Soccer Shooting Technique
Like passing, shooting can be performed with all surfaces of the foot. To generate the most power for a long-range shot, players make contact with the ball using the laces or top of the foot. Strikers and forwards often have the strongest shooting technique on the team and practice with both the left and right foot. Players in these positions have a natural instinct to find the goal.
Proper stance is important to getting accuracy on a shot. A right-footed player, for example, will plant their left foot alongside the ball and point their hips and plant foot in the direction they wish to shoot. Opening up the body will send the ball to the right, while closing the body, or twisting to the left, will send the ball to the left. Players use their arms out to the side to help balance their bodies while winding up for a shot.
Soccer players can also shoot with their head, especially off of a corner kick or indirect free kick. Taller players position themselves on these set plays to try and beat their defender and redirect the ball to an open goal. It is difficult to generate much power on a header, so these types of shots usually only score when they come from within the penalty box.
At the elite levels, attackers will not often have the time or space to wind up for a shot from far range. This is why a direct free kick in the attacking third and penalty shots are so advantageous, because it gives the shooter time to pick their spot - near post or far post, low shot or top corner - and make a run at the ball to get more power.