How to curve the ball


Written by Allan Haynes

I recently watched one of Joltter’s most popular videos entitled ‘How to curve the ball’. It got me thinking - why is it so important? And how difficult can this technique actually be? Football can be a game of few chances, and having someone on the pitch who has the ability to hit the top bins when it’s absolutely necessary, can be the difference between losing a game, and a stoppage time equaliser to send your team to the World Cup (one for the Beckham fans out there).

Sir Alex Ferguson famously said “true winners are relentless”. He was talking about the sheer work ethic of David Beckham, which should give you an indication that it isn’t going to be easy, however if you like the idea of being the person your team always turn to in a crisis, or even if you just want to improve your technique, you’re in the right place! Keep reading as I talk you through a tutorial on how to curve the ball! Enjoy!

Step 1 - Your approach

There’s no easy way to tell you this, so I’ll just say it. There is no ‘correct’ way to make a run-up to the ball to get the best results, however there definitely is a wrong way. You need to take a few steps back from the ball, and make sure you stand at an angle - this will allow you to place your standing foot in the correct position, and also get a nice sweep with your kicking foot.

Step 2 - Standing foot

You’ve placed the ball and stepped back. The next step is to begin your run-up (I’m not going to tell you how to run) and get a nice contact with the ball. You need to place your standing foot next to the ball, just like you would for a pass, except you need to have your toes pointed in the direction that you want the ball to travel BEFORE the spin takes hold, so I personally would always point my toes a few meters to the side of the goal. The aim here is to deceive the goalkeeper by making them think that the ball is going wide.

Step 3 - Contact area

As you can see in Joltter’s video below, the contact area should be halfway between your toes and the side of your foot, and that your toes are pointing upwards. This will allow you to get both spin, and power on the ball. You need to strike the ball in the bottom half and slightly to the side, to allow maximum spin on the ball itself.

Step 4 - Follow through

So I’ve made contact with the ball. My job is done now, right? No, the follow through is important. This part of the movement is what will give the ball the dip it needs to get up and over the wall. Keeping your toes pointing upwards will help to generate topspin, to create that nice dip on the ball. Think of how a table tennis player gets so much power and swerve - that’s pretty much what you’re doing with your leg. Keep practicing and you will get plenty of spin and power on the ball.

So that was 4 steps on how to curve the ball. In the video below, you will find many more tips from Joltter, but I just wanted to go over the most important ones. I hope you enjoyed reading this blog, and I hope you can use some of these tips in your next match.

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Stay tuned for more ‘How-To’ blogs in the coming weeks for more awesome #Unisportlife content.