Sidewinder kick is a technique that goalkeepers use to distribute the ball over long distances with speed and accuracy. It is also known as the side volley or the half volley. Sidewinder kick helps the goalkeeper to launch quick counterattacks, clear the ball from danger, and surprise the opposition with unexpected passes.
How to Perform the Sidewinder Kick
The sidewinder kick is performed by striking the ball with the instep of the foot while it is bouncing slightly off the ground. The goalkeeper should:
• Hold the ball at waist height and drop it slightly in front of their kicking foot.
• Take a step forward with their non-kicking foot and lean their body over the ball.
• Swing their kicking leg across their body and hit the ball with the instep of their foot.
• Follow through with their kicking leg and point their toes towards the target.
Benefits of the Sidewinder Kick
The sidewinder kick has several benefits for a goalkeeper, such as:
• Speed: The sidewinder kick generates a lot of power and speed, as the goalkeeper uses their whole body to strike the ball. The ball travels faster than a regular punt or drop kick, making it harder for the defenders to intercept or react.
• Accuracy: The sidewinder kick allows the goalkeeper to control the direction and height of the ball, as they can adjust their angle and contact point. The ball also spins less than a regular punt or drop kick, making it more stable and predictable in flight.
• Versatility: The sidewinder kick can be used in different situations and scenarios, depending on the goalkeeper’s intention and vision. The goalkeeper can use it to clear the ball high and far, to find a teammate in space, or to catch the opposition off guard with a diagonal or curved pass.
Tips for the Sidewinder Kick
The sidewinder kick is not an easy skill to master. It requires good timing, coordination, and balance. Here are some tips for improving your sidewinder kick technique:
• Practice: The best way to improve your sidewinder kick is to practice it regularly. You can use drills that simulate different situations and distances where you need to use it. For example, you can have someone serve balls to you from different angles and heights, and try to hit them with your sidewinder kick.
• Footwork: Good footwork is essential for getting into position and striking the ball well. You should always try to get behind the ball and move your feet quickly and smoothly. You should also use small steps and adjust your body angle according to the direction of the ball.
• Vision: Good vision is important for choosing the right option and target for your sidewinder kick. You should always keep your eyes on the ball and scan your surroundings for potential threats or opportunities. You should also communicate with your teammates and let them know when you are going to use your sidewinder kick.
Sidewinder kick is a valuable skill for any goalkeeper who wants to improve their distribution and playmaking abilities. By learning how to perform it effectively, you can enhance your performance, clear the ball quickly, and create chances for your team.