Perfect Your Shot

Discuss your training routine and techniques you are practicing
Icy
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Perfect Your Shot

Post by Icy »

All too often when someone asks how to shoot like a certain player we direct them to watch videos of the player and tell them to mimic their technique. This would mean they have something about their technique that we're not aware of. I assure you, their underlying technique follows the standard shooting guidelines. You know them, the supporting foot beside the ball, hit with your laces, etc.

Why can they score with a 30m strike while yours wouldn't reach speeds to beat the keeper then? On top of the shooting guidelines that we all know, they've altered slight parts of it to better suite their body structure.

Where would you begin in order to achieve this then? Simply by trying to copy your best shot that incorporates the standard technique of shooting.

What this allows you to do is feel how you need to adjust your technique after each shot. With these constant adjustments you'll continue to achieve even better shots than your current best. This happens by “accidentally” hitting it a bit off from what you were actually going for.

It's a guarantee that you'll accidentally hit an even better shot than what you're currently trying to copy. No one, not even professionals, have the ability to hit the exact spot every time. When you hit even slightly to the left, right, higher, or lower than your current best you may find an even better place to strike the ball.

Over time with these constant adjustments your technique will get closer and closer to hitting the same spot every time. It's guarantee you will not hit the perfect spot every time, but as you practice the distance that you'll off from hitting that perfect spot will become less and less.

So, stop watching videos in order to “learn” from the technique of professionals. Learn the basic guidelines of shooting and try to copy your best shot. Since no one can hit the exact spot every time your best shot will always be changing, and you should now try to copy this new shot. Over time this constant reevaluation of shots will lead you to figure out the slight things you need to alter about your technique to hit it like the pros.

Don't rush and try to do as many shots as you can each practice. Take a few seconds learn from each and every shot. If you think something you did on the last shot may be beneficial take a few shots that are about 50% power and assess it. If it works, then keep it and if not continue to constantly assess each shot. Trying to just do as many shots as possible without consideration of technique is going to keep you shooting the same and even more likely pick up bad habits.

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Just something I typed up for my blog. I don't plan to make it a habit to just post things from my blog onto here, but I really feel that some could benefit from taking a look at this. Opinions?
"Somewhere along the line, we seem to have confused comfort with happiness"
mint
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Post by mint »

Good post icy, should help a lot of people who are struggling with shooting or just trying to advance their shooting technique.
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klc123
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Post by klc123 »

So like trial and error to improve your technique?

Good post.
Icy
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Post by Icy »

Kind of Klc. You shouldn't be going out of your way to try new things though. After you take a shot, can you compare it to other shots in your head?

While training you'll sometimes notice little things that can drastically improve the speed\accuracy of the ball without being identical to your best shot.

For example: One thing I noticed was that each on my successive best shots had less and less spin on them. So as I would be working on copying the technique of my best shot there would sometimes be shots that would have no spin on them. Considering I realized a pattern with less and less spin any time I'd have a ball with no spin or little spin I'd try to figure out what was different compared to those with spin.

What I picked up on was what I can describe as the feeling of just kicking the ball and kicking through the ball. When shooting if I lean towards the side of my supporting leg and follow through with my leg across my body I get the feeling of kicking through the ball. Using this I began to be able to kick the ball with no spin which that alone can lead to much quicker shots (and they don't slow down as much).

With this revelation I would still try to hit the ball in the same location as my best shot at the time. But it's not possible to hit the exact spot, and one time I hit the ball in a slightly different location and now had a new best shot. So I would now try to hit this spot.

So you have to take many different variables into consideration and look for patterns. If you think something makes a difference then try it at much less than 100% and see how it feels\moves. If there is potential then continue to work with the amount of power you use in order to make it a habit.

I don't know how much sense this makes, and if it doesn't let me know. I can probably explain it better if I get a chance to think of a better example.

Edit: Also Klc, any chance you could post a video of you shooting? I know shooting is one thing you've been trying to focus on for a while and would love to give my feedback. Doesn't necessarily have to be a public video; even just a private one would be cool.
"Somewhere along the line, we seem to have confused comfort with happiness"
klc123
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Post by klc123 »

I understand what you mean.

The biggest revelation for me was not trashing at the ball.

I remember i used to try and swing back as hard as i could and then straight away swing forward as hard as i can, which would throw me off balance and i would rarely ever hit the ball properly, nevermind get it to where i wanted it to go.

So one day when i was just casually warming up, i lazily sort of threw my leg back with a more natural feeling to it, so that i sort of drew it back and then let it come to a halt naturally of its own accord behind me and then i would swing forwards, i was getting a much nicer swing motion, contacting the ball better and also hitting it where i wanted it to go, so overall a massive improvement from something so small.
Kakasgotskillz
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Post by Kakasgotskillz »

I would rate this a 5 if I were an admin... took me 2 years of purely shooting over and over again to find my comfortable way to shoot, never regretted the time lost 8)

I think I know what you mean tho Icy, like how everyone tries to do EXACTLY as C. Ronaldo does to hit freekicks like his, when you have players like Nani and Drogba who approach, hit, and follow through completely different and still achieve the same effect right (because everyone is different)?
dream_on_go_pro
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Post by dream_on_go_pro »

Ok Icy i have a question as far as progression. When I first try this should i be putting the ball and different angles and pace when i take my last touch before the shot? Or should i just work on technique of slow rolling, good angle shots then progress to a more game-like shot? Lastly would you suggest that i work on volleys and first time shots separately or will good technique in those come along with the perfected shooting form? Great post by the way. Short, sweet, and to the point plus the simplicity of the process makes perfect sense.
pickyourheadup
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Post by pickyourheadup »

How is your video coming along Icy? Also, it doesn't hurt to look at professionals shooting, so long as you aren't sitting there trying to figure out their shot, but getting out and there and doing trial and error.

.You rated this a 5? Good post, but I seriously don't think its 5 rate material, no offense. .
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Icy
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Post by Icy »

I think I know what you mean tho Icy, like how everyone tries to do EXACTLY as C. Ronaldo does to hit freekicks like his, when you have players like Nani and Drogba who approach, hit, and follow through completely different and still achieve the same effect right (because everyone is different)?
Exactly! They all have the same fundamental parts of it down, like the foot beside the ball and what not, but in the end there are small things that are different. It's those slight differences that make it work for them.
Ok Icy i have a question as far as progression. When I first try this should i be putting the ball and different angles and pace when i take my last touch before the shot? Or should i just work on technique of slow rolling, good angle shots then progress to a more game-like shot? Lastly would you suggest that i work on volleys and first time shots separately or will good technique in those come along with the perfected shooting form?
Start off just having the ball rolling and shooting it straight focusing on perfect technique. You'll begin to realize that certain times you'll hit the ball straighter, faster, or have it curve some. Try to pick up what you did differently during these times and then (if it's something you like) go EVEN SLOWER and focus on getting your body to do that part of your technique naturally.

The only tricky part about angles is to learn to balance your momentum. Other than that it's just shooting in a straight line. You just don't have that room for error that shots straight on can allow for.

Wait until your comfortable with both feet before working on game situations. When you are comfortable with both feet add in like 15-20 minutes of more game like situations at the end.
Great post by the way. Short, sweet, and to the point plus the simplicity of the process makes perfect sense.
I truly appreciate this comment. People like to add complexity to the process of becoming better which is completely unnecessary. I actually think adding the complexity makes it more difficult to advance.
How is your video coming along Icy? Also, it doesn't hurt to look at professionals shooting, so long as you aren't sitting there trying to figure out their shot, but getting out and there and doing trial and error.
They're coming slowly. Winter makes me fearful of taking the camera out in the cold. Don't feel like it freezing the LCD screen and ruining it. haha - No doubt in a couple more months I'll be making lots of short videos to help people :)

Also, you're 100% right there is nothing wrong with watching professionals shooting. In fact, I do it. The problem is a lot of people will go right back to trying to copy them with any hint of "it's alright to watch them". Once they start getting their own technique down they'd end up realizing it.
"Somewhere along the line, we seem to have confused comfort with happiness"
Magicfeet
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Post by Magicfeet »

Very interesting post, Icy.

Keep up the good work.
espana_27
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Post by espana_27 »

this is kinda inter topic related but overall it is really a beneficial part of not only perfecting your shot but it can really help full scale for players

a good shot isnt just accurate but its powerful
theres been a lot of debate on the subject regarding accuracy vs power in shooting.

i feel that accuracy is a total necessity as is power. power is, however, more used on the field. 90% of the shooting chances you get aren't going to be those of which you have the time where you perfectly bend the ball into the corner or execute the perfect floating "rooney esque" chip shot. most of the time, you'll be turning fast with a defender on your back and taking a touch followed by a ripper.

to have the perfect shot you have to have the right amount of accuracy and power in your player palette. you can't constantly work on being accurate or powerful alone; you have to combine the two and work your way up.

for example; you would begin with miminal accuracy and minimal power and work your way up until it gets harder and harder, by isolating corners in the goal youre shooting at and eventually hanging shirts in the top corners and placing neon tape on the areas of the side netting youre aiming for. this is just how i train and it is really beneficial; im just providing my point of view i dont want to come off arrogant.

another aspect of shooting that is really important is strength. strength is a fundamental in soccer; those who play it off to be a fairy sport are mentally inept and need to get a life. soccer has developed into an extremely physical game. the players have gotten bigger, faster, and stronger.

leg strength can increase speed and agility greatly although probably one of the most beneficial aspects of leg strength is what it does for your shot. by doing simple hip abduction and adduction exercises, you are isolating muslces that are somewhat unknown. the groin and the hip flexors are as fundamental to your shot as the calves and quads. by building strength in these "obsolete" areas you will increase power and especially mobility. you will turn faster, have a longer swing range, and be able to put more momentum in shooting.

by having strong legs in all areas (hams, gluts, quads, groins, flexors, calves) you will be have a rocket. you will have accuracy as well because the stronger your legs are the more you can bend the ball; its physics.

good luck training hope this helps
Icy
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Post by Icy »

No doubt espana, both are equally important and must be trained at the same time, atleast part of the time. The problem is people hear this and dedicate too much time to one or the other, generally the one they are better at.

Accuracy, and power can be looked at as "sub-skills" of the skill of shooting.

Do you agree that for the quickest improvements in a skill you have to have drills dedicated to solely it? Not like the drills people try to do with controling the ball, dribbling through cones, and then shoot it into the bottom corner? These drills have you thinking too far ahead to be focusing on the here and now which is absolutely necessary in skill development. Let alone the fatigue but the benefit of that during drills at times isn't part of the topic.

Anyways, if you agree that focus purely on one skill is necessary for the quickest improvement than this must be the view you take on the "sub-skills" like power and accuracy. Individually they need to be worked on much more than they will together. As you said though it is 100% necessary to work on both together but far less than what most will spend on it.

Having strong legs is definitely a benefit, but technique goes MILES farther. So don't sacrifice technique for strength.

I don't agree though that stronger legs will just make you be able to bend the ball more. This is only if you have the correct technique to work off of.

Again, I agree with most of what you said. Perhaps the idea of "sub-skills" in skills is just simply a view only I have, but I cannot argue with the results I've had with it. Good luck with your training also!
"Somewhere along the line, we seem to have confused comfort with happiness"
NewBornProdigy
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Post by NewBornProdigy »

pickyourheadup I disagree, its a simple concept, but extremley important and overlooked

Well written and helpful, hence merits a 5

I didn't rate it btw
RQ77
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Post by RQ77 »

Nice discussion here! But here is my problem and I hope you can help me with this crap:

My shot is totally lost. I have tried to "copy" knuckle-shot technique from YouTube and read about it but it's not going to succeed at the field when I have practiced it. I think I have to begin again from some technique to improve my shot. But how to begin it, I need advices to this question...

Do I take my ball, go to the pitch and start shooting with "nothing" technique - I mean I shoot like it feels the best for me. OR do I read somewhere about some shooting technique and after that go to the field practice it. Or what I have to do. I think I have to start from the beginning to improve my shooting technique. It doesn't work that I am trying to copy some Ronaldo shots or any other shots. I have noticed it. Maybe first I have to learn some basic technique and after that go example to the knuckle shot technique.

So tell me, how should I have to start improve my shooting technique? I am totally lost with it. Where from I have to start? What is the main key, that I get some sense to practicing these shots and techniques? Should I read about them or going to field just test different kind of shots and going improve from those my shots? Thank you for help.

Hope you understand what I mean.
pickyourheadup
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Post by pickyourheadup »

RQ77, I think Icy said it best:
So, stop watching videos in order to “learn” from the technique of professionals. Learn the basic guidelines of shooting and try to copy your best shot. Since no one can hit the exact spot every time your best shot will always be changing, and you should now try to copy this new shot. Over time this constant reevaluation of shots will lead you to figure out the slight things you need to alter about your technique to hit it like the pros.

Don't rush and try to do as many shots as you can each practice. Take a few seconds learn from each and every shot. If you think something you did on the last shot may be beneficial take a few shots that are about 50% power and assess it. If it works, then keep it and if not continue to constantly assess each shot. Trying to just do as many shots as possible without consideration of technique is going to keep you shooting the same and even more likely pick up bad habits.
------

Go out with what you already know. Keep experimenting and find the shot on your own.
After a shot, think about what happened and why it happened.
*You could spend forever looking at stuff online, focusing on theory. Get out there. Trial and error do wonders.

Examples
--"Hmm..the ball was lower than what I wanted..maybe I need to get my shoulders over the ball more"
--"Hmm..the ball swerved left..maybe I need to follow straight through, or striker the ball more in the center".

All that said, it is important that you remember the basics that are key to every shot:
-Planting foot placement and direction
-Pip and shoulder direction
-Ankle locked
-Follow through


Sometimes it can help if you imagine the ball in Sections
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