Striking the Ball on your Laces

Belgium v Brazil, the World Cup Quarter Final, one of the biggest games in the careers of the very best players in the world. As Kevin De Bruyne receives the ball he is sharing the pitch with some fantastic players such as Neymar, Hazard, Lukaku, Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus.

With the world watching, De Bruyne looks up and has a decision to make, does he play the safe option and slide the ball in to the overlapping full back, or does he strike for goal?

As he took a touch out of his feet he had a quick look up, assessing his options. In that situation, with the ball on the move, many players would play the safe pass.

De Bruyne decided not too.

He stepped to the ball and struck a perfect strike that arrowed into the far corner, giving Brazilian goalkeeper, Allison, no chance.

It was pure technique at the highest of levels.

The power with which he hit the ball was phenomenal, however, he wasn't focusing on hitting it as hard as he can. You can see that he focused on pure technique, striking the ball on his laces and drilling it into the far corner. The ball went dead straight, a clear sign that he connected with it perfectly.

How can you hit the ball so cleanly, with such power?

The answer to this is his focus on technique. He realised that if he was off balance he would end up slicing the ball and missing the target. Firstly he made sure to plant his standing foot firmly into the ground, next to the ball. This giving him stability and a strong base to strike from. As he moved forward to the ball he made sure to keep his body weight over and strike cleanly on his laces. His connection was perfect, drilling the ball hard, and low, into the bottom corner.

Check out the finishing drills below to learn how to strike cleanly on your laces and pose a huge threat from the edge of the box, like Kevin De Bruyne.
The key focus should be technique first, then power. It is very much like a golf swing, if you try to hit the ball too hard then you will inevitably mis-hit the shot. Make sure that your body positioning is correct and strike cleanly on your laces through the middle of the ball.

If you're looking for something to help with your striking of the ball then have a look at the kicking trainer below (ball not included). Giving you the chance to practise your shooting technique more than before.

Remember, practise makes permanent!

Taking the Perfect Penalty