A soccer ball swerve, also known as a curve, curl or bend, happens when a player kicks the ball with the outside of his foot so that the ball spins and curves to the side instead of going straight. A well-aimed swerve can move the ball in a curve around defenders and catch them off-guard. For right-footed players, an outside swerve will move the ball to the right, while a left-footed player will swerve to left.
Things You'll Need
- Practice cones
Drag the outside of your kicking foot against the ball, starting at the midline of the ball on the side nearest your foot. Work with the outside of your foot just behind your little toe. You should notice that the ball starts to turn as you kick. This is the spin you need to swerve the ball.
Approach the ball at a slow jog. One of the benefits of the curve is that you can do it without breaking your stride, which catches the defender off-guard. Position yourself so that the ball is on the same side as your kicking foot.
Step with your plant foot behind and to the side of the ball, giving yourself enough room to fully swing your kicking leg. Point your non-kicking knee and foot toward in the general direction you want the ball to go. If you're on the run, this step will take almost no time.
Turn your kicking foot and knee slightly inward as your foot approaches the ball. You'll need to make contact with the outside of your foot just below your little toe. This will give the ball the spin it needs to curve outward.
Strike the ball with the outside of your foot at its midline, neither too close to the ground or too high on the ball. Striking the ball too low will cause it to leave the ground, and a solid swerve maintains some initial contact with the ground. As you approach the ball, strike it on the inside, or the side closer to your kicking foot, to give the ball its spin.
Follow through with your kick in the opposite direction of your target once you've made contact with the ball. This will give your shot power. Adjust the position of your kicking foot and your standing leg to swerve the ball toward your target.
Tips & Warnings
- If a jogging or running shot is too challenging, try practicing your swerve from a standing position.
- To improve your accuracy, set up cones or other markers and practice swerving the ball around them.
- Photo Credit Denis Doyle/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images