Manchester United

David Beckham used to improve his free-kicks at United by firing the ball through a car tyre hanging from a goal. This fun activity will improve your players in the same way

Why use it

Becks was famous for his free-kicks, often winning games for Manchester United with his lethal setpiece strikes. When he first
arrived at the Carrington training ground he got the coaches to tie an old tyre in the corner of the goal and he practised hitting freekicks through the tyre.

Set up

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 play

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 crossbar above the 15-point sections, they score five points. Hitting the bar anywhere else doesn’t score any points.

Technique

This is all about practice. Becks would spend a lot of time practising his freekicks from just outside the box and this is something you could get players doing at home. Lots of goals come from free-kicks and accuracy is far more important than power in youth soccer because the goalkeeper will struggle to get to anything hit at the corners of the goal.