3 of the Most Important Differences between Soccer Vs. Football

There are some big differences between soccer vs. football. There are two different sports that require different techniques when it comes to kicking the ball. The main difference is the shape of the ball, which greatly affects the way the ball is hit. Soccer balls are round, while footballs are more oblong or oval-shaped.

Soccer players who are transitioning to football need to adjust their technique to suit the requirements of the sport. Traditional soccer techniques won’t work in American football because of the shape of the ball. When it comes to field goal kicking in football, the ball needs to be hit a little higher than a soccer ball, and in the middle third, just under center, to achieve the ideal height and distance. In contrast, soccer balls are usually kicked low to the ground.

Technique for soccer vs. football players

The technique for hitting a football is also different from soccer. Football players swing and come up with the ball, while soccer players keep their foot low to the ground. These differences mean that soccer players need to practice and adjust their technique to successfully transition to football.

The importance is not only the swing, but the positioning and approach as well. When kicking, it’s important to keep an efficient line from startup to contact. You have the luxury of the bulb staying in one spot with football kicking, with soccer the ball is often constantly moving so you have to be more flexible in the way that you can hit the ball on the fly.

There’s only three situations where the ball will stay in one spot in soccer; The free kick, the goal kick, or the corner kick. Outside of that, you have to find ways to make adjustments as they happen.

Video explaining soccer vs. football kickers

Here’s a video in reference to some of the key things needed when kicking a soccer vs. football;

Keeping the two sports separate

One of the big things that mess up kickers is when they play both soccer and football. They play during the season and once they start to play football (or vice versa) their technique needs a lot of adjusting. They swipe at the ball, and punch at it instead of driving through. The issue with kicking soccer balls with proper football technique is you’re likely going to top it or not hit the ball as clean as you could. The opposite side of this, traditional soccer players have a tough time kicking footballs with the proper power and accuracy because there’s a lot more surface area to hit the ball.

soccer player kicking a soccer ball. Soccer vs. football differences

Soccer Ball technique

  • Approach: When kicking a soccer ball, the player typically approaches the ball at an angle, taking a few steps back before running forward towards the ball.
  • Foot Placement: The player usually strikes the ball with the instep of their foot, which is the inner part of the foot, just above the arch. The foot should be kept straight and pointed down, with the ankle locked in place.
  • Follow-through: After striking the ball, the player’s kicking leg should continue forward, following through with the motion of the kick.

Football kicking technique

  • Approach: When kicking a football, the kicker typically approaches the ball straight on, with their non-kicking foot placed next to the ball and their kicking foot slightly behind it.
  • Foot Placement: The player usually strikes the ball with the laces of their shoe, which is the area on top of the foot where the laces are located. The toes should be pointed down, and the ankle should be flexed to generate power and accuracy.
  • Follow-through: After striking the ball, the player’s kicking leg should swing through in a straight line, following through with the motion of the kick.

In summary, the key differences in technique between kicking a soccer ball and a football involve the approach, foot placement, and follow-through. Understanding these differences can help players improve their skills and accuracy in each sport.

soccer vs. football kickers. The football kickers swing is coming up and through not through only.


If you’re interested in improving your soccer vs. football kicking skills, there are resources available to help. The “art of kicking” e-book is a great place to start, as it provides valuable tips and tricks to help you become a better kicker or punter. Additionally, signing up for a newsletter can provide exclusive content and further guidance on how to improve your skills.

Overall, while there are some key differences between soccer vs. football, with practice and the right resources, it is possible to successfully transition from one to the other and become a skilled kicker.

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