At the back of my mind I am seeing greenhouses getting trashed across the world! But I want everyone to try and swerve a football…
It’s a tough time with us all being stuck at home but let’s make use of that time by trying to use some of the skills sessions that I write and make them work. For sure, if you’re going to get your players to do it you should at least have a go yourself even if the end result isn’t what you imagined.
There is nothing more satisfying than bending the ball from free-kicks or swerving it at goal from open play in and around the box. Watching a wall stretching up but unable to reach the ball as it hits the back of the net is the dream of every young player – and of every coach if they were really honest.
Hitting the ball with swerve is all about technique. The best players approach the ball at an angle, aiming for the bottom corner and rolling the ball from the toe of their boot to the centre just under the ankle putting spin on the ball. The standing leg should be pointing away from the goal and the kicking leg swings around towards the goal without bending it.
By hitting the ball from underneath it takes it up and over the wall and the spin on the ball makes it bend and dip. Read my tips and try the two sessions below to get your players bending and dipping at will.
Top tips for bending the ball
If using the right foot and swerving the ball from right to left, your players must… > Approach from the left-hand side of the ball at an angle. > Place the non-kicking foot to the left of the ball and slightly behind it. > Bring the foot around the ball, from left to right. > Strike using the inside of the foot, around the joint of the big toe. > Hit across the ball to the right of centre. > Strike the bottom half of the ball to lift it. > Follow through with the kick.
Brazilians are known for their ability to score with free-kicks and they train every day with or without walls or keepers. Brazilian swerve enables your players to practise too. Teams need good free-kick takers and this session helps to sort out the best ones.
Dangerous bend helps players to practise swerving the ball, which is an important skill to help them take advantage of goal scoring opportunities from free-kicks and shots.
In this podcast Dave Clarke talks to Rick Meana about his coaching education programme that covers philosophy, methodology and how the youth players are educated with fun, a sense of belonging, development and the best way to discipline out of line players: MORE
In this podcast Dave Clarke talks to Steve Scott about the benefits of playing Futsal, tactics and techniques used, the individual skills used and the coaching challenges he faces with the USAFF C15 boys national team as he gets the squad ready for the World Cup in Paraguay later this year MORE
I cannot second guess when we will all be out of this strange way of coaching with no opposed sessions but hopefully it will be fairly soon. To that end I continually remind myself that I will be going back to getting my players warmed up in a different way to how I am doing it at the moment. MORE
If you are social distancing please observe your local rules. This session develops a high level of skill and movement. It is good for technique and uses both feet, working on dribbling, turning, changing direction plus advanced movements of the ball. MORE
At the younger age groups I have always found it a difficult job filling the position of goalkeeper. I've done various things, put my own son in goal, had two goalkeepers so one half they play outfield the other in goal but were never subbed – it helped but didn't totally solve the problem. So what do you do? MORE
What the return to play rules allows me to do is to concentrate on certain aspects of the game in a different way. Normally with shooting I would play small sided games with plenty of chances to score but always with pressure from defenders. MORE
One of the most important topics in defensive play is compactness. A key principle of compactness is that the playing area of the opposition is minimised so there is less space for them to attack in. Give your players a lesson in compactness MORE
“I took a free trial and I was blown away by the drills; it made my training sessions so much easier. ”