More Useful Stuff
Spain striker, and Euro 2012 Golden Boot winner, Fernando Torres shows us how to perform the tricky bicycle kick
With your back towards goal, line up with the flight of the ball and keep your eyes on it throughout. Use your hands to hold off opponents. The majority of the time you’ll be attempting this trick the ball will be coming at you fast from the wing – so peripheral vision, timing and a good connection are vital.
2. Take off
Here, agility comes into play. Jump up, leaving your kicking foot on the ground and using the foot that you won’t be kicking with to propel you upwards. Start falling backwards, keeping your eye on the ball. As your body sinks towards the ground, your non-kicking leg should rise into the air, while your kicking leg may still be on the ground.
When the ball is in ideal range (practise will help you gauge), whip your kicking leg off the ground into the back of the ball while bringing your other leg down quickly. At this point, your upper body should be almost horizontal to the ground with your knee and foot slightly higher – a strong core is needed here. If you strike the ball and it flies too high over the target, your body is probably too upright. It’s the scissor movement of your legs that creates the power and good timing will determine accuracy.
To avoid injury as you fall (because you’ll want to celebrate afterwards), stretch out your hand to steady your impact with the ground. Twist your body sideways to avoid landing flat on your back. Use your arms to cushion your fall, but avoid landing on your elbows or head.