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How to Kick a Soccer Ball for Kids

Updated on April 24, 2013

Kicking the Soccer Ball

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Soccer Season Starts!

Soccer has started and for the first time my youngest child can play soccer. My husband is coaching this season because both of my kids are in the same league. My youngest has wanted to play for the last two season and we assumed he would be a natural since he seems to be athletically inclined. Unfortunately he has found kicking the ball to be a little harder than he originally thought and got quite frustrated that he wasn't playing up to the ability of some of the other kids.

Youth Soccer

Soccer game in action
Soccer game in action | Source

Youth Soccer

Youth soccer can be a great way for kids to learn how to work as a team, learn to move their body, and gain confidence. Allowing kids to be active and play a team sports is an important part of growing up.

Kids need just a few things to play on a youth soccer league.

  • cleats
  • shin guards
  • soccer ball
  • soccer socks - I include these because it is important to keeping youth shin guard on.

Soccer gear can be fairly inexpensive compared to youth football, hockey, or lacrosse.

Soccer Ball Size

Does your child with with the correct ball size?

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The Right Size Soccer Ball

The first thing you need is a soccer ball. It is important to find the correct sized soccer ball to play with.

  • Size 1 - We actually do own a size 1 soccer ball, it is amazingly small and was my kids first soccer ball when they were infants. Some people use this size for skills practice.
  • Size 2 - this is slightly bigger than the size 1.
  • Size 3 - The is the first youth size, ages 3-7 use this ball in leagues.
  • Size 4 - Youth 8-12
  • Size 5 - Adult sized ball, ages 13 and over


Our league has specific rules on ball size and it always frustrates me when kids show up the first day with the wrong size ball and the parents refuse to buy the right size. these kids struggle during game time to control the correct sized ball.

How to Kick a Soccer Ball, using your cleats.

Cleats, Shin Guards, and Socks

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Placement of the Foot in the Soccer Kick

The human foot had several parts to it. Using different parts of your foot for different outcomes will help you be a better soccer player in the long run.

If you want accuracy in your kick use the inside of the foot.

If you are looking for a power kick, try to kick with the front part of your foot or the top part of your foot where the laces are.

For tapping the ball both part of the foot are useful.

Using the outer part of your foot can allow you to change directions of the ball, this can also be done with the heel of your foot.

You give the ball some air get your toe of the show under the ball and kick with the lace or top part of your foot.

Try not to use the very toe of your foot to kick the ball this will not give you a very accurate or powerful kick.


Planting the Foot

Is is important to plant the supporting leg's foot. The supporting leg should land about a foot away from the ball unless the are extremely short then slightly closer to the ball. the supporting leg should not be directly next to the ball. The body should be directly over the ball and the kick should be with the entire boy.

Practice Kicking the Soccer Ball

The best way to teach kids is through practice and repetition. Young children won't understand the direction without the kinetic movement that goes with the process.

Find an empty goal to kick the soccer ball into and take multiple practice shots. Place the ball about 5 feet away from the player and have them run to the ball and then practice planting their supporting leg and kicking the ball towards to the goal.

Ball control should be taught after the player masters the basic soccer ball kick. Once the basic kick into the goal is mastered then it is time to practice control, dribbling, and maneuvering the ball.

Follow Through & Beyond

The first season my son played soccer every time he kicked the ball he stopped and posed like a super hero. I don't recommend this type of follow through because the ball rarely gets tot he goal if you stop and watch the ball roll down the field to the other teams players.

After the player shoots the ball they should land on the shooting foot and continue the movement forward. in theory the play should continue to chase the ball as the game is played out.

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    • Beth100 profile image

      Beth100 

      5 years ago from Canada

      As a soccer coach for both house and representative, you have given some good pointers. In our league, for U12, the emphasis is on having fun. There is a tendancy for children to miss the ball when they are focussed on running, aiming, kicking, following through and using the right spot on the foot. Instead, while they are having fun, we use drills that allow them to connect with the ball in a natural way. They don't think about it and by the time they are in U8, their kick, connection and follow through all become natural movements. As they become more confident in the use of their body, increased hand/foot/eye co-ordination, the focussed coaching begins. This way, they continue to improve in their skills whilst enjoying the game.

      Thank you for reminding parents how important the ball size is. It makes a world of difference for the play, especially at the younger ages.

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