How to Curve a Soccer Ball

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You might have seen a pitcher in baseball throwing a curveball towards the batsman. Similarly, the same concept is used while kicking a ball in football, where the ball spins towards the pole but lands in the goalpost miraculously. However, it isn’t a real miracle but good use of physics that uses air dynamics to generate spin on the ball. This step-by-step guide talks about how to curve a soccer ball in real life.

  • How to Curve A Soccer Ball

There are two ways to curve the ball towards the goalpost. The first one is a bending free-kick that involves kicking the ball using the inside portion of the foot. Meanwhile, the other way to curve the ball is to kick the ball using the outside edge of the foot.

Both of these steps are similar yet different in their way. The prior one can also be used as a passing technique, while there are different opinions about the latter one as rarely any player uses their out-foot to pass the ball.

Soccer player trying to curve the ball

#1 Steps to Curve The Ball Using In step

The other name for curving the soccer ball using in-step is bending free-kicks. Here, the inside edge of the foot is used to generate a spin effect on the ball.

To make a bending free-kick,

  1. The most important step to master the bending free kick is to focus on your approach. To make the shoot effective, hit the ball from an angle rather than kicking straight on it. When a player hits the ball from an angle, spin is generated.
  2. Next, lock your foot before you kick the ball. A sloppy foot will not generate a powerful kick. Also, keep your toes upwards while kicking the ball.
  3. To hit the ball effectively, work on your body dynamics. For example, apart from the leg movement, use your hips to generate more force.
  4. Next, focus on your standing foot while shooting the ball. Make sure that the toes are pointing slightly away from the target at an angle. It will help in generating the momentum for a bending free-kick.
  5. Lastly, don’t forget to follow through with the ball. If you oppose the movement, you will end up having injuries in your lower leg or ankle.

Here is a detailed video that will help you grasp the concept of bending free-kicks easily.

#2 Steps to Curve The Ball Using Out Step

Trivela Shot, also known as curving the soccer ball using the out-step, is another technique to shoot the ball towards the goalpost.

Though the outcome may look similar, the technique to do this isn’t the same as kicking the ball using an in-step.

To curve your soccer ball using out step,

  1. The first step revolves around practicing the footwork and the approach so that the ball lands in the goalpost.

To kick the ball with the right approach, take a few steps backward and assess the ball. It is the most crucial step while curving the ball, as everything depends upon your calculation.

Also, it’s tricky because you will have only a few parts of the second to assess everything.

Soccer athlete curving a ball

Now, the other important step is where you place your non-dominant or supporting foot. To swirl the ball to the goalpost, plant your supporting foot a little farther so that your dominant foot (by which you kick the ball) could get enough space to make a move.

  1. This step is more on the technical side. After kicking the ball, you must follow through with the movement. If you do otherwise, i.e., try to stay in your position, you might get injured, and your shot could turn out to fail.
  2. Next, one should be mindful about where they are kicking the ball. To curve a ball, you have to generate excess spin in the ball to follow a banana-like path. Remember to hit near the equatorial line of the ball to create the spin effect.
  3. Don’t forget to lock your ankle while kicking through the ball because a limp ankle won’t generate enough power to make a good Trivela shot.


When you hit right in the middle of the ball, you require the least force to score a point. But, in a Trivela Shot, one has to kick with enough force depending upon how far their contact point is from the mid-point of the ball. Thus, the far you contact the ball, the more power you have to put in to make the kick effective.


Research reveals that how you kick the ball affects the curved trajectory of the football. However, new players have a misconception that a powerful kick is enough to generate a spinning motion in the ball, which is so far true but not completely.

A good free-kick or a Trivela shot works out fabulously only when the correct technique is put in through the process.

The research concluded that the maximum offset distance from the ball that could generate the maximum spins was 100 mm. But in real life, a player cannot measure up the accurate offset distance on the field when he has only a few seconds to make a move.

So, how do they make everything work for them? Practice! The more and more hours you will put in mastering the skills, the better your kicks will become. And eventually, you would know your correct measurements to work out the kicks on the field.

Tim Frechette is an avid athlete, having played sports like soccer and basketball his entire life. He brings a wealth of athletic knowledge to his writing.