Individual skill: deadly dead balls

Perfect set pieces can be a thing of beauty… but they can also spell disaster. Think of how many times you see a free kick sail over the bar or a corner put your team from attacking to defending a counter attack. Dead ball situations are an individual skill from the player taking the set piece but also they encompass a whole team working to take advantage of the situation.

So that sounds to me like dead ball situations are a vital piece of your winning difference. And that is why they need practice.

At the moment a lot of teams are facing a lockdown situation due to Covid-19 and that means players want things to help them get through it. It isn’t ideal to practice a corner on your own but you can try and get it with a sibling or parent to receive from a corner of the garden. Throw ins and free kicks can be practised on your own and if you can get your goalkeeper to practice distribution by passing to various parts of the garden all the better. (All you gardeners out there sorry, I hope they don’t ruin the flowers!)

You can read up on the dead ball situations from the website and hopefully pick up a couple of hints you can pass on to your players to make set piece situations much more fun.

Practice your set pieces so they are better than deadly!

First of all, every one of your players should be able to take a throw-in – they need to be able to take long throws and short tactical throws. I use How to take long throw-ins which includes technique and a game, and Feet first which explains the best way to take short throw-ins.

For the younger age groups, my AskDave subscription question service is always getting questions about being organized at throw-ins – read my advice to the question “My team are disorganized from throw-ins”.

Goalkeeper kicking is always difficult right through to Under 18, but with the right technique, you can ensure your players don’t give the ball away. Use my EasiCoach Goalkeeper Kicking activity to give your players the correct technique for clearing the ball and try the game Goal Kick, which helps your players to get into the correct positions to receive the ball from the goalkeeper.

For corners, your team must be organized to defend opposition corners and to attack their own corners. The two best sessions are How to set up an attacking corner and How to defend at corners.

For free kicks, you should be experimenting with all sorts of different ways to create goals, but you can start with Unstoppable free kicks and develop your team’s ability to come up with different ideas from there.

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