Back to goal, badly placed, surrounded by defenders, a teammate passes you! From Pelé to Wayne Rooney, many great footballers have scored spectacular goals thanks to a well-mastered bicycle. While one is badly positioned, the figure allows to redirect a pass in a particularly photogenic movement. Learn how to perform an inverted bicycle (or chalaca) yourself, as well as spot the good times during the game.
Part 1 of 3: Learn the basics
Step 1. Turn your back to the direction in which you want to send the ball
To properly perform a bicycle (also sometimes called inverted scissors), you will need to fall backwards and send the ball up and over your head. It will go in the opposite direction to the one you are facing. It is an unexpected and spectacular shot when executed correctly, precisely because you are throwing the bullet over your head.
The bicycle is usually done in the penalty area, after a cross or a pass, in the hope of scoring a goal. Few players will try their luck, but in some cases you might not have any other choice
Step 2. Push the ground with the foot you will kick the ball with
To begin the classic bicycle movement, lift the knee of your non-dominant leg and push off the floor with the kicking foot. The higher you lift your supporting foot, the better, as this will help you build the momentum you need to kick your kicking foot the right way.
Depending on your position on the court and your proximity to the ball, you can kick with one foot or the other. In any case, you will have to push the ground with the foot that will hit the ball
Step 3. Throw your head and shoulders back
As you raise your leg, throw your swing backwards, as if trying to distance yourself from the ball by falling backwards. Be careful not to throw your head back too fast and throw your body into a full somersault. Stay focused on your kick and making contact with the ball and don't try to fall too quickly.
Think about the scene from The Matrix in which Neo tries to avoid a deluge of bullets by leaning back. This is the movement you will try to do (in addition to faster)
Step 4. Stretch your punching leg upward as you fall
As your momentum pulls you backwards, “pedal” so as to bring your supporting foot back to the ground and to launch your striking foot, on which you have just pushed, in the air, to come and strike the ball..
This rotation of the feet gives the shot its name. You will use your supporting leg to propel yourself. This will give you the movement to send the ball back
Step 5. Hit the ball
With the edge of the hardest part on top of your foot, point the ball straight over your head and pass it behind you. Ideally, you should hit the ball just on the opposite side of the goal and not under the ball. Kicking the ball from below would then send it straight up to the sky.
It is very difficult to control with precision the contact with the ball when riding a bicycle, which is why this maneuver is most often improvised at the last minute. Keep your eyes on the ball and try to hit it as accurately as possible
Step 6. Prepare to fall
To cushion your fall, spread your arms to the side and catch up with your full span. This will allow you to lessen the impact on your back and hips. Be careful not to throw yourself back too quickly.
Some players will prefer to fall from the side, rather than from the back. Practice and see which move you prefer and which best suits your game
Part 2 of 3: Train safely
Step 1. Practice on the grass
Obviously, falling on your back is not without risk. To avoid injuring yourself as much as possible during the fall, practice only on the grass, so that the impact is as gentle as possible. If you fall flat on your back on dirt or concrete, there is a great risk of injury to yourself. This type of shooting is not an indoor soccer maneuver.
Step 2. Learn to catch up
In order to learn to ride a bicycle, you will need to know how to catch up properly. Practice throwing your arms out to the sides to prepare for impact. This movement will have to become automatic. Practice over and over again, until you do it without even thinking about it.
Step 3. Spend more time learning the basics of soccer
A bicycle will be the icing on the cake of your footballing skills, but it should not be the focal point of your training. You can take a few minutes at the end of a session to work on the movement, but spend more time working on your footwork, strikes and other core elements of the sport.
Step 4. Have someone pass you through
It is very difficult to train to ride a bicycle alone, because the ball will not have sufficient momentum. Have a teammate pass you through from different directions and practice hitting the ball correctly, without having to stop it first. Shots that redirect the ball, like riding a bicycle, are very difficult to execute properly. They will be reserved for intermediate and experienced players looking to improve their game.
If you don't have anyone to practice with, try bouncing the ball off a hard surface so that it comes back in your direction. You can also incorporate the bicycle into your juggling routine
Part 3 of 3: use the bicycle during a game
Step 1. Seek the pass first
If the movement is spectacular, the chances of successfully riding a bicycle are very slim. You will be hitting the ball blind and you are much more likely to miss your shot, collide with defense, or even not touch the ball at all. When you are in the penalty area with your back to the goal, start by looking for a better placed teammate.
If none of your teammates are better positioned than you, consider getting the ball between your feet first, then try to squeeze between defenders or try another more secure shot. You could start by redirecting the shot with a bicycle, but in trying to score a ground strike will be more powerful
Step 2. Stay in the game
A bicycle usually runs into the penalty area, when your team has the ball and is trying to score. Whenever you find yourself deep in the opposing team's half of the field and want to get in to score, make sure the defense is between you and the goal line.
Step 3. Stay away from defenders
If you are in a good position to attempt a bicycle, make sure that you do not run into defenders on the move. To perform a bicycle, you will throw your crampons skyward and risk hitting another player and receiving a card. Be careful not to get kicked out for giving a dangerous kick.
Step 4. Hit as hard as you can
If you decide to give it a shot, make sure you can go with the ball all the way. The best way to steer the ball is to stop the ball with your foot and look towards the goal. The bicycle is based on power and surprise. You will therefore have to hit the ball with force, just trying to put it in the goal.
- Prepare to fall hard on your back. To avoid hurting yourself too much, try to land on your side, rather than flat on your back.
- When hitting the ball, keep your back straight. Be aware of the goal position and be careful not to force your body to do something it is not capable of. Otherwise, you run the risk of straining a muscle or damaging a ligament.
- Before landing on the floor, make sure your hands are facing the floor, to slow down the movement and have more time to accompany the ball with your foot.
- Only try this trick on a lawn. On a hard surface, you could injure yourself.