Ball Anatomy Guide

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Ball Anatomy Guide

Post by pickyourheadup »

Understanding where to strike the ball comes from hours of experimenting with body balance, foot placement, and the ball. This guide is not meant to created a uniform way of controlling the ball, but to help with the basic understanding of the ball's anatomy. By understanding how the soccer ball can be divided into sections, players will be able to better visualize striking the ball.

The following image is divided into six sections:
1. Upper Third
2. Middle (horizontal)
3 Lower Third
4. Left Third
5. Center
6 Right Third
--It should be noted that combinations of the six sections of the ball are used to create different effects.


1. Upper Third---The ball is normally controlled using this section by using the soles of your feet.

a. The Left/Right-Upper Third---This section of the ball, along with a little of the top of the Left-Middle section is used to "wedge" the ball between the inside of your foot and the ground. The wedge controls the ball by bringing it from the air onto the ground.

2.Middle---This area is used to not only pass the ball with the inside of the foot, but also for shooting.

a. Middle-Upper Third---In order for a passer to keep the ball on the ground when giving a one touch pass, he or she must strike the ball in the Middle-Upper Third region. This directs the energy from the previous pass into the ground, allowing the passer a controlled pass.

b. Left/Right-Middle Third---The combonation of these two sections provides spin and lift to the ball.

c. Center-Middle---Primarily used with the instep drive.

3. Lower Third---This section provides lift to the ball.

a. Left/Right Third---This area gives directional lift (right or left). Players use this area when crossing or chipping the ball. Depending on foot and body positioning, the ball will have backspin or possibly very little spin.

b. Center-Lower Third---Lifting the ball with the front/toes of the foot. This area can also be used for chipping.

As this is a general guide, it does not go into how to trap,shoot, cross, or pass the ball. Instead, it shows what parts of the ball to use.

This guide can be used in combination with most shooting,passing, and free kick guides found in the the EF Guide area:

This guide's diagram of the parts of the foot is great. Use it to help you understand the placement of your foot on the ball: ... hp?t=10108
Last edited by pickyourheadup on 05 Sep 2009, 16:51, edited 6 times in total.
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Post by Rome_Leader »

Excellent post! A great breakdown of the ball so that we know why each individual part is targeted. A lot of people just kick a ball however they like, and don't even realize that, aside from foot technique, striking the ball in the proper spot makes a huge difference.

The diagram is also extremely helpful, and I'm sure many users will find it a great reference. Awesome job. ;)
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Post by KoNJa04 »

yeah i usually hit the lower center shooting it, and now i know where to really hit the ball, damn straight in the center, great post, keep em up!!!

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Post by iknoweverything123 »

GEEZ mister this really helped me alot! thanks you did a really good job on this :D
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Post by mint »

Good post this, it will help a lot of players.
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Post by Nat_H »

Pretty nifty :)
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