Short corners

The traditionally taken corner kick in youth soccer, particularly for very young players, rarely results in a goal. That’s because it’s very difficult for children to anticipate the flight of a ball coming directly at them through a crowd of players in such a way that they can make contact with it.

So instead of encouraging your corner taker to knock the ball in hard and fast, why not try something a little more subtle instead?

Short corners (where the ball is passed to a player standing a few yards away from the ball who either plays it back to the corner taker or crosses/shoots himself) are often very effective.

Or you could try passing the ball back to one of your midfielders who is standing by the half way line. This player will probably have a lot of room in front of him and can get within shooting range before he is challenged.

Remember Manchester United’s famous short corner against Chelsea in the 2008/9 season? Wayne Rooney pretended to change his mind about taking a corner and signaled to Ryan Giggs to do it instead.

As he moved away from the corner flag, Rooney touched the ball, putting it into play. Chelsea’s defence were expecting Ryan Giggs to take a conventional corner but he ran with the ball towards goal and crossed it for team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo to score with a header.

This tactic might be worth a try but it will only work once!