Why and How to Train Your Less Skillful Foot

Published on: 23/03/2021
NF Academy Professional Coaches
NF Academy Professional Coaches

Why and How to Train Your Less Skillful Foot?

Learn why it is crucial for youth players to have a decent weak foot and how simple it is to start improving right in their next training sessions.

Some players make this question to themselves: Why do I need to work my weak foot if my dominant foot is already powerful?

In today’s soccer, the action is so dynamic and fast-paced that taking a second too long to think and adjust to the skillful foot could cost you a goal (or a match!)

A good weak foot makes it much easier to adapt to every match situation. Having a good first-touch with both feet will able players to move in both directions when the ball comes to them, shoot at the right time and not just when they can do it with your main foot, or avoid players from failing a decisive pass that will put your colleague in a 1vs1 situation with the goalkeeper.

You can watch several good examples from professional players who have a “good-enough” weak foot. For instance, everyone knows Leonel Messi’s dominant foot is the left one, but then counts how many goals he already did with the right foot. If he takes just the opportunities to shoot with his left foot, he probably will not be the fantastic player he is today.

This skill is something that NF Academy also tries to motivate players starting to work on during the NF Academy local events. Click here to see our upcoming events in your region.

Rodrigo Silva joined NF Academy some months ago and he is "impressed with the way that my work is helping the players developing".
Rodrigo Silva joined NF Academy some months ago and he is "impressed with the way that my work is helping the players developing".

Training your weak Foot

There are no secrets, you have to repeat and repeat and repeat different movements in different contexts, as you already do with your dominant foot. I suggest all the players do this, and in most case, players will be surprised with the results after few months,

says the NF Coach David Fernandes, who is currently working with our youth players in Norway.

There are no scientific and complex methods to train your weak foot; it is all about training. In the next training sessions, try to change between feet all the exercises you do.

An example is an exercise where you will make a long pass on one of the pitch sides. Do one time on the right side to pass with the right foot, and the next one moves to the left side to pass with the left foot. This way, you will still work your dominant foot, but at the same time starting improving your weak one.

Below we will outline some exercises to control the ball with both feet better and develop ambidextrous skills. You can follow the suggested order: starting with the ball walk and ball control, next, try on pass and shooting exercises, and then start trying in match situations.

Ball walk
For those who are not very skilled with both feet, an excellent way to start is to walk, carry and master the value for long distances of a soccer field, but with your less skilled foot, that will force the muscles to develop properly as you keep moving that part of the body.

Ball control
Doing ball control counts in the air is a sensational exercise because you move both legs in sync while keeping the ball in motion. It helps concentration to good mastery of your movements and individual skills. One of the biggest bonuses is that it doesn’t take too much time and you can do it in a small space.

You can try to do our exercises designed to improve your ball control, using your weak foot -> LINK

Practice free kicks and penalty kicks
Exercises with a still ball will help you master the ball’s direction and where you want to shoot it. Since the opposite leg is not as agile, the first few shots will be off-target, with little intensity and no curvature. However, after many attempts at goal and a lot of training, you will start to refine and mature your leg’s movements.

Double resolution ability
It is usually during training to do collective exercises. Match rehearsals are an excellent time to give your less skilled leg a chance. In case you find yourself in the penalty area and have to kick at the goal, even if it is with a weak foot, do it with strength. Exercises in real situations create a stimulus that helps physically and psychologically to cope with this pressure.

Physiotherapists and chiropractors say that the best way to make a body part regenerate or enhance its physical capabilities is stimulation. A series of massages and hand contact helps all aspects of your foot begin to become accustomed to movement in situations you did not previously experience.

Dozens of coaches already contribute with their knowledge on our Local and International players for the NF Players development.
Dozens of coaches already contribute with their knowledge on our Local and International players for the NF Players development.

NF Academy Exercises and Support

You can take a look at previous exercises that NF Academy published right here:
Ball control ->
Finnishing ->

Hopefully, these simple exercise tips will allow you to control the ball on the court better. The goal is to expose the less dexterous foot to novel scenarios, in which it will enable movements to be less rigid, more fluid, and quicker.

To make the resolutions more effective, try to apply each of them to your routines.

Do you want to work with the NF Coach support and guidance? Contact us.


Date Program Country Place Age Group
01 - 07 Jul 2024 NF Selection Tallinn Cup Estonia Tallinn 2013-2008
15 - 25 Jul 2024 NF High Performance Portugal Rio Maior 2009-2006
29 Sep - 05 Oct 2024 NF Elite Training Camp
Week 40
Portugal Lisbon / Estoril 2009-2014
06 - 12 Oct 2024 NF Elite Training Camp
Week 41
Portugal Lisbon / Estoril 2009-2014
13 - 19 Oct 2024 NF Elite Training Camp
Week 42
Portugal Lisbon / Estoril 2009-2014
27 Oct - 02 Nov 2023 NF Elite Training Camp
Week 44
Portugal Lisbon / Estoril 2009-2014

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