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If you pay attention to the way free kicks are being taken in the modern game you will notice that a new style is surfacing.  Previously, when there was a free kick from 18-25 yards out, it used to be a given that you are going to curve it over/around the wall and in.  Now, we are beginning to witness what is called the knuckle ball.

You have seen it over and over with the likes of Christiano Ronaldo and Drobga.  They seemed to have established a way in which to hit the ball and make it dip, curve and swirve.  For goalies, this is an absolute nightmare.  So how do you do it?  How do you develop a knuckle shot?

I have a found a great video that shows, step by step, how to work your way towards a knuckle ball shot.  After watching the video, review the key notes I will highlight.  This is difficult to learn, but boy, if you can learn it you will be deadly when it comes to free kicks or even shooting in general.

Start Small

Don’t go out to the field and begin shooting at full force hoping that the ball dips and swirves.  As shown in the video, start with the ball at your feet and shoot it slowly at a wall/fence mastering, first, the technique.  As you begin to feel comfortable with the technique – one that is very awkward – then move to a larger playing field.

The technique

  • Use the portion of your foot that is shown in the video
  • Keep your eye on the spot which you wish to hit.  While you approach the ball, do not lose sight of that spot
  • When you strike the ball, hit the middle of the ball and imagine you are slicing through the ball and then up – like you are trying to create top spin
  • Make sure that you lean forward.  Lean forward so that your chest is over the ball when you hit it.  What this does is force you to keep the shot from soaring into the sky
  • The key point: stop your follow through early, raise your knee and bring your foot across your body.  Read what I just said again.  Practice this slowly.  You need to master this technique in order to have any chance of creating the knuckle ball affect.  Watch how it is explained in the video as this is very very important.

Don’t smash it

  • Many players smash the ball as hard as they can thinking this is what needs to be done.  Wrong.  There is no need to smash the ball.  In fact, you only need to use 75-80% of your full power to create this knuckle shot.  The key portion of this shot is not to use your entire foot to wind up, but to whip you leg down from your knee to you ankle.

Practice, practice and practice.

If you have any questions, want more advice on how to perfect this technique or would like to leave a comment, please do so.

Let us know if this blog has helped you develop your shot.

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