What is the correct way to shoot a football? Please suggest me some drills for improving my shooting power?


3 Answers 3


There is no one-true way to shoot in football, the only correct way is the way that works (i.e. the way you can score the most with).

That being said shots can be classified with the part of the foot that comes in contact with the ball, as SahuKahn has mentioned in his answer. I'll give more details:

  1. Inner side of the boot: the most classic shot with the inner side of your boot. Here's a video explaining this type of shot. Pros: typically best accuracy, most control on the ball thus best chance to "place" the ball. This type of shot is also easier to fake and continue with a dribble.

  2. "Knuckle" shot: name is pretty self explanatory really. Here's a long video showing examples and some explanation as to how to shoot like that. The advantage is that the ball path is really difficult for the goalkeeper to judge, and the drawback is that it's hard to "get it right". Usually you need a good and controlled run up to the ball, thus this type of shot harder to pull off in the heat of the game.

    I have personally tried it out and I can see a definite improvement of my shot even tho I am not quite there yet..

  3. Lace shot: This would be the footballs equivalent of a "smash". I would call it a typical, old-school English shot with Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard being two kings of this type of shot. Here's a video comparing those two players (the first 2 mins is relatively irrelevant fan stuff). Pros; full power on the shot, practically the entire motion of the leg is transferred to the ball. Cons; hard to control the accuracy, also ball path is usually pretty much straight

  4. Outside shot: This is actually pretty much the opposite of #1. Outside of the boot, very little control (usually) and you get the reverse curve on the ball. Good example of such shot would be to look at Quaresma, here's a small collection of goals he scored.

    This type of shot is unpredictable and hard to save for the goalie and it typically generates a counter-intuitive path. However it's also extremely hard to get it effective and outside of the boot is typically not the best part of the foot for control. For instance I was told on multiple occasions to keep my outside-foot dribbles/shots/passes to an absolute minimum.

  5. Chip: You use the front part of your boot and go under the ball, to lift the ball quickly. This type of shot is used to "chip" the ball over the goalkeeper, either because the goalkeeper is far off the goal (in comparison to where the ball is) or that goalkeeper is charging to sweep the ball. Here are some examples.

Besides these you can of course shoot with your toes, or heel etc, but that's not that much different than shooting with your knee or shin; the ball hits you somewhere and if you are lucky and get a "clean" hit then the ball bounces back towards the goal.

I would not recommend relying on a toe-shot (even though we have seen several scored this world cup like Oscar's goal vs Croatia) as it's weak and typically very straight ball path.

As for how to improve: practice makes perfect. Look for drills, take shots against a wall, against targets, ask tips and pointers from friends. I typically play with the ball before and after the games, and aim at the goal, the posts, the crossbar, any signs or lampposts, even friends. Even that counts as practice... The more shots you take, the better your foot and your brain understands the ball paths, and amount of power you need to put in to get the shot right.

  • Use of the outside of your foot is a skill like any other, so with practice you can become proficient. I would never tell someone not to use a skill because it's less commonly used because less people practice it. It's a different skill that has different benefits.
    – DannyBland
    Sep 30, 2014 at 13:08
  • @DannyBland I agree that outside shot/cross/pass has a role to play in the game, and a valuable asset to have for any player. But it's perhaps not the best place to start improving/practising, that's all I am saying :)
    – posdef
    Sep 30, 2014 at 17:00
  • I agree with that! If you can't consistently control shots with the inside of your foot, it may be best to leave practicing outside of the foot until you can!
    – DannyBland
    Oct 1, 2014 at 8:06

There are number of ways to shoot.

  1. Sidefoot shot - In this shot, you hit the ball with the side of your foot. This gives you greater accuracy and you will have more control over where the ball should go.
  2. Instep (laces) shot - This is a shot where you hit the ball with your instep (the area where your laces are). This gives you more power than a sidefoot shot, if followed through nicely. Also this can cover a greater distance.
  3. Toe poke - This is the least preferred shot. That's because you don't get much accuracy with this, and the ball just goes straight ahead. This can be used when you are very near to goal, and are rushed to take a shot. Basically to "Stab the ball home".
  4. Outside of your foot - This is basically the reverse of side foot, and in this you hit the ball with the outside of your foot. This is useful in cases when you need to give the ball the reverse spin. It doesn't generate a lot of power though.

To improve your shooting power, have a look at this answer.


As the other answers state, there are a few different types of shot, with each type requiring different things. People have described the shot types but not how to improve or what is required. It is true that everyone is different so what works for one may not exactly work for another but it is still a good base.

  1. Inside of the boot - what you're looking for is to either strike the ball completely with your instep, aim for the ball to strike your foot further up than your heel, but further down than your toes. You can also turn you foot towards the ball when doing this, adding spin and swerve onto the ball. A key part of any shot, this included, is about foot and body placement. You should open your hips slightly, place your left foot (or right if you are left-footed) between 8-16 inches to the the side of the ball. The distance depends on you and what feels more comfortable and allows for more accuracy and power. Also, leaning back while shooting will mean your foot is coming up to meet the ball, and thus you will strike the ball high, whereas if you lean over the ball slightly, the ball should stay low. The knuckleball technique from @posdef's answer is a variation on the the inside of the boot where the foot is used to add a lot of spin and hit in a certain way to add swerve and dip on the ball. The reasons for this can be found by studying fluid mechanics, as the air passes across the ball.

  2. Laces shot - this shot provides the most power but there is less control. You are looking for your foot to be placed slightly more outside the ball as you swing you foot through. You can add spin by hitting it at varying angles, but it is more difficult to do so than with the inside of the boot. It is crucial to keep your body over the ball in this shot, due to the added power and less spin. If not, it will invariably end up flying up and over the goal.

  3. Outside of the boot - this shot is the most difficult to learn, as it is counter intuitive to what most people have learned growing up. The benefits are that you can now curve the ball both directions, catching out oppositions that didn't expect it. I like to use the outside of my boot if I am shooting right-footed from the right side of goal, aiming for the bottom left corner, as it will hopefully curve round the goalies reach and into the corner. Inside the boot would send the trajectory in to the goalie and then away giving them more chance to reach it.

  4. Chip shot - this shot is when you think you can get the ball over the defenders/goalie and down into the goal. You use the front of your foot for this usually, although you can use any technique if you practice it enough! It is also less important to keep body over ball, indeed it is sometimes helpful to lean back slightly when chipping.

  5. Back heel - this shot requires knowledge of the where the ball is, where it will be when your foot reaches it and where you want to send the ball. This is more about the awareness of the ball, and you swing whichever leg you are shooting with back towards the ball, hoping to hit it with the centre of your heel to get the most power and accuracy.

  6. Toe poke - are the least commonly used shot and can also cause you damage if you strike it incorrectly. Toe-pokes are only to be used when stretching for a ball you otherwise wouldn't be able to strike in my opinion. Other than that, there is always a better option, for placement use inside of foot, for power use laces.

It is important to remember about body position when shooting and foot placement. Try to focus on these as well as the actual striking of the ball when practicing and you should definitely see improvements in your shot!

  • 1
    +1 for supporting foot placement. Without a a good support the shot will likely be weak and less accurate.
    – posdef
    Oct 1, 2014 at 9:46

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