Beckham bends it as only he can.
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Retired British soccer star David Beckham's uncanny knack for bending free kicks toward the goal not only helped make him a household name but also spawned a film that had youngsters worldwide trying to "Bend It Like Beckham." While kicking a soccer ball probably won't make you as famous as Sir David, with practice anyone who can strike the ball solidly can learn to add the spin necessary to curve the ball through the air.1.
Turn the ball so the inflation valve points in the direction that you want the ball to curve, if you have time to set up for a free kick or corner kick.2.
Line up your shot. Target a spot that is slightly to the side of the target goal, taking into account the expected curve.3.
Choose a panel on the ball to aim for. Aim your kick for the bottom-right of the ball's center to curve the ball left; aim bottom-left of center to curve the ball right. Stare at the target ball panel as you approach the shot.4.
Take two strong steps toward the ball and plant your non-kicking foot to the side of the ball.5.
Swing your foot toward the targeted corner of the ball. Rotate your hips sharply into the shot as your leg swings toward the ball. Strike the ball with the inside of your foot, keeping your ankle locked in place as you make contact.6.
Drive your foot horizontally through the ball to keep the shot low. Avoid swinging your leg upward on the follow through or the ball will pop harmlessly out of play.
- Air density plays a strong role in bending a soccer shot. You have to kick the ball harder and with more spin to bend a ball in high altitude, low density air than you do at sea level.