When and how do you perform volley shots in football?

File photo credit: Samuel Lim

By Lim Weiyang


The aim of volley shots in soccer is effectively the same as any kind of shot - to try and put the ball into the net. The only difference is the situation in which volleys are used. In this article, we will explore the techniques and situations when and how you should use a volley shot. 

What makes a volley shot special?

The effectiveness of the volley stems from its ability to generate power as you hit the ball whilst it is still in motion in the air. As opposed to regular shots in football, a volley allows you greater contact with the ball and therefore more power is derived from the laces of your boot.
However as the ball is in mid-air, it also makes it harder to execute and you need to have good focus, excellent timing and the right technique. Although your volley has the most power when done on first touch, it sometimes helps for beginners to first cushion the ball to get it under control before proceeding to half volley it. Here are 4 steps to executing a quality volley.


1. Anticipation

It could be coming in from a cross, a pass, a bounce or maybe even a deflection. Either way, you need to anticipate the ball's eventual position and ready yourself to make contact with the ball. 

2. Positioning

Be in position such that your non-kicking leg is parallel to where the ball is going to land. Get your opposite arm from your kicking leg outstretched for balance and get ready to swing your kicking foot to meet the ball in mid air. 

3. Striking

This depends on the situation you're in but you generally want to aim at the centre of the ball. If you hit the top of the ball, the ball will go downwards. If you hit the bottom with power, it will likely go too high and over the bar. Hitting it directly in the centre would likely target your shot in a range between the goal posts.

4. Prioritise technique over power

Point your toes towards the ground and lock your ankle to prevent injury and maximise the power. Cock your ankle, meaning you should angle it towards your target to create an angled and higher surface area such that there is maximum connection with the ball. 

For beginners, try executing the volley shot with focus on technique first instead of power. Once you have gotten the right technique, to generate maximum power, always make sure to follow through.

Mastering the volley will add another dimension to your shooting repertoire as it opens different options for you to put the ball into the net. 

Learn more about scoring and the volley shot in our special Football 101 video with LionsXII head coach and Singapore legend Fandi Ahmad.

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