Corner kicks provide a wonderful opportunity for a soccer team to score a goal, but often times these chances are wasted during a game. Defenders crowd the box, and an aggressive goalie can often punch the ball away, but if you have great attackers a corner kick goal can be the vital difference for your youth soccer team. Here are some things to keep in mind when coaching your team on corners.
Have the kid with best foot take the corner. Especially at very young ages, getting elevation on the ball presents a difficult challenge. Therefore, make sure you use the child with the best kick to be the corner kick taker. The reason corner kicks can be successful is that the ball is flying over everyone’s heads and this creates total disarray in the box. You need to have a strong leg behind these opportunities.
In front of goal is where the magic happens. As children develop as players it will be imperative to devise clever runs around the area so they can get free for a header and score. Players who simply stand at the six-yard box are unlikely to score for several reasons.
First, running will help generate power in your jump so that you can rise above defenders and win the header. Secondly, this momentum also vastly increases the power of your header, which will give goalkeepers nightmares when you fire away from four yards out. Take a look at Martin Skrtel’s headed goal off of a corner kick for Liverpool this past weekend when they faced Manchester City.
Skrtel isn’t even near the play until the ball comes in. Then he bursts ahead and leaps over everyone to bang in the header. This is a textbook corner kick play.
An important thing to remember also with corners is that your team must not push too many players forward into the box, especially at the youth level. Have a few quick players waiting in defense because corner kicks often result in a clearance and a quick counter-attack goal. Make sure your team isn’t on the wrong end of this by keeping your smallest, fastest players a little behind the actual play.
Corner kick goals arise from the desire to rise up and score. Some players are simply good at this and some aren’t. You need to find in your team who is the most capable of making the play so that you don’t waste these opportunities. Once your team is great at this play, you will find that much success will come.