How To Shoot a Soccer Ball
Improve your shot power and accuracy with a set of drills and techniques from Gotham FC athlete Ifeoma Onumonu.
In soccer, shooting the ball with power and accuracy is a coveted money-maker. Captivated fans awe at powerful shots soaring into the goal from the half, or lightning-fast zingers that bewilder the goalkeeper. In these moments, the athletes aren’t calculating the steps to a masterful shot—they’re instinctually moving based on countless hours of engrained technique.
With years of practice comes second-nature power and accuracy—but to get there, focus on mastering one element at a time. As a talented and determined striker for Gotham FC, Ifeoma Onumonu knows the trap of wanting to impress, and the patience it takes to peel back layers to develop sound technique. “I'm the type of person to want to shoot it as far from the goal as possible and as hard as possible,” said Onumonu. “But technique breaks down when you try to do too much too fast. Starting closer to the goal and really taking the power piece away and just focusing on placement I say is the most important piece of becoming a better finisher.”
So, want to learn how to get better at shooting in soccer? Begin by watching Onumonu break down the technique of shooting a soccer ball, as well as a few drills to improve shooting accuracy and power.
How To Shoot a Soccer Ball: Technique Overview
Step 01: The Approach
- Shooting is different from passing in that typically you’re taking a few steps to run up at the ball to gain more power.
- Plant your supporting foot beside the ball to gain stability. Pointing your planted foot in the direction you want the ball to go will help guide your aim.
Step 02: Contact Point
- Hit the ball with the top of your foot, also known as your laces. As you kick, lock your ankle to create power through your striking foot.
- After kicking the ball, follow through with your shooting leg in the direction you aimed the ball. This will enable the shot to have the full power you need to get it into the goal.
Step 03: Dribbling To Shoot
- Most of the time in a game, you’ll be dribbling the ball before you take a shot. Prepare by pushing the ball out in front of you a few feet so you can take a few steps before planting your foot and shooting.
- Remember to point your supporting foot in the direction you’re aiming the ball.
Soccer Shooting Drills
Put these techniques into action with three drills to practice your shooting.
Drill 01: Speed Finishing Drill
Goal: This drill develops balance and speed in your shots, as well as your ability to take a shot from any angle at the goal.
- Place as many soccer balls as you have in a line near the penalty spot. Place a cone about six feet behind the balls in the center of the line.
- Quickly run up to a ball and shoot, then run back to the cone, and run up to another ball.
- To level up your skills, practice shooting the balls with both legs. This will come in handy in the game when you don’t have time to switch to your dominant foot to take the shot.
Drill 02: Accuracy Drill
Goal: The four corners of the goal are the most likely spots to score, since they’re harder to reach for the goalkeeper.
- Set up two cones, each about two feet to the inside of each goalpost.
- Set your soccer balls next to you at the 18-yard line, or closer to the goal if you need.
- As you shoot each ball, aim to hit one of the four corners of the goal, using the cones to help visualise.
Drill 03: Dribble To Shoot Drill
Goal: Replicates a common game scenario when you’ll be dribbling toward the goal before taking a shot. Coach’s tip: Level it up by working this drill in with other dribbling drills.
- Set up two cones about 10 feet apart. Set them up as close or far from the goal as you’d like to work on your close or long shot.
- Start at the first cone and dribble to the second. Pretend the second cone is a defender that you need to get around. Make a body feint, step-over, Cruyff, or your own move to creatively move around the cone.
- As soon as you pass the cone, push the ball out and shoot toward the goal.
Leave Overthinking on the Sidelines
When practicing your shooting technique or drills, it can be easy to get caught up with overthinking every step, but the secret to nailing it is by doing it over and over. “The most important thing is just getting the shot off,” said Onumonu. “Oftentimes I think we overthink our technique. The more you do the drill, the better you get at it.” Focus on your placement, and channel patience as you run the drills repeatedly. Soon enough, shooting the ball will feel second nature.
Check out our other 3-Stripes Sessions on the adidas blog to round out your skills on the field learn more cool tricks like bending, juggling and dribbling the ball.
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