Soccer Instep

(aka "Laces"). See "Laces".

From Coach Ken in MS:

"A proper instep kick is a difficult as hitting a golf ball solidly with a 3 iron. I think of it as "kicking without kicking." For the instep to contact the ball, the knee has to be over the ball at contact (toe is out of the way), so the knee is bent and over the ball at ball contact (i.e., kicking without kicking). The bent knee has to be ahead of the foot just as the hands have to be ahead of the club head to hit a good iron shot. The feeling with the instep kick and an iron shot is that you are hitting down on the ball, although in reality you are not. The problem that I see with young players is that since they are not making solid contact with the instep, the kick is weak. Then they kick even harder so that the knee straightens out even more before impact and the toe hits the bottom of the ball harder, again generating a weak kick. It is a vicious cycle that leads young player to give up in frustration. Properly done, the toe is out of the way and the ball literally leaps off your foot. You find that you do not have to kick hard at all for a strong instep kick. I say to my players, "It is how you kick and not how hard you kick!" With young players, however, philosophical concepts are useless, I have found. I am convinced that to quickly learn an good instep kick you have to be first convinced that you do not have to kick hard to have a strong shot. That means you have to experience solid contact and see for yourself how the ball leaps off your foot. Then you realize that it is about form and not force. If you watch a player with a strong instep kick, it looks like he/she is almost lazily dropping his/her foot on the ball, which takes off like a rocket."

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