There are many circumstances in which the best soccer player isn't the one that is faster, bigger, or shoots harder. The best technically sound player on the pitch will be the one that doesn't have a weak foot. Furthermore, the less of a discrepancy between appendages means, ultimately, a better player. For example, take a look at midfield magicians Santi Cazorla and David Silva, the masters of ambidextrous feet. The way these two can control their passes, touches and shots with relative ease on both feet is a sight to marvel at.
There are many play making advantages to becoming better with your weak foot, but it takes a certain effort and determination in the face of definite frustration. Try these CoachUp certified tips and you'll be ripping shots with that under-appreciated boot in no time!
Try to wrap your mind around the act of mimicking. Take a few shots with your foot of choice: note your approach to the ball, where you plant your foot and how you strike the ball. Any preferences you have with your dominant foot should try to be closely mimicked with the opposite foot.
It may sound simple but: monkey see, monkey do! The more you pay attention to your subtle nuances and styles, the quicker your skills will translate to the other side.
PASSING AND TRAPPING DRILLS
Work on different kinds of passes and traps with each other using only your weak foot. Try lobbing it in the air and passing it hard on the ground. This will force you to work on trapping it in different ways. Unlike the shooting tips, pretend as if your dominant foot has fallen asleep or is temporarily out of service.
Pro Tip: Don’t revert to passing and trapping with your dominant one. Like riding a bike, most of these exercises become muscle memory - so good habits and effort will break through the surface eventually, even if it's tough at first.
One way you can add some coordination to your weak foot is by juggling with it. See how many touches you can get to, and try to get more each time. Another drill you can do to improve coordination in your weak foot is dribbling using only that foot.
Easy Exercise: Set up a series of cones to dribble through, and make your way through the course by only dribbling with your weak foot. Try to get through the cones more quickly each time you dribble through them
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
It's never a bad time to practice with your weak foot. Seriously, when you're walking from the pitch to the water cooler, try dribbling with your opposite foot. Even when you're on the way from the living room to the fridge, having that ball connected to your foot can only help!
As we mentioned before, it's all muscle memory. The more you do something, the more comfortable you'll feel. Striking a ball with your laces instead of your toes took tons of diligent practice, right? Well, this is exactly the same!
DON'T BE AFRAID
When faced with the prospect of only using their weak foot, many players get frustrated and discouraged -- DON'T! Struggling is most definitely part of the process and you'll be glad afterwards. It's natural to ignore the lesser used foot, but a complete soccer player will know how to use both so your determination now will pay off in the long run.
(Related: Read about becoming a dominant striker here.)
A multi-footed player isn't just more useful to the team, but it's more fun too! Imagine a world where you can launch shots without forcing it to your dominant foot. Developing your opposite foot will open up the rest of your game immensely. Additionally, you'll be even harder to keep off the pitch. Being good with your weak foot may seem like a small thing to focus on, but mastery of the small stuff creates the best footballer in the end.
However, if you still find yourself struggling to use your weak foot, consider booking one of CoachUp's private instructors. They'll know how to break your bad habits and turn you into a more complete footballer in no time! What are you waiting for?