Some of the most beautiful goals are scored from corner kicks. Who doesn\’t enjoy a beautiful header or one-time volley into the back of the end? However, rarely will you see such a goal at the youth level. Most players are afraid to head the ball and many don\’t have the eye-foot coordination to take a ball directly out of the air. Also at this age, very few goalies are assertive enough or have the hand-eye coordination to catch a ball in a congested area.
The trick to scoring more goals from corner kicks is to have all corner kicks be in-swingers … bend-it-like-Beckham kicks. Looking at the opponents goal from the field, an in-swinger is created when a right-foot kicker takes the kick from the left-corner spot or a left-foot kicker takes the kick from the right-corner spot. The kick is taken with the inside-of-the-foot with the toe pointed in an \’up\’ position. When done properly, a kick can bend or curve significantly. A ball that appears to be heading for the 6-yard line can quickly bend toward the goal. This kick will typically hit a few players and land on the ground in front of the goal just waiting for an opportunistic forward to kick the ball into the goal.
To implement this strategy:
- Choose a right- and left-footed player capable of putting some bend of the ball and who can reach the far post on a corner kick.
- When taking the kick ask the kicker to to put as much bend on the ball as possible and have her aim for the far post. In fact, challenge them to score.
- Place one forward on the goal between the goalie and the near post. The mere presence of this player will make the entire defense nervous.
- From the top of the penalty box, have several players crash the goal. The run should begin as soon the the kicker approaches the ball … but not sooner. By starting at the top of the penalty area, a player is running on to the ball. Also, if the corner is poor and heading for the penalty spot and not the goal, the players can stop their run on goal and still receive the ball in front of them.
- Keep at least 1 offensive player at the top of the penalty box. Many times, a ball will only be cleared to the top of the box, just waiting for someone to score on the rebound.
- The more chaotic the the penalty area is on a corner and the closer the ball lands near the goal, the more goals will be scored.
The laws state that there is no offside on a corner kick and that a goal can be scored directly from a corner kick without having to touch another player–either offensive or defensive.
Corners are very difficult to defend. If given a choice between given up a throw-in or a corner, always choose a throw-in. However, corners are avoidable. These tricks should help reduce the number of goals you give up per game:
- Keep your goalie on the line at all times.
- Place a defender on the near post facing the kicker. Make sure the defender is holding onto the post so they know where they are and the ball won\’t slip between the player and the post. When the ball passes over this player, he/she slip into the goal while still holding onto the post. A player on the far post is optional but recommended if the other team has strong kicker.
- Place 2 additional defenders on the goal line. These players should not be afraid of heading the ball. If it means bringing your forwards back, do so.
- Place a defender half-way between the corner flag and the near post. They will be able to pick off a poor corner and be in position to quickly attack a short corner.
- Keep a defender at the top of the penalty area for any lose balls. If there is an offensive player there as well, the defender needs to be between the offensive player and the goal.
- When clearing a ball from the goal mouth, always kick the ball to the touch lines, never up the middle.
- The more defenders in the penalty area, the better.