Bend it like Beckham!

We’ve all seen players such as Beckham, Ronaldo and Zidane bend the ball round a wall and into the net from free kicks taken anything up to thirty yards away from goal.

We’d all like to have a player who can do that on our team!

So how can we teach our players to ‘bend it like Beckham’?

It’s a matter of using the right technique and lots of practice.

The technique (for a right footed player):

Approach the ball from the left at a slight angle. If you run straight at the ball you can’t strike it correctly.

As you run up, keep your eyes fixed on the base of the ball.

Strike the ball on the right side of the base with the inside of your right foot and hit across it from the inside to the outside.

This will generate a right-to-left swerve.

The non kicking foot should be planted on the left of the ball and slightly behind it. The further back the non kicking foot, the higher the ball will go.

Keep your head still and don’t look away from the ball until you strike it.

Now it’s time to practise

To do this, use a full size goal with a keeper and line up your players about twenty yards from the goal. Your players can now practise swerving the ball around a wall (that’s you or a willing parent:) into the goal.

Watch their technique and correct as required.

Bending the ball is a skill that requires hours of practice. Encourage your players to work on it at home and show you how good they have become at the next coaching session.