Having one foot weaker than the other is pretty much a given in football and is expected. But that doesn’t mean you can’t work on it and come out with an advantage. Here are some simple but very helpful tips that will definitely improve your weaker foot.
One of the best pieces of advice on working on your weaker foot is pretty simple: Imagine that your weaker foot is actually your strong one and you are just bad at football. Kinda scary but accurate. To improve your weaker foot you really need to work on everything and improve it at everything. All of these exercises tie together so the better you are at one, the more helpful it will prove in another step. For example, if you can control the firmness of your foot well, the easier it will be to pass and shoot accurately.
Touch – Firmness of the foot
The hardest thing to control and perfect is the firmness of your foot when in contact with the ball. You can test this by kicking the ball high in the air and trying to trap if with your weaker foot’s laces and a relaxed foot and ankle. You’ll most probably stop it dead and feel like Ronaldinho while doing it. That’s because your weaker foot is great at being soft and relaxed, problems arise when you have to keep it firm and in different positions. Try the same exercise but this time, try to lightly kick it in the air when it comes down. This should prove more difficult. You can train this by repeating this same exercise or doing keepie-uppies just with your weaker foot.
Start with just keeping the ball in the air as long as possible just by using your weaker foot. Progress to kicking the ball to the height of your eyes and try to move as little as possible. Next, try to keep the ball in the air by not letting your weaker foot touch the ground. When you can get to 20 keepie-uppies like this, you can start feeling confident about the control you have over your weaker foot.
By control, we mean how you stop the ball and set it for your next move (your first touch), and how you run with the ball. You can train your first touch with a partner or with just a wall. When your partner or the wall sends the ball back to you try to rotate for 90° and stop the ball in that direction, as shown in the gif below.
Next, try turning for 180°, into the opposite direction. Raise the difficulty with faster passes and turning with more speed.
To improve your running with the ball with your weaker foot get some cones or just anything you can run around. Set a few cones or other alternatives in a line and run zig-zag between them. Start with the cones close together and focus on your touches. Then give it your best with your stronger foot and count or have someone count the touches you make. Work towards having close to the same number of touches with your weaker foot as well. As you start to improve your touch, move the cones further apart and up the speed of your running. Again, count the touches you make with your stronger foot and try to emulate the number with your weaker one.
This one comes down to repetition. Get a partner or use a wall and pass, pass and pass. Keep your foot firm and try to pass as perfectly as you can. Try to mimic your movement when you pass with your stronger foot and see what feels weird. It will feel weird because of the muscle memory, you are used to passing with your stronger foot. Soon the feeling will be gone and you will notice the difference is not that big anymore. Just remember to keep your foot firm and keep on passing.
Probably the hardest thing to master with your weaker foot are the accurate long passes. In this case, there are a lot more factors to consider. The height of the pass, the strength of the pass and of course the length. A good start is getting the ball in front of a goal, preferably with a high net behind it, and lob it over with your stronger foot so the ball keeps rising when it passes over the crossbar. Then try to repeat that with your weaker foot. As you get the hang of it, change the height you want to reach or even try to hit the crossbar for accuracy. This is a good trick for training long passes because you can see how high the ball goes (because of the goal) and where it goes (the net). Again, repeat this as much as you can and then start training with a partner. At first, do it just by standing opposite to each other then progress to passing while moving.
Here is where all of the previous steps come together. Remember to keep the foot firm and try to mimic the way your body moves when you shoot with your stronger foot. By now, you should know how to position your body if you want to shot high or low and you will be able to apply more strength to your shots. Now it’s time to train, train, train. Get a goalkeeper to train with you and shoot away. Or get two cones and put each around a yard/meter from the post towards the middle of the goal and try to hit in between the post and the cone.
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