David Beckham's Free Kick Technique

Close up of feet kicking the soccer ball, night time in the stadium

Soccer great David Beckham is well-known for his free kick ability in professional soccer. Not everyone can master Beckham's free kick technique but with enough practice you can improve your own ability to take free kicks. You can learn to "bend" the ball like Beckham and curl it into the back of the goal.

Ball and Body Positioning

Before taking a free kick, Beckham makes sure the ball is still and takes six to seven steps behind the ball. He analyzes the situation on the field -- the wall, goalkeeper positioning and distance from goal -- and aligns himself with the ball at a 45-degree angle. Beckham approaches the ball from this angle in a controlled movement, not running too fast, and places his plant foot 5 to 6 inches from the ball. As he kicks the ball, Beckham moves his opposite arm in a circle and bends his body back slightly to lift the ball off the ground.


Beckham makes contact with the soccer ball with the side of his big toe. This technique causes the ball to roll along the inside of his kicking foot. Beckham avoids hitting the ball with a straight foot and from a straight angle, which would diminish his ability to control the direction of his shot or the flight of the ball. Beckham brings his kicking foot across the ball, hitting the desired side -- left or right -- depending on where he wants the ball to travel. He uses one leg to balance and support his body, and the ball travels in the distance to where that foot points to.

Ball Flight

As Beckham kicks the soccer ball from underneath, it picks up speed and height and sometimes beats the wall and the goalkeeper. He creates extra spin on the ball by bringing his kicking foot across and around the ball, causing it to dip and bend. Beckham also generates extra height by leaning his shoulders back as he makes contact.


As you try to emulate Beckham, avoid kicking the ball too hard; you want it to fly over the wall and beat the goalkeeper. Avoid revealing your intended flight path by keeping your body relaxed throughout the entire movement and keep your supporting leg steady. Evaluate the distance between yourself and the wall and yourself and the goal. Some players on the opposing team may jump to block the shot; consider shooting under the wall if you anticipate this.