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The Scissor Kick: Spectacular and Effective

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The Scissor Kick: Spectacular and Effective

In the world of soccer, few moves capture the imagination quite like the scissor kick. Known for its audacity and the sheer athleticism required, it's a technique that, when executed perfectly, is both spectacular and highly effective. This article delves into the mechanics of the scissor kick, offering insights from both a player’s and coach’s perspective on how to perfect this incredible move and when to use it strategically during a match.

What is a Scissor Kick?

A scissor kick, also known as a bicycle kick or overhead kick, is a volley in which a player strikes the ball in mid-air while making a scissors motion with their legs. The player’s body is typically horizontal to the ground at the moment of contact with the ball.

The Anatomy of a Perfect Scissor Kick

Achieving the perfect scissor kick requires a blend of precision, timing, and physical coordination. Here's a step-by-step breakdown:

  1. Positioning:

    • Timing: Position yourself to meet the ball in the air. This often means anticipating crosses or lofted passes.
    • Footwork: Quick, small steps to adjust your position.
  2. Jumping:

    • Explosive Jump: Use your non-kicking leg to push off the ground powerfully. Your body should be slightly leaning back to counterbalance the upward motion.
    • Arm Swing: Swing your arms for balance and additional lift.
  3. Execution:

    • Leg Movement: Your legs should make a scissor motion— the non-kicking leg comes up for momentum while the kicking leg follows through to strike the ball.
    • Hit Sweet Spot: Aim to hit the ball with the laces of your boot for maximum power and control.
  4. Landing:

    • Protect Yourself: Tuck your chin to your chest and use your arms to break the fall.
    • Prepare for Rebound: Stay alert in case you need to follow up on the play immediately.

Ideal Scenarios for a Scissor Kick

A scissor kick isn’t just about showing off; it's also an effective scoring method in specific game scenarios:

  • High Crosses: When a winger or fullback sends a high cross into the penalty area.
  • Crowded Penalty Box: When it's difficult to control and shoot the ball due to player congestion.
  • Surprise Element: To catch the goalkeeper off guard, especially if they are out of position.

Quotes from the Pros

  • Cristiano Ronaldo: “The scissor kick is all about timing. Get it wrong, and you could end up on the ground, but get it right, and you could score one of the best goals of your career.”

  • Coaching Tip from Zinedine Zidane: “It’s important to practice the scissor kick regularly in training. It’s not just about the power but also about reading the game and positioning yourself correctly.”

Training Drills for the Scissor Kick

To help players master the scissor kick, coaches can incorporate the following drills:

Drill NameDescriptionFocus Areas
Cross and KickSet up wingers to deliver high crosses while forwards practice timing their scissor kicksPositioning, Timing
Rebound PracticeUse a rebounder to simulate game conditions where players must quickly execute a scissor kickQuick Decision Making, Accuracy
Soft LandingPractice on soft mats to focus on technique without the risk of injury from hard landingsSafety, Technique


The scissor kick remains one of soccer’s most thrilling techniques, combining the elements of athleticism, skill, and audacity. For players, nailing the perfect scissor kick can be a career-defining moment, while for coaches, it's about instilling the right technique and timing in their players. Practice and precision are key—so get out there, and start perfecting your scissor kicks!

Feel free to visit our Training Section for more drills and tips!