National Assessment Topic #6: Ball Striking

Excerpt from Beckham, Both Feet on the Ground
“All the strengths in my game are the one Dad taught me in the park twenty years ago: we’d work on touch and striking the ball properly until it was too dark to see. He’d kick the ball up in the air as high as he could and get me to control it. Then it would be kicking it with each foot, making sure I was doing it right. It was great, even if he did drive me mad sometimes. ‘Why can’t you just go in goal and let me take shots at you?’ I’d be thinking.”

The Most Common Coaches Response
“I could not believe our players inability to strike a ball clean. From only the 18 yard line (and 12 yards for younger players), very few of my players were actually striking the ball into the net. If they did hit the net, it was mostly a chip and not a driven ball. Far from a clean strike. And their non-preferred foot effort made it clear we need a lot of work. Overall, the ball striking assessment made it very clear to me and the players we need to really focus on this.”

Simple to Understand, Hard to Perform
The ball does not move. The goal does not move. All you have to do is strike a stationary ball into the goal before it hits the ground from five distances with both feet (6, 12, 18, 24, 36 yards). You start from the 6 yard line. The catch is if you miss the goal or fail to get it to the goal in the air with both your right and your left feet from any distance, you do not get to progress to the further distance. Simple, right?

The iSoccer Ball Striking Assessment
This video demonstrates the Ball Striking assessment in action. This is a great opportunity to work on team communication. Tell your players “to figure out” the most efficient system to have players run through the assessment. How many chasers? How many near the goal? How many ball placers?

The Wall Again is the Best
Like passing and aerial control, a wall could be the best individual training partner. Just like David Beckham, deliberately work on a specific type of strike, not just kicking to kick! Choose any of the 70+ FREE Ball Striking videos (courtesy of US Club Soccer) to begin raising your ball striking level! (Ball Striking videos are only free for one week)

Five distances, both feet: How many can get out of 10? Watch the Ball Striking Assessment Video!

Together, we can continue to Raise the Level of the entire country… Join the movement and Help Set the Standard!