Allow your players to develop confidence and technique in this three-part session. By HANNAH DUNCAN MORE
Every team needs to be able to score from a dead ball situation, so get your players to try this game to practice the perfect free-kick
Why use it
Every game seems to involve a goal scored from a set piece. This shows how important free-kicks are to the final outcome of matches. Therefore it’s vital that your players spend adequate time developing an unstoppable free-kick in their training sessions.
Mark out an area 40×30 yards with a goal at each end. Select two even teams. You need balls, bibs, cones and goals.
How to play
Play a small-sided game. While the game is being played you should carry a second ball under your arm. On your call place the ball and award a free-kick to a team of your choice. Immediately the players must react to this situation. You can place the ball in different areas for players to practice angled kicks and straight ones.
Practice is crucial. It’s not just about mastering technique; it gives you confidence. This session gives plenty of realistic match situations for practicing free-kicks around the penalty area. Players should also be practicing at home.
- 1. Stop the game and put the ball down somewhere in shooting range just outside the penalty area
- 2. The free-kick taker should take his time in seeing how the wall is positioned (if there is one) and where the goalkeeper is standing
- 3. The kicker should take four or five steps from the ball. On taking the free-kick, the closer the standing foot comes to the ball the more accurate the shot will be
- 4. Players should be focused on what they have to do or they will mess up the basics
- 5. Get them to try a side foot style, striking the centre of the ball and driving through it. This will cause the ball to dip – the knuckle ball effect – and will confuse the keeper