Inswinging corners

Inswinging corners1. Stand one step inside the six yard box just in front of the near post. Hold your hands up and motion a square with your hands. Say “Try to target the football here, four yards off the goal line and somewhere in this box here”.

Coaching point

The steeper the angle you come at the ball, the more bend you try to put on the ball and the less chance you have of getting it in the target area.

2. Position one player at the near post. It doesn’t have to be the best header of the ball. I want the biggest nuisance possible-who has a great chance of flick on’s and who can stop the defenders from getting to the ball. They might not be the most mobile person in the world but they are going to be a handful and very awkward. She might get a flick on, she may even get a strike on goal but the important thing is to get in the flight of the ball.

3.inswinging corners practice Now add two defenders. One in front and one behind the ‘flicker’. Tell the ‘flicker’ not to just stand at the near post but to try to cause the two defenders a problem. The corner taker and the ‘flicker’ work together. The ‘flicker’ starts at the near post and runs to the edge of the 6-yard box to split the defenders, when the ‘flicker’ moves forward that’s the corner takers cue to take the corner. The ‘flicker’ then moves back half turned to the near post area. Opposite movement. It is harder to defend when you are back tracking/peddling. So draw the defenders and put the ball where he has come from.

“If the defender gets a touch he might just do the job for us. Open the space to make bigger target. If both defenders go with him then we can get a runner in here. So when he gets to the 6 yard line you deliver it, ‘flicker’ get yourself sideways on. If you aim to miss the first defender you will give your self the perfect target.”

4. Now add a ‘sniffer’ and the keeper ! The ‘sniffer’ should stand in front of the keeper. As soon as the ‘flicker’ hits the edge of the 6 yard box, the ‘sniffer’ steps away from the keeper out to the edge of the six yard line and in front of the back post. This locks off the back post.

5. Now add two defending full backs and three attackers. Put the two full backs on the post and three attackers on the edge of the area. It is important to give the three attackers responsibilities. One attacker hits the inside of the near post, one goes for the penalty spot and one for the far post.

6. Add your right back and left back to lock off the outside of the penalty box. They should stand 5 yards outside the penalty box, mid way between the edge of the box and the middle of the penalty area (the “D”) The opposite back player works in the back half of the area. Add three defenders. The job of the penalty taker is not finished yet. He must come in and lock up the edge of the box to the goal line. If the ball is under hit the players on the edge of the area must be alert because it is probably coming back to you. If it is over hit you will need to step in. I don’t want one ball beating all, so the attacker hitting the back post should delay their run until they have assessed the flight of the ball.

7. Now let them play for a bit. 11 v 11 or small sided game.

8. Variation. Short ball. Devise a signal, 1 hand up. When the ‘flicker’ hits the 6 yard line, the ‘sniffer’ sprints forward to receive the short corner. He can either cross himself or play it back to the corner taker. Aim to shoot just inside the far stick.

The corner kick game

The game is played on a half field with 2 goals and goalkeepers. Two teams of 8 divide up into groups of four. A large number of footballs are split up to the four corners. The game is 4v4 with the remaining 4 players from each team positioned at the corners of their team’s attacking goal. Each game lasts 4 minutes and the “corner” players exchange positions with the field players.

Every time the ball goes out of play, the team that just gained possession is awarded a corner kick at their attacking goal. That means they must sprint to their penalty area and try to execute a quick corner-kick before the defending team reacts. If the GK gets the ball, he is to distribute as quick as possible, hoping to find a breakaway situation.

There is no off-side. We started play with a GK distribution. After a score, we transitioned to the other goal for a corner-kick. Another option would be for the beaten GK to distribute to his teammate to restart play.

Coaching Points:

  • encourage high work rate (sprinting)
  • emphasis on quick, but accurate corner kicks
  • look to recognize first player who opens space for himself
  • make defenders sprint back to their goal after losing the ball out of bounds
  • emphasis on aggression in the box
  • emphasis on quick transitions from defence to offence and offence to defence