Chattanooga-(WDEF-TV) The ability to bend the soccer ball always looks cool, but it’s also an important part of the game according to Chattanooga Red Wolves coach Tim Hankinson.
Said Hankinson: “It goes back to ‘Bend it Like Beckham’ right. That’s how big a tool that is. They make a movie out of it. A lot of our corner kicks are built that way where we want to bend it in towards the goal keeper putting a lot of pressure on him. We basically go crashing in after it.”
Said midfielder Ami Pineda: “The goal keeper especially like on a close free kick to the goal. They think it’s coming their way, and it’s just like slowly getting out of the way. I think it’s obviously really important because they misjudge the ball.”
So how do you bend it?
Said Pineda: “If you want to take more bend, you kind of hit it here. More like in the middle of the ball. But if you want it to bend more, I just hit it out wider. I just like kind of like across the ball like this.”
Said Hankinson: “The feet of a soccer player is like a bag of golf clubs. You need a lot of different ways that you can put spins on balls to make sure they don’t run away. Bending balls around opponents. So all of those things. Chipping into a spot. All of those tools are a necessity.”
Hankinson says guys that can spin it and bend it are dangerous.
Said Hankinson: “As a coach you sweat a little bit when you know the other team has got a specialist like that because you don’t want to give up fouls near the box because the wall is not going to stop it.”