Kicking (soccer)

Stages of Development
Teaching and Learning

Kicking can be introduced in Kindergarten and is a skill young children can experience success in relatively easily. Children will be expected to master the skill by the end of Year 4. Encourage the use of the inside of the foot initially to contact the ball and then introduce different types of kick use the top of the foot. 

Teaching cues
  1. Eyes on the ball
  2. Kicking foot like a penguin (twist it outwards)
  3. Step next to the ball (non-kicking foot)
  4. Swing and kick (with your penguin foot)
Teaching strategies

  • Focus on keeping eyes on the ball and stepping next to the ball with the non-kicking foot initially
  • Use small and soft balls – if indoors, balloons are great to help encourage foot-eye coordination
  • Try stepping and kicking without a ball first
  • Try placing markers next to the ball where the non-kicking foot should be placed as a visual cue
  • Using a marker on the ball (chalk or sticky tape) can also help children focus on where to make contact with the ball
  • At this stage, just encouraging children to have a go at as many kicks as possible is the most important thing. For very young children introduce kicking without a step
  • If children do not have well developed balancing skills they may struggle to kick so you may need to help support them as they kick
  • Focus on kicking for distance not accuracy initially so children develop force in their kick
  • Try creating an obstacle course with a kick for goal at the end
  • Ask children to point at where on their foot they should be kicking the ball
  • Instruct children to use ‘penguin feet’ to kick – see teaching cues
  • Set up targets at differing distances and play Ready, Aim, Fire or have a game of  Musical Soccer

  • Focus on the step and kick and then introduce kicking on the run
  • Encourage a backswing of kicking foot by have a witches hat behind the kicking foot that the child has to knock over
  • Use small soccer balls and introduce challenging targets further away
  • Play a fun game of Clean up the Rubbish  or Bombard using Kicking instead of Throwing
  • In partners play Introducing Goalie
  • Introduce Small Sided Games with modified rules. Try having multiple goals and multiple balls to encourage maximal participation. Add in rules, such as no tackling, you must pass to everyone before going for goal etc.

Skill criteria
  1. Eyes focused on ball throughout kick
  2. Forward and sideward swing of arm opposite kicking leg
  3. Non-kicking foot placed beside the ball
  4. Hips then shoulders rotate forward
  5. Contacts ball with inside or top (shoelaces) of foot
  6. Kicking leg follows through towards target area
Common errors
  • Kicking with the toe – poking the ball
  • Non-kicking leg behind the ball or too close to the ball
  • Opposite arm not used for balance
Skill usage

More kicking (soccer) activities

Children with soccer balls
Kicking (soccer)
ready aim fire
Overarm Throw, Kicking (soccer), Striking, Punt, Underarm Throw
Children bear walking
Balancing, Kicking (soccer), Dribble (Soccer)