08 May, 2012
How to Develop Your Opposite Soccer Foot
Just as most people are either left-handed or right-handed, they also have a dominant foot. In soccer, most players tend to rely on their dominant foot for tasks that require precision and power. While perfectly natural, this means that players may miss opportunities to shoot or pass with their weaker opposite foot. With practice, though, it's possible to improve the performance of the opposite foot.
Observing the Opposite Foot
Many players don't notice that the way they touch the ball with their opposite foot, even in routine actions such as dribbling, is different from the way they touch the ball with their dominant foot. Watching this difference during ball-control drills or dribbling can help to close the gap between the two. Try imitating the motion of the dominant foot using the opposite foot and observe how this changes performance. It isn't always easy to monitor the foot while dribbling; recording the action may be useful.
A simple drill can improve shooting with either foot. A small group of players or coaches is needed. A player begins by running and receiving a pass from a player to the right of the goal, then shooting. Without waiting, she continues running to the left to receive a pass from a player standing by the side of the goal. The first player then shoots with the left foot. The drill should be reversed for players whose dominant foot is the left.
Shooting isn't the only skill that needs to be developed for both feet. Passing, trapping and even dribbling can all benefit from extra emphasis on the opposite foot. Practice simple drills such as juggling the ball in the air using the opposite foot or bouncing the ball from a wall and then trapping it. Most soccer players do these drills regularly; the only real difference here is that you are concentrating on using them to develop the opposite foot.
Most people spend their lives favoring their dominant foot. This isn't limited to the soccer field but occurs in all walks of life. As a result, the opposite foot, and the opposite leg in general, are not going to be as strong or coordinated as the dominant leg and foot. It's important not to expect immediate results; it will take time and practice to produce stronger skills with the opposite foot. The dominant foot may always be stronger, but an improved opposite foot will help make you more versatile.
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