Weakness 1: Right footed shooting from outside the penalty area
One player I have recognised to be very accomplished at long range right footed shooting is Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo is consistently able to strike accurately and powerful and often score from long range. This was very evident in a game he played earlier this year on 26.04.2014 against Osasuna for Real Madrid. Ronaldo’s second goal was a fantastic shot from 25 yards out after receiving the ball on the left wing and cutting inside. I believe a major factor in him being so successful when shooting from distance is a mixture of his ability to find the amount of space needed to get a shot off, his body position when preparing the shot and the consistency to achieve a solid contact with the ball. To analyse this goal I will divide the skill performed by Ronaldo into three sections, the preparation, the execution and the final result of the shot.
The first thing that Ronaldo does as he receives the ball on the left side is begin to dribble towards the defenders at speed looking to get into a space in which he can take a shot. It is essential that Ronaldo drives at the defenders with confidence as this will help keep defenders guessing as to what he is going to do. Once he approaches the defenders, he takes two touches with the outside of his right foot to bring the ball infield to a shooting position. After Ronaldo’s final touch with his outside right foot, he begins to take multiple smaller steps in order to steady himself so he has the right balance to get a clean strike on goal. Ronaldo then plants his left foot next to the ball and abducts his left arm in order to maintain his balance and also increase power in preparation of the shot. Ronaldo’s striking leg is then brought back to generate power with hyper extension at the hip joint with the agonist being the Gluteal muscles and flexion at the knee joint caused by the Hamstring.
Cristiano Ronaldo has many long shots every game with his right foot and a big reason for this is his ability to find the space and set himself for a shot. I think that I struggle with finding the opportunities to shoot with my right foot and I put a lot of that down to my inability to disguise what I am going to do when cutting inside which Ronaldo does extremely well. Also, being a left footed player, I find it difficult to use the outside of my right foot when dribbling unlike Cristiano Ronaldo. This often causes me to overrun the ball when cutting inside, enabling defenders to get a tackle in before I am even able to shoot. I also sometimes struggle with keeping my balance when preparing to take the shot on. I put this down to me being unable to get my body into the correct shape that would allow me to have good balance whilst also assisting with my power.
Execution: When executing a long range shot, it is important to have a mental image of where the goal is so all focus can be placed on getting the desired contact on the ball. This is a skill that Ronaldo has clearly mastered as he is able to keep his head and eyes focused on the ball whilst still being aware of exactly where he wants to place his shot. After he has prepared his body position in order to set himself for the shot, Ronaldo then has to get a clean contact to score the goal. To do this, his kicking foot is brought towards the ball as he begins to flex at the hip joint and extend the knee joint. Ronaldo also slightly leans his upper body over the ball which helps to ensure that the shot stays low enough to hit the target. When striking through the ball, Ronaldo generates a lot of power. His follow through with his kicking foot is pointed in exactly the direction he wants his shot to end up.
Although my preparation is not so good when performing this skill, I do usually manage to get some sort of shot away on goal when shooting with my right foot. However, it is very rarely as accurate as I would like. Unlike Ronaldo, I often