Sidekick game


Practice for field players in clinical finishing; to develop goalkeeper understanding and decision making involved in attacks from the sides of the goal.

side kicks


Set out the penalty box as shown in the illustration. The practice starts from one side and is later changed to the other.

Initially the “side kick” can be served in by the coach, later by the players.

The keeper must start at the near post area. If the keeper anticipates the cross, then shots/goals are permitted at goal in the open near post.

The squad should be split into two teams – one shooting while the other fields. The challenge is between the two teams. How many can they score from 20 shots.

The goalkeepers have their own challenge – to keep the success rate on scoring under 50%; or they split – one with one team and one with the other.

It is important that the placement of the cones is such that the cone nearest the goal line for the “side kick” is sufficiently close to the end line to make the cross a “pull-back.”

When players are crossing themselves place a cone or marker disk three yards or so out from the near post and decree that they must play the cross outside the cone not inside (stops simple passes to the far post).

Coaching Points

Goalkeepers must defend the near post first and foremost.

Encourage keepers to position marginally in front of the near post – so they won’t push a high shot into the top of the net, nor crash into the post. May consider inside hand extended sideways and backwards to touch the post.

After forcing the cross by holding position, the keeper can cut out the cross ball – or, more likely, move across the goal to defend the impending shot. As the ball is played across the goal, the keeper must move towards the far post fast, and attempt to “set” just before the shot.

A delay in the shot, may allow the keeper to advance a step or two to cut down the angle.

Praise each keeper for every effort and success (may not be many to start with!).

Field players have to time their runs or they will get ahead of the ball.

Clinical side of the foot finishing to the near and far post – depending on the GK position.
Avoid running around the ball with a cross from the left to get onto good (right) foot and vice-versa.