Today we are learning how to lock your ankle.
Locking your ankle applies to just about every kicking technique in soccer. It’s a difference
maker in your power. What’s going on? Little dap!
It’s Jared Montz, former pro and founder of Online Soccer Academy.
Lock your ankle. You hear that a lot from coaches, but what does it mean.
When your ankle is locked and you kick a ball that is like hitting a baseball with a hard
bat. If your ankle is loose and you kick a ball that is like hitting a baseball with
piece of spaghetti. It aint going as far! Another way to think about it is a loose ankle
is like a shock absorber. Imagine this pillow is like a loose ankle. If I try to bounce
the ball off the pillow it won’t go very high because the pillow is like a shock absorber
absorbing all the power in the ball. Now, if I try to bounce the ball off the hard concrete,
which is like a locked ankle, it will bounce higher because it’s not absorbing the power
of the ball. When you kick a ball you want your ankle locked
so it bounces off your foot like concrete, this will give you more power with less swing.
Key Points! Key Point One. Your Ankle can be locked with your toe in any direction.
I can point my toe up, down, to the side, etc and in all of these styles I can have
my ankle locked. Key Point Two. Tighten the muscles around your ankle.
When players first really grasp locking their ankles properly for shooting they tend to
complain after taking a lot of shots that their foot hurts. This is because the muscles
around their ankle are now tight; meaning their ankle was locked. This is a new feeling
for their ankle because it’s always been loose which is why they feel some soreness.
To tighten the muscles around your ankle point your toe up, squeeze the muscles around your
ankle and try to bring your toe back towards your shin as far as you can. Another way to
lock your ankle is to point your toe down, squeeze the muscles around your ankle and
try to bring your toe back towards your calf. Squeeze those little muscles tight.
As a coach, a simple way to teach this is to get down on one knee and tell the player
to point their toe up and lock their ankle. Then do a little slap on the top of their
foot. If their toe drops their ankle is loose like jello, not locked. Then point their toe
up with your hands and tell them to curl their toe back towards their shin squeezing the
muscles around their ankle tight. Then slap on top of their foot again, if their toe stays
up, their ankle is now locked and hard like a rock.
An exercise to practice on your own is a few light reps on locking your ankle. You can
do this at home too. I’d suggest doing this barefoot if you are on a safe surface so you
can have a better visual of your ankle. Exercise 1. Locked Ankle for Shooting.
Point your toe down, squeeze the muscles around your ankle to make them tight and imagine
you are trying to get your toe to wrap around and touch your calf.
Then take 10 small swings with your ankle locked while balancing on your plant foot
as if you were making a shooting motion. If needed and your balance is shaky put your
hand on a wall for support. Do 10 reps, rest and repeat this 3 times. Then repeat this
exercise on your opposite foot. Exercise 2. Locked Ankle for Passing.
Point your toe up, squeeze the muscles around your ankle tight and imagine you are trying
to get your toe to touch your shin. Take 10 small swings with your ankle locked
while balancing on your plant foot as if you were making a passing motion. Do 10 reps,
rest and repeat this 3 times. Then repeat this exercise on your opposite foot.
What’s Wrong! If you keep saying you can’t lock your ankle, but you know how to do it
then that’s a bad habit. No coach in the world is going to solve that problem for you
except you. Watch this OSA video on How to Fix Bad Habits!
Bonus Tip! Technique is everything! It doesn’t matter how big and strong you are if you don’t
have good technique. This is why lots of times the smaller player on the field can kick the
ball the hardest because they have the best technique.
Think less about your pure power and more about your technique and you will improve
faster! Lock your ankle! Hope you enjoyed this Online Soccer Academy
video! Click here to watch our incredibly helpful 200+ free videos, go here if you want
a Believe in it® shirt and go here if you are a coach and want to host an OSA Soccer
Camp. My name is Jared Montz and remember if you
Believe in it® and back that up with hard work, anything in life is possible. Believe