Friday, January 23, 2015

How to add POWER to your shooting!

Shooting hard is as much about technique as it is about power. 

1. Your Technique
I used to think that the stronger you are, the harder you can shoot. That was until I picked up golf. For all you golf enthusiasts out there you'll understand. As long as the contact is right, and the ball hits the 'sweet spot', your ball will fly!

Coaches always talk about these 3 steps when it comes to putting power behind your shots. 

First, support foot should be laterally in line with the ball. If you're right footed, the left foot should be about 20cm to the left of the ball just as your master foot swings down for the contact. If the support foot is too far behind the ball, you lose power coz your right foot is already on the upswing. Too far forward, and your master foot have not mastered enough kinetic energy to really smash the ball. Not to mention you'll probably sprain your foot. 

Secondly, lean forward as you hit the ball. You can help this along by leaning forward, with your body above the ball at impact. This will help you keep the ball low and hard. 

Thirdly, follow through. I prefer a full 'knee to nipples' type of follow through. Unlike the long searing Steven Gerrardesque kind of pass, where your follow through is the entire leg swinging up, for shooting, to keep the ball low, the entire follow through should only be completed at the hips to knee level. The lower leg should be relaxed and allowed to finish below the knee. 

2. Power
It's not all about the size of your quads, or how heavy you can squat in the gym. There are very specific muscles you need to strengthen in order to maximise the speed on impact. 

I came across an excellent video on the specific exercises to strengthen the said muscles. The exercises mimic the natural swing of your leg when you're about to shoot. 

These simple steps, if followed diligently, will help you build the correct muscle memory and technique so it becomes more instinctive everytime you shoot. 

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