David Beckham used to improve his free-kicks at Manchester United by firing the ball through a car tyre hanging from a goal. This fun activity will improve your players in the same way. MORE
Score from set pieces
There are a lot of set pieces in a match no matter what level or age you are playing at. So you should make sure you practice at training and get your players to set up and take the important set pieces that could be the difference between success and failure.
It’s easy for young players to mess a set piece up and you don’t want to be coaching them on match day in the best way to take a corner! It can also be daunting for the player taking the set piece – so the more times they practice the more confident they will get. And you need to work on the technique the players are using with the set piece. It’s no good getting a player to take a corner if they are not sure how to deliver a cross.
You will be able to judge how confident your players are when they are all clamouring to take the free kick!
You can practice using the sessions below and finish with a small sided game that relies on skill to score goals:
One of the best ways to get the ball into the penalty area in different ways is to give your players freedom on the wings. Crossing is one of the harder skills that wingers need and it helps them to catch out defenders on the counterattack without stopping or slowing the attack down. Try Crossing to help you coach it.
Practising individual techniques at free kicks is something players can do on their own during a break in training or when they are in their back yard at home. When he was at Manchester United David Beckham would spend a lot of time practising his free-kicks from just outside the box. Lots of goals come from free-kicks but accuracy is more important than power in youth soccer because the goalkeeper will struggle to get anything in the corners – Free kick practice is a great way to do this.
Winning the ball when defending a corner is not only important defensively, it can also spark your team into a fast counter attacking move that catches opponents still upfield. To achieve this, your team must organise and capitalise on clever positioning of players. Try Corner rebels to get your players winning the ball and counter attacking against their opponents.
You need a good small sided game to let your players loose and show you their creativity – don’t worry about mistakes just let them play. Creative in the box is a fast game that relies on individual skill and teamwork to create shooting opportunities. The coaching points rely on the skills of players to be creative around the opposition goal, mirroring the role of skilful midfielders like Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne, who can conjure up chances at will.