In the world of soccer, there are plenty of ways to set yourself aside from the crowd. If you’re already playing your best, perhaps it is time to take your skills to the next level.
A bicycle kick, while being a functional kick to use in a soccer match, is also one of the most impressive ways to score a goal in soccer. It has flair and appeal, and will definitely leave the crowd in awe.
However, the impressive factor of the bicycle kick comes at a cost. Not everyone will be able to pull one off, which is part of what makes it so amazing to see.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to learn it, though. Nothing beats practical experience, but if you understand the methods before you begin, then you’ll have a head start over anyone else.
The Purpose Of A Bicycle Kick
So, with all the different ways there are to kick a soccer ball, why choose to do a bicycle kick?
The first reason to use a bicycle kick is its impressiveness. This may not seem like a practical reason to use a flashy kick in the game, but there is solid logic behind it.
Think of slam dunks in basketball. They aren’t necessary to score the point, as a layup achieves the same effect, and a three-point shot scores more than that anyway.
However, the energy of the maneuver can boost your team’s morale and turn the tide to allow you to win the game.
The same thing can be said of a bicycle kick. Nothing beats the image of defying the odds, and scoring a goal out of a tense situation.
A bicycle kick does have a more practical reason to use as well. Pros will often use them in a game, even from defensive positions.
The main reason to use a bicycle kick is to catch the ball when you otherwise wouldn’t be able to. This includes:
- Stopping a ball from going out of play
- Scoring a goal from the goal line
- Getting a ball that is above your head
- Rapidly pushing an attack
So, with so many situations in which a bicycle kick is useful, it is a great idea to learn how to do one.
Things To Consider
To do a bicycle kick, there are a number of things to consider, both to pull the kick off and avoid injury once you have done it.
Getting the timing of your jump and kick down are key. Rather than just pure skill or technique, this is what will allow you to pull off the bicycle kick successfully.
Another factor to consider is the distance. While some people may be able to do it from further away, try to only do a bicycle kick from 15 yards or closer.
Where you hit the ball with your foot is also important. The laces are a good indicator of where you should hit, as this will let you put the most force into your kick while also keeping control.
Brace yourself before you land. There would be nothing worse than pulling off an outstanding bicycle kick only to find yourself injured on the ground, or get the wind knocked out of you.
Make sure to practice the kick on a mat to break your fall, to prevent any injury while getting used to the timing and motion required.
Things To Avoid
As well as things to consider when building up to the kick, there are quite a few things that you should try to avoid as well.
If you’re going to do a bicycle kick, don’t give it away. If you telegraph your motions too much, the opposing team will know what you’re about to do and be able to respond to it with ease.
Make sure you have ample space when doing the kick. If you end up kicking someone else, you could end up scoring a foul. This would really spoil the moment, especially if you managed to pull it off.
Finally, make sure it is necessary. While doing the kick is always a spectacle, sometimes it isn’t the best option for your team. Assess the situation, and respond in the best possible way.
Executing The Kick
Now that you know why to use it and when, as well as what to avoid, it is a good idea to start learning how to actually do a bicycle kick.
Although it is flashy and impressive, it might be easier than you would expect to actually pull off for a seasoned soccer player.
- First, get in line with the ball. Keep your eyes fixed on it, so you can predict its movement.
- Jump, leaving your kicking foot on the ground. Use your non-dominant foot to generate the jumping force.
- While keeping your eyes on the ball, start to fall back so that your torso is horizontal to the ground. This will get you into position.
- As you fall, the leg you jumped with will rise into the air. At this point, your other leg may still be on the ground.
- Once you’ve gauged the timing and distance of the ball, swing your other leg up. At the same time, lower your jumping leg to the ground. This will generate the most force to make the best impact on the ball.
Now that you’ve hit the ball, make sure you land safely. Twist your body so that you don’t land on your back, and land with your hands and arms outstretched to spread the impact throughout your body.
It’s really that simple. The bicycle kick itself isn’t all that complicated, despite the flashy spectacle that it is in an actual soccer game.
The thing to really keep in mind is the amount of training you will have to do to pull it off. Getting the timing and distance down is key, so practice hard until you can do it safely.
Above all, have fun with it, whether you’re a defender or a striker.