It is common place to see players with a place kicking action that relies mostly on a swing of the leg. This approach, generally, is inefficient, requires effort, and more often than not causes a player to ‘lose their shape’ or posture at the point of impact.
As skills coaches we need to coach with the mindset that kicking is an ‘all of body movement’.
Various body segments move during the kicking action and when they do smoothly, as a team, & in the right order, the results are a fluent, compact, and often effortless looking execution.
Weight Transfer is effectively the idea that we need to shift the energy or momentum from the kick (body directional movement), through the ball at impact and to target.
I like to imagine the line between the player and target is an imaginary channel, and the energy needs to flow down this channel.
Players that show good weight transfer are generally more accurate (as well as kicking further and with more control), if they strike through their intended line of the ball’s sweet spot.
A warning for coaches: Achieving good weight transfer is not about telling a player to move through the ball. This only creates an internal focus that often produces a ‘forced’ attempt to finish forward of the tee. You will need to tread carefully here, I suggest designing breakdown activities to promote the movement rather than instruct it!
Here is a little look at a teenage player demonstrating weight transfer through ball strike. I’m sure you’ll see other coachable aspects too, but for the purpose of the explanation, I draw your attention to the movement of the body post contact:
By Stuart Lierich