Types of Soccer Kicks: Making The Right Connection

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As a soccer player, knowing the different types of soccer kicks you can use on the field is vital. One of the most beautiful things about playing soccer is that you can be creative. 

Every game presents different challenges. Every game allows you to devise unique ways to deal with the game in front of you. To do that, all you need to know is how to kick a ball.

The good news is that there are different ways to kick the ball. We’ve put together a guide for you on the different types of soccer kicks. 

Types of Soccer Kicks

Learn about the various types of soccer kicks, including their techniques and applications. Enhance your game with expert insights.

1. Push Kick

The Push Kick (also known as the In-Side-Of-The-Foot-Kick) is the most common type of kick in soccer. It is one of the easiest kicks to teach and learn, and every beginner is introduced to this type of soccer kick early on.

Even though this is one of the most simple soccer kicks, it is an important skill when it comes to soccer. An estimated 70% of kicks in soccer make use of this technique!

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Use the inside of your foot to push the ball forward.
  • Extend your arms and ensure you are not leaning back when you connect with the ball.
  • Make sure your body is aligned with the ball.
  • This type of kick is best used when you are trying to be more accurate.

2. Back Heel Kick

The backheel kick is one of the more stylish types of soccer kicks. This kick will add another dimension to your game with style and finesse. 

During a soccer match, the backheel kick might be what you need to change the game. This type of kick can be very accurate if performed correctly. The sudden change of direction is great for throwing off your defender.

Although this style isn’t easy, you can add this skill to your game with enough practice. 

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Position your supporting foot next to the ball.
  • Place the heel of your kicking foot against the ball with your toe facing forward.
  • Keep your ankle locked and swing your foot backward, aiming for the center of the ball.
  • The ball should move in the direction that your back is facing.

3. Instep Kick

The instep kick is a tough soccer kick to master, but it is a handy skill for a soccer player to have. It is quite similar to the push kick but requires more skill and practice to master.

While the push kick is mainly used for accurate, near-range passing, the instep kick is used to pass to teammates that are further away or if you want to bend the ball like Beckham.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Place your non-kicking foot next to the ball.
  • The swinging movement of the kicking leg is where the power comes from.
  • Use the upper part of the foot or the “laces.”
  • Keep your ankles locked when you connect with the ball. 
  • Make sure you follow through with your kick while focusing on trying to ‘bend’ the ball.

4. Free Kick

While the free kick is not a kicking style, it is an integral part of the game. Free kicks are awarded to a player when the opposition team commits a foul on another player outside of the 18-yard box. 

There are two types of free kicks: direct and indirect free kicks. You can pass the ball to a teammate or take a shot at the opposition’s goal with direct free kicks. With indirect free kicks, you must pass the ball to a teammate before taking a shot.

Most teams will have one or two specialist free-kickers takers considered the best at this game aspect.

Players like Ronaldinho, David Beckham, and James Warde-Prowse are considered specialist free kickers takers. If you practice different kicking skills from different positions, you can be the specialist free-kick taker on your team!

5. Outside Kick

To perform the outside kick, you use the outside of your foot to kick the ball. This is a great technique to learn if you struggle to use your weaker foot.

Although this is one of the most challenging kicks to master, it will take your game to an even higher level.

Many pro footballers use this kick to perform short passes, to take shots, and sometimes when taking corners.

If you want to see a professional who has mastered this technique, we recommend checking out former Portuguese international Ricardo Quaresma. This technique takes a lot of practice, so keep at it and don’t give up!

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Place your non-striking foot about 30 centimeters away from the ball.
  • Your non-striking foot should be slightly behind the ball, not directly in line.
  • Use the outside of your foot to kick the ball.
  • Lock your ankles when kicking the ball.

6. Toe Kick

When it comes to the toe kick, most coaches avoid teaching players how to perform this type of kick. The reason is that it has caused a lot of injuries in the past. Another reason is that it is quite difficult to control the power and direction of the ball.

The toe kick can be a very useful skill to have as a soccer player. This kick can be used to clear the ball in defense, to pass the ball in a tight situation, or to send the ball underneath a diving goalkeeper. It is not the best way to kick a ball, but it can be helpful in certain situations.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Make your foot a solid unit, using your toes like the tip of a hammer.
  • If you want to keep the ball on the ground, aim for the middle of the ball.
  • If you want to lift the ball, aim for the bottom half of the ball. Remember: the ball will go much higher than you’re expecting.
  • Be careful when performing this type of kick!

7. Bicycle Kick

The bicycle kick is one of the coolest-looking soccer kicks if performed correctly. When done properly, a well-hit bicycle kick will make everyone hold their breath as you perform this acrobatic move. 

The bicycle kick is about launching yourself backward and then kicking the ball in an overhead direction. It involves a lot of loads of practice and near-perfect timing, but it is well worth the hard work. But we believe it is well worth the hard work.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • We suggest practicing over a soft surface, such as a layer of foam, to avoid injury.
  • Begin by flicking the ball upwards with your foot, about a meter above your head. If you can’t flick the ball, simply toss it up.
  • As the ball falls, take a step forward and then jump backward.
  • Strike the ball mid-air with your stronger foot in the opposite direction.
  • To reduce injury, twist your body in the air and use one arm to help you land safely.

8. Volley Kick

There is nothing quite like a well-struck volley kick. This extremely powerful kick is performed by striking the ball while it is still in the air. However, it is very important to time your kick when trying to volley.

Volleykicks are generally performed when the ball arrives at about waist height. You can kick the ball using the inside, outside, laces, or back heel, but never with your toe. 

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Plant your supporting foot in line with where the ball should land.
  • Aim for the middle of the ball: kicking too low will make the ball go upwards while kicking too high will send the ball into the ground.
  • Practice your timing, as it is important to hit the ball at just the right moment. 

9. Goal Kick

The goal kick is performed by the goalkeeper when the attacking team kicks the ball out anywhere behind the goal. It is an opportunity for the team to reset from the back.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Any player can take the goal kick.
  • You can pass short to a defender, or you can kick long toward the midfielders and attackers. 
  • You can use any kicking technique you would like to use (except maybe the bicycle kick!)

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What are the common types of kicks in soccer?

There are several types of soccer kicks, but the most common are the push, back heel, outside, instep, volley, and bicycle kick.


You can learn to kick the soccer ball in a few different ways. By practicing different types of soccer kicks, you equip yourself with the skills you need to succeed on the soccer field. Feel free to try other techniques. 

However, we suggest you start with the basics, like learning to kick accurately with the inside and outside of your foot, before moving to more advanced styles.

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