Proper technique and mechanics improves cutting, reduces risk of injury, and increases the speed in changing direction. This video takes a look at the ankle and knee’s responsibility in taking seconds off a cut in soccer.
Making sure that the foot and knee are in alignment with landing beneath the hips is important to gain maximum power when deciding to cut in any direction. If the knee or foot are dropping inside of the body, the cut will take longer to execute.
When the arch of the ankle drops resulting the ankle to drop in pronation (looks like the ankle is rolling inward) this can result in the cleat getting stuck in the ground. As well, it means the athlete is then cutting off the wrong side of their foot causing their foot to go in one direction while the rest of the body wants to go the other way.
If the knee drops inward towards the other knee while cutting, this can be detrimental for a female athlete and causes a concern for injuring the knee ligaments. The quadricep muscles at this point are not controlling the knee and results in the knee going inward and possible touching the other knee. Just as with the ankle scenario above, it is not good when the knee wants to go in one direction and the rest of the body wants to go in another direction.
Taking the time to correct the technique and strengthen the foot and leg muscles, keeps the lower body in perfect mechanics to increase the speed of the cut; thus, increasing the speed in the change of direction. These cutting drills illustrated in the video can help any soccer player looking to make a difference on offense or defense. Consistency with these cutting patterns will make it a habit and reduce the likelihood of injury on the pitch.