Dangerous bend

This sessions 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. Swerving the ball using the inside of the foot can be used for passing around opposition defenders, shooting and taking corners, so it’s well worth mastering.

Set up

Set up a 20×10-yard playing area (adjust the length depending on the age of players), with two corner flags or poles set up centrally two yards apart. Use four players, split into pairs, and set up two or three playing areas to suit your squad numbers. You will need enough players for a small-sided game.

How to play it

Split players into pairs. Players take it in turns to try to swerve the ball around the poles in the middle, passing to their partner.
Then remove the poles and move a player from each end to the centre, where they stand back to back. The player at one end hits a swerved pass to the far side around both servers. As the player hits a pass one the nearest player in the centre runs towards the receiver to add pressure. The sequence is repeated at the opposite end.


A swerving ball is hard to read, whether it’s comes from a free-kick, a shot or a cross.

    1. The player must try to swerve the ball past the cone passing it to their team-mate across the pitch
    2. The receiving player takes a touch to control and then tries to swerve it back past the pole

    3. Remove the poles and put one pair of players in the centre that the other pair must try and swerve the ball around
    4. When the player receives the ball one of the pair in the middle runs to add pressure

    5. Play a small-sided game and add an extra point if a player scores by swerving the ball
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