Side Kick Precision Training: 3 Factors to Consider
The Side Kick is a very powerful kick. In my experience very few people get to ever experience the true power of their side kick. The reason for this is one or more of the following 3 factors is missing form their kicks.
Here is the check list
- Striking Surface. The heel is the strongest of all possible striking surfaces. Besides the heel, there is edge of the foot, sole of the foot, and even ball of the foot.
The heel as the point of impact has 2 advantages. First the surface is small and thus penetrates more. Second less stabilization is needed in the foot and ankle. Stabilization factor always decreases power upon impact. This is due to buckling.
- A side kick is a two joint kick, as far as the kicking leg. Knee and hip move during the kick. Add the balance factor and side position and it’s hard for the heel to travel in straight line. If the kick travels in straight line, then the mass of the body can be moved in the same line. This is where the magic happens and acceleration of the mass get’s transferred into the kick.
- Hitting the right target. A kick to the solar plexus is not the same as a kick to the chest. A kick to the liver is not the same as the kick to the arm. Just a little off and the vulnerable target is missed.
In the video you can see one of the more advance drills for precision and accuracy. However, notice the trajectory and point of impact training is also build into it.
A beginner will either miss the ball or will strike the ball with edge or sole. And if the target is struck, and the trajectory is wrong, it will not allow it bump into the stick.
For this reason, we have a full program, that takes the kicker step by step through full training. Each step is demonstrated and explained to allow a manageable progression.
This video teaches how to land the side kick onto exact intended target, while hitting with full speed and power.
Here is a full description of the program.
Side kick is the kick known for it’s power. Side kick is also the least accurate kick of all kicks. Muscles used in the kick are large and powerful. Regulation of these muscles is called gross motor control. The opposite of GMC is fine motor control. The example of FMC is writing with a pen. Fine motor control is what is needed for accuracy. The two types of control rarely naturally co-exist. They are brought together through specialized training.
Being able to place an accurate kick make the difference between “I felt it, it hurts” vs “lights out…” A side kick to the solar plexus missed by an just a little is not as effective. Same for other targets. Knee, jaw, etc. To get full use out of a side kick’s raw power, it must hit the intended target.
The striking surface or point of impact for the side kick is either the heel or the edge of the foot. Heel is more powerful. If you are going to train for accuracy, you might as well go for the all the marbles and focus on maximum returns.
The program focuses on the heel. However all the exercises are easily convertible to the edge of the foot, in case you prefer to strike with that point of impact.
How does this program work?
First a heel must be established by the nervous system as the point of impact. This simply means that your body needs to know where you heel is when throwing the side kick. The program starts with this.
Next step is trajectory. In technicality any mastered trajectory can lead to accuracy. It can be a semi-circle of any radius or a straight line. As long as the line of kick is exactly repeated every time, the accuracy will be developed. Having said that, we focus on developing a straight line. (From point A, where heel is at chamber positon to point B, where the target is.)
We focus on mastering a straight line for 3 reasons.
- A straight line is most easily replicated. In other words, if a curved line is called for, the degree of curve is hard to control. This will leads to adjustments at the end of the kick. Those adjustments in turn will decrease the speed and power.
- Shortest distance form A to B is a straight line. In some situations, a millisecond is not significant. In other circumstances, such as competition between two world class athletes, it can make a difference.
- Vector alignment. For maximum generation of power the heel must travel in the same line as the body’s mass is accelerated. When throwing a side kick the mass moves directly at a target. The kick must continue this path. If the kick moves in any other route, the vectors will partially cancel each other. This again will end in loss of power.
Once trajectory is established the kick is practiced with a simple feed back mechanism and is adjusted after each kick. This allows the kicker to get the most out of the kick.
Do you need this program?
Place a dot on the target and kick it. Can you hit the dot? Are you slowing the kick down? If you can hit the dot at will, without sacrificing speed and power. Congratulations! You got to send us a video. You definitely don’t need this program.
On the other hand if your kick is not accurate, when thrown at full speed and power. You need the program.