How Do Soccer Players Slide On Their Knees?

Soccer players are known to have some of the most dramatic and unique celebrations among all athletes around the world. One of these celebrations is sliding on their knees after scoring a goal.

Some soccer players slide on their knees to celebrate a huge goal that they have just scored for their team. The knee slide celebration is one of the most iconic ways of celebrating a very important goal in soccer.

With that said, how do the soccer players actually slide on their knees? And does it hurt their knees when they do it? You’re about to find out in this article.

Step by step guide on how the players slide on their knees.

The knee slide in soccer is divided into 2 phases, the landing phase and the sliding phase. The landing phase is when the player lands their lower legs and their knees to the ground, and the second phase is when they slide forward on their lower legs and their knees.

The landing phase can sometimes cause some damage to the player if the player isn’t careful enough when they are landing, so if you want to attempt to slide on your knees when you score a goal, make sure to land correctly to avoid any possible injuries.

Here’s a step by step guide of how soccer players slide on their knees:

1- Gain enough speed by running forward

For the knee slide to work, the player should have a lot of speed prior to landing on the ground and performing the slide, or else, the player won’t slide a long distance due to the friction with the grass.

For this reason, the player starts running with enough speed for the slide to go well.

2- Bend the knee of the leg that’s touching the ground

This step is the first step in the landing phase. The player starts the landing by bending the knee of the leg that’s touching the ground while they’re running, let’s assume that this is their left leg.

The reason they do this is to move their knees (and their whole upper body) closer to the ground so that they reduce the strength of the impact with the ground. If the players just jump high up and land instantly on their lower legs and their knees, then they might damage their knees due to the strong impact with the ground.

3- pull the upper body backwards

After the soccer player bends their left knee to prepare for the landing, they start moving their upper body backwards so that they decrease the effects of the air friction that can slow them down.

4- Landing on the foot’s bridge

After the player bends their left knee, they use their other leg to start the landing on the ground. Specifically, they use the foot’s bridge to touch the ground and then let the rest of their right lower leg and their right knee touch the ground.

Once the right lower leg comes in contact with the ground, they land the other lower leg on the ground too and the sliding forward begins.

5- bend the upper body further back.

By now, the player is already sliding forward because they gained enough speed by running and because both of their lower legs and their knees are now on the ground.

While they are sliding the players move their upper body backwards even more so that they maintain their sliding speed as much as possible.

Note that this is one of the ways that soccer players slide on their knees. There are definitely other ways that this can be done, for example. Some players just go directly for landing on both of their lower legs instead of landing one at a time which can be more dangerous if they aren’t careful enough.

If you want to slide on your knees yourself to celebrate a goal, then here are some quick tips for you

Things you should know before you attempt a knee slide in soccer.

1- Try not to land on your knees first

Most of your lower leg is protected with a shin guard and your foot is protected with your shoes, but your knee usually isn’t protected by anything so you want to make sure that you don’t land on it immediately. Instead, land on your lower leg and then let your knee touch the ground and slide forward.

2- Do not jump high before you land

Some soccer players jump forward when they land just to gain extra speed to slide further. This can be okay, but try your best not to jump high and then land on your knees because the higher the height of the jump, the more likely that your knees get hurt.

3- Distribute your weight over your whole lower legs and not just your knees.

While you are sliding, you want to increase the area of your body that is touching the ground. This way, you’ll distribute your weight better and you won’t hurt your legs when sliding. So make sure that your whole lower leg is touching the ground and not just your knee.

In order to achieve this, try to stretch your foot as much as possible so your whole lower leg surface becomes as flat as possible.

4- Make sure that there aren’t any obstacles on the field

If you are not 100% sure that the field is made up of natural/hybrid grass and that there aren’t any small rocks inside the field, then it’s better if you do not attempt a knee slide at all.

Why do soccer players not get hurt when they slide on their knees?

In general, soccer players do not get hurt when they slide on their knee, or else their managers wouldn’t even let them do it at all. However, some players do get hurt when they do it wrong or when the surface that they are performing it on isn’t suitable.

Here are a few reasons that make the knee slide safer than you would expect:

1- The soccer field grass

Most soccer fields are either made up of natural grass or a hybrid grass. Sliding on these types of grasses is much easier than sliding on artificial grass.

2- The field grass is usually wet during games.

Before a professional soccer match starts, and during the halftime of the match, the grass of the field is watered using the watering systems that are installed in the soccer field.

This means that the grass that the professional soccer players play at is usually a little bit wet. The water on the grass decreases the friction between the grass and the player’s legs which makes the knee slide a little bit more safe.

3- The sweat of the player

The sweat of the soccer player after running a lot during the match also reduces the friction between the grass and the player’s legs during a knee slide.

4- The adrenaline and the excitement of the players

The players feel a lot of excitement when they score a goal, and the adrenaline that is produced by their bodies can help them not feel any pain when they perform a knee slide after they score.

As this article states, the adrenaline that the body produces usually decreases the ability of the body to feel pain, and this helps the players in performing the knee slide celebration without feeling any pain in their knees during the rest of the match.

With that said, I will end my article here. Here’s a quick summary of what you have just read.


Soccer players sometimes slide on their knees as a form of a goal celebration. They do this by gaining speed through running, then bending their knee, then moving their upper body back, and then landing on their lower legs and their knee.

The knee slide celebration usually doesn’t cause the players to get hurt since the field’s grass is natural and wet most of the time. However, some players do get injured due to a knee slide if they do not perform it properly.