To improve your free kick and set pieces it’s a must that you learn these 3 things. Best techniques to shoot with power, get high reps and have the right mentality. In youth soccer the players use different techniques to shoot, but in the pros they bend most of them. When it comes to practicing on your own, one of the best ways is by using a wall. The reason walls are great is because the ball comes back to you immediately. Other ways to practice is using objects to act as the wall.
Two types of wall in soccer/football
So you’re not confused, I want to explain 2 types of walls when it comes to soccer/football terms and training…
- Kicking the ball against a wooden, cinder block or brick wall. Great ways to practice shooting, passing and trapping using a wall.
- When defending free kicks you need to set up a wall… Some are 2, 3, 4 or 5 man walls depending on the distance of the kick and how skilled the free kick taker is.
When shooting/kicking at the wall find a spot to aim at. Mark the wall with chalk or find a different colored brick.
I remember trying to hit a small 6 inch metal ring that was in the school wall. It felt so good to hit that!
For target practice, you can draw with chalk a goal on the wall. Although, I don’t think you HAVE to have a target… As long as you have the wall and a ball – you’re good.
Once you start hitting that spot, it will boost your confidence like crazy!
After that, it’s all about how much work you’ll put in.
The best players at the highest level spends extra time on their own.
Things to use for a wall
You don’t have to use the ‘dummy wall’ like the pros use…
There are other options to save money.
One of the best things to use is a smaller goal in front of a regulation size goal.
If you can get the ball over a 7 foot goal and back down in time to hit your target, you’ll be able to get it over a wall of players in a game.
Bending the ball over small goal into full size…
3 mannequin / dummy walls:
- The soccer wall mannequin $100+
- A great choice that’s more durable and designed for taking free kicks is this blow up dummy – set of 3 or get this single. [$260+ ea] – Note: You can get cheaper ones, but they don’t last.
- Pro training mannequins are strong and designed to shoot around and over. [$225]
Other things to use:
- Trash bins $25 each. Once finished you can stack them for easy moving. Not as durable as mannequins/dummies.
Bending around the wall – near post…
- These poles work great because they are tall [72″]. Not expensive. To make them last longer, barely put them in the ground. Therefore, they’ll just fall over instead of breaking.
- Training sticks… Same concept as the flag poles. Though thicker, they break easier than flag poles & cost more.
- Cardboard boxes can be stacked.
- Foam box jump cubes can be stacked – Although with the price of these, I’d just get the mannequins above.
Bending a free kick over the wall
Most free kicks are kicked over the goal…
This means when you practice free kicks you should spend most of your time getting the ball up and over.
Using a smaller goal in front of the goal you’re trying to score on is a great way to practice.
This 15 second video shows ECNL and college recruit Bryan Beck working with me on his free kick taking.
We placed a smaller goal 10 yards from the ball and in front of the regular size goal.
Once you have the setup it’s all about reps and practicing getting the ball up and over the “wall” to then dip back down for the score.
Bending around the wall
If you see the opportunity to get the ball around do it. Especially if you see the near post open.
Goal keepers should set the wall so that at least one player is past the near post.
The pros push the wall a little further because the free kick takers are very good and can bend the ball consistently.
The keeper will then position him or herself closer to the back post.
With the keeper being positioned at the back post [like they should] is why bending the ball low and around the wall to the near post is a good idea.
This picture below shows a right AND left footed player set up to take the shot…
A left footed player could bend the ball around the left side of the wall into the near post without making the ball go over the wall.
In addition, the keeper would lose sight of the ball until it’s past the wall – which by then is too late.
Free kick mindset & repetition
To become good at taking free kicks and really anything, it’s important to get high quality reps…
In your training time [by yourself or 1:1] your mentality has to be strong and focused.
Think positive, know how to adjust after mistakes, don’t be too hard on yourself and make sure you believe in abilities.
Training solo is therapeutic and satisfying… If you’ve done it you know what I mean. Especially when you get in the zone and also after you have finished your workout.
Putting in the work makes you proud to be building skill and endurance.
So remember to believe you can do it and then put in the reps.
Small progress is still progress.
Our Most Popular Posts:
- 3 ways to strike the ball with power
- How to boost confidence in soccer
- 8 best 1st- touch drills
- Expert dribbling tips
- Goal side defending
Follow @GFTskills on Social Media