skill that many professional wingers will use as it is commonplace to play left-footed players on the right and vice-versa!

Toe Kick

One of the most misunderstood kicks in the entire game is the Toe Kick.

While the Toe Kick is a very poor choice at the youth level due to potentially injure players and the fact that it is nigh on impossible to control, it’s a superb choice for specific uses as players get older and better with the ball at their feet.

The Toe Kick is most effectively used to either clear the ball out of danger, pass the ball in a quick, desperate motion or to stab the soccer ball into the back of the net from close.

It can be used to poke under a diving goalkeeper as well, so it’s not nearly as bad an idea as many purport it to be.

It is not a good shot and not really recommended for a clearance on defense either but, at times, it may be necessary to get the ball out as quickly as possible.

How to execute the Toe Kick:

  1. Make your foot a solid and strong unit where your toes function as the head of a hammer to kick the football.
  2. Aim at the middle of the soccer ball for it to go at ground level or at its lower half to give your kick some (or a lot of) height.

This type of kick is hard to read for a goalkeeper, as well as a defender, due to being difficult to predict. That’s why some big-time strikers make use of it in one-on-one situations.

Here’s a super short video showing a youth player executing the Toe Kick:

Back Heel Kick

The Back Heel Kick is a move that is very elementary in practice, but it comes with the “wow factor” and the ability to make people take notice.

Mastering this skill is what separates those that are aware and those that are not.

It’s a great weapon to pass the ball backwards so that a teammate can shoot or pass it again to someone else.

The Back Heel Kick can also be used if the ball is in the goal area and it’s hard to get anything else on it or if you find yourself with your back to the goal.

It takes no windup therefore, unless the opponent knows you, it is almost impossible to read.

How to execute the Back Heel Kick:

  1. Facing back to the soccer ball, point your heel to the middle of it in order to kick it.
  2. Or point your heel to the lower half of the ball to try and chip it over an obstacle (like the feet or legs of a defender or even the body of a goalkeeper while on the ground to block your back heel shot).

Volley Kick

The Volley Kick refers to any kick that is done when the ball is in the air.

There is a full volley and a half volley, where the ball is about knee level.

While the Volley Kick is a tough skill to master, it makes putting power on the ball very easy which can make it easier to elude goalkeepers.

It can be achieved it with your laces, instep, outstep or back heel, but it should never be done with your toe.

How to execute the Volley Kick:

  1. If you are shooting, crossing or doing a push pass, keep your head over the ball.
  2. If you are trying to clear the ball out, you want to lean back.

Conclusion

Learning all the different types of soccer kicks can seem to be very difficult and endless but, in reality, all of the kicks fit into certain categories.

Everyone does them on the field if they have played for more than a season or two, whether they are doing them on purpose, understanding them fully or not.

By mastering each of these kicks, you will become a much better and smarter player and know where to use them to help you and your team grab an important foothold in the game.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading through this article and about all the different kinds of shots available in soccer.

If you’ve liked it, share this post on social media!

Keep kicking it!
–Coach Mike