How to execute a curling shot

by Pablo M27th May 2019

The curling shot is a fundamental technique to master for the execution of free kicks. Also, an excellent technique to use for mid-distance shooting when the ball is in motion.

Executing a curling shot in football requires a combination of technique, precision, and practice. A curling shot adds spin to the ball, causing it to curve in mid-air, making it difficult for the goalkeeper to save: either the ball curls away from the goalie and curls back just behind them, or the ball goes towards the keeper and curls away from them at the last moment.

Tips for executing a curling shot effectively.

Proper body positioning

Begin by positioning your body correctly. Place your non-kicking foot beside the ball, ensuring it is pointing towards the target. Keep your body slightly over the ball and maintain a balanced stance.

Approach and plant foot

Take a few steps back from the ball to create momentum. As you approach the ball, plant your non-kicking foot next to it, a bit to the side and slightly behind it. This foot acts as a pivot point for your body rotation.

Striking the ball

As you swing your kicking foot, strike the ball with the side of your foot. Aim to contact the ball’s outer section to generate the desired spin. Use your ankle and foot to create a whipping motion, imparting the necessary spin and curve.


After striking the ball, allow your kicking foot to continue its natural trajectory. Your body should rotate, with your chest and shoulders facing the target. This follow-through motion enhances the curve and accuracy of the shot.

Practice and experimentation

Executing a curling shot effectively requires practice. Observe the flight of the ball and experiment with different angles and amounts of power to understand how the ball reacts. Observe the flight of the ball and adjust your technique accordingly.

Mastering control

Focus on mastering control as you become more comfortable with the curling shot. Aim for specific targets, such as the top corners of the goal, and work on consistently hitting those spots.

Remember, practising regularly is crucial for honing your curling shot technique. Develop a feel for the ball, learn how different surfaces affect the ball’s movement, and adapt your technique accordingly. With dedication and practice, you can become proficient in executing a curling shot, adding an extra dimension to your football skills.

In the video below, Michael Lewis Cunningham breaks down the technique required to execute a curling shot.