This three-part practice develops players’ ability to receive the ball ready to shoot. By STEVE OAKES MORE
Free kick practice
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.
Use the penalty area of your pitch and tie a couple of hula hoops to the corners of a goal and use poles to section off the goalmouth.
How to do it
Over the course of your session, playing this with two or three players each time is a good way to take a break and have fun. Points are scored as in the diagram and if a player hits the bar above the 15-point sections, they score five points. Hitting the bar anywhere else scores 0.
This is all about practice. Becks would spend a lot of time practising his free-kicks from just outside the box and this is something you could get players doing at home. Lots of goals come from free-kicks accuracy is more important than power and in youth soccer because the goalkeeper will struggle to get anything in the corners.
- 1. Players need to concentrate on accuracy to score as many points as possible
- 2. You need three balls either side of the penalty area to test players’ skills
- 3. If a shot hits the bar over the corners of the goal players score five points. In the middle of the bar it is zero points
- 4. Add a goalkeeper to make it more realistic when players are shooting
- 5. You can also add a time limit giving players 30 seconds to use all the balls. This will add pressure to the session