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I used to have pretty hard shots up until I had a persistent injury to my lower back, probably due to sedentary workdays coupled with irregular training. Well, a few months of physiotherapy and changing my work environment I have overcome this injury now and play football without any problems... except my shots seems to have withered altogether. I can run, tackle, dribble but have no real intensity in my shots these days.

That got me thinking; what does the shot power really depend on? What distinguishes players with incredibly hard/fast shots from others? Something I find particularly interesting is that there is no direct dependance on the body frame of the player, in other words some small and thin player can still have tremendous shots despite being undersized compared to others. So it's not all about being pumped..

As a follow-up, how can one improve his/her shot power?

  • Practice shooting with hard training ball and use ur bone area of foot to create more power. Doing exercises as mentioned by Ste can develop ur muscle can also increase power of shot – Vishnu JK Aug 13 '16 at 9:19
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Shot power, which can be likened to the punch of a boxer, is predominantly dependent upon one's ability to create "explosive power".

Explosiveness is the amount of kinetic energy that can be generated by the relevant muscles in a short space of time. In kicking a football, the main muscles used are the quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves.

To improve your power you need strong quadriceps but also the ability to generate speed and energy when straightening your leg and bringing your foot down.

If you want to kick harder you want to do be doing a lot of squats and jumps. Not only will you strengthen the muscles but you'll also increase your ability to generate swing speed with your legs.

Also, don't neglect working your core. Everything from your shoulder, abs and hips are used in stabilising your body whilst kicking too.

Here's a google search for "Explosive Power Drills".

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Here's a link to a tutorial from Jared Montz, a former pro soccer player in the MLS.

How to Shoot a Soccer Bal with Power

Basic Key Points:

  1. Ankle Locked, toe down, use laces (you don't hit a baseball with a loose bat)
  2. Plant foot pointed at target
  3. Land on Kicking Foot (you do this to help generate power and help keep the ball low)

Advanced Key Points:

  1. Generate power from thigh, not calf
  2. Shoulders face target (don't rotate them)
  3. Keep head down (some of the best goals you will score you barely see them go in)

What Player Could Be Doing Wrong:

If you fee like you are not getting enough power it's mainly because you are not getting your thigh back and your knee down is just moving. Make sure you get your thigh back.

It's about 5 minutes long and he goes into details. It is more targeted towards younger players, so he can be quite cheesy at times.

To find the sweet spot, touch your top of your foot, towards the inside. There should be a very strong bone there. That is your sweet spot. Using the sweet spot means there is less energy loss when your strike the ball since less of it is absorbed/cushioned.

Here's another video talking about the Sledgehammer (Shooting with power).

A few key points he points out are:

  • It's not about the strength of your legs, it's the technique

  • Distance is not important for the run-up, but what is important is to be slightly off-set.

  • Use the sweet spot or the laces.

  • Hit the ball in the central area

  • You need to follow-through the ball.

They then show good and bad examples of each shots.

From this point on, hit the field and keep practicing. It's all about the techniques.

The sweet spot

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