Have you watched soccer professionals on television making 60 yard passes with ease and wondered “how to kick a soccer ball far ?“. Well you are not alone. The first thing you have to understand is that they are NOT KICKING WITH TOO MUCH POWER. It is all about TECHNIQUE. These passes are possible when you learn how to chip a soccer ball. Though usually chipping is associated with one-on-one finishing moves, the technique in chipping a ball has many other uses, like being able to kick the ball far and high without putting in much effort.
As far as chipping a soccer ball is concerned, the technique is to use the front part of the inside of the foot (as shown in the picture) in a “digging” motion to make contact with the bottom most part of the ball. To achieve this, tilt your foot backwards so that when it hits the ball, it should resemble a wedge which is able to slide as under the ball as possible. This has to be done because the aim is to get the ball to gain some height as it goes forward. The other essentials like the placement of your non-striking foot and the bend on the knee all fall into place once you practice the above mentioned technique.
How to Practice
Here is what you do –
- Now before you start, i would really advise you to wear proper soccer shoes, especially if you are practicing on a hard surface like cement or fibre. Normal shoes are usually thick from the front and hence it is tough to get under the ball to chip it. The best shoe i can recommend you to wear while learning how to chip is the NIKE MERCURIAL VICTORY III INDOOR SOCCER SHOE. It’s the best fitting shoe that is out there and hence it makes it easy to get under the ball. If you are practicing outdoors, then also this shoe serves the purpose very well. You will progress much faster if you use proper soccer shoes to practice the art of chipping.
- Now let’s get started. First of all, find some open space. Now the first thing you have to keep in mind while practicing this is that you have to set goals. Do not think you can chip a 60-yard pass like Paul Scholes in two to three days. It takes lot of practice, but is easily achievable once you have a set target in your mind.
- Before you set your first target, you have to get your contact technique spot on. This initial phase is the toughest and will leave you very frustrated, as you will always get tempted to achieve the target just by kicking the ball harder and compromising your technique. DO NOT make this mistake, as this will only make your progress slower. The fastest way to learn the right technique is to use it on ball which is rolling towards you. This can be done using a rebound off a wall or asking one of your friends to pass the ball to you. A rolling ball is easy to chip as it comes on your foot easily, making it easy to get your foot underneath it. Practice this again and again till you are comfortable with the technique of chipping.
- Now it is time to set targets. Your first target should be around 15-20 yards. Using the chipping technique that you have learned, your only aim should be to chip the ball to this distance, not more. DO NOT do anything else until you achieve this distance, and with the right technique. DO NOT get tempted to kick the ball hard just to achieve the target as that would defeat the purpose. You aim should be to achieve your target by using the correct technique and least power and effort.
- Once you achieve that, increase the target distance by 10 yards. And then work on achieving that.
- A good target to have is a distance of around 45-50 yards.
Important Tip : When you are practicing these chip shots, it is advisable to roll the ball slightly to the side before chipping. This is because in game situations, more often than not, you would be required to chip the ball when it is moving, and not stationary. So practicing this can pay dividends when you are out there playing a game.
You should practice this drill till you get your chipping technique correct and find yourself able to make at least a 30-yard chipped pass with ease.
A 20 minutes practice session should be sufficient.
Usefulness in Game Situations
To understand the importance of a chipped shot, take a look at this Youtube video by TheMasterMU1000 which shows Ryan Giggs and David Beckham executing perfect long passes to reach the opponent’s penalty area in a matter of seconds.