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Though kickball is one of the most popular sports among schoolchildren, it has made a huge comeback with adults in and around Boston, as well. If you are interested in joining an exciting kickball league, but you don’t remember much of the sport from your elementary school days, learning how to properly kick the ball is a great place to start.
Get to Know the Ball
At the very core of kickball is the ball itself, which has thin walls made of rubber and is inflated just enough to make it really bounce. Most kickballs are red in color and about the same size as a basketball, but they are far softer than basketballs. The official kickball is inflated to 1.5 PSI and is 10 inches in diameter. It is important to check that the kickball is inflated properly prior to every game; otherwise, your kicks may not produce the intended result, and injuries may occur.
Learn How to Position Your Body
When you go to kick the ball, you should always use your dominant foot. Stand directly behind the ball, and then take three or four big steps back and slightly to one side of the plate. While you may notice some kickers will start running from a long way back to attempt a more powerful kick, this is not necessary. You can get all the momentum and power you need in two or three steps. Keep your shoulders squarely in line with the ball as you move toward it, and remember that when you kick, the ball will travel in the general direction your shoulders are pointing.
Decide Where to Kick the Ball for the Best Results
Keeping your eye on the ball is important, and this is especially true in kickball. The part of the ball that connects with your foot will determine your kick results, so keep this in mind. If you want the ball to soar high, you will need to be sure your foot connects with the bottom of the ball first. On the other hand, if you want to keep the ball on the ground, you should kick the top of the ball. You can bend the ball by kicking it on either side, and if you want a standard kick that does not bend and isn’t too high, aim for the center of the ball.
Pay Attention to Your Non-Kicking Foot
Your non-kicking or “planted” foot and its location will play a key role in the momentum of your kick. You will need to place or “plant” your foot to the side of the ball in line with the ball’s position. Your kicking leg should be cocked back ready to swing into the ball. The further your planted foot is from your kicking foot, the more power you will be able to drive thru the ball.
When you swing your leg forward lock your ankle and try to use the top of your foot, connecting your laces with the ball. (Do not kick with your toe as this makes accuracy next to impossible, and can lead to injury.) If you are trying to bunt, turn your foot sideways as if trying to pass the ball to someone with a soft swing, rather than going for a full blown kick. Again, your body position and contact with the ball will dictate where the kickball will go… And remember to run!
Learning how to kick a kickball isn’t difficult, but it can be difficult to master. Follow the steps above when you practice – whether at home or with others on your team – and you will soon discover that you will become a much better kicker and an asset to your team.
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