The goal kick at the younger age groups can be your worst
enemy. Here is a common scenario coaches may encounter when coaching the younger
ages. Your team has to take a kick! The player sets the ball up then moves back to kick the soccer ball.
They run forward and kick the soccer ball - the ball rolls on the ground, very slowly, to the edge of the box.
The opposing team intercepts the soccer ball, dribbles in and scores, sound familiar?
So, what are the options and how do we stop this situation from occurring in the future?
The options are to teach the kids...
All these little skills and options will help young players improve ball striking. Please read on as I have included some good tips for taking kicks for younger age players.
Young players are still learning how to strike the soccer ball or chip the soccer ball. This is a difficult skill that takes lots of repetition to learn to strike the soccer ball with any power and accuracy.
Striking or chipping the soccer ball...
When a player is striking the soccer ball they have to get their toe down and ankle locked and the knee over the ball.
The chip is a little different because the player will need to get the foot under the soccer ball instead of striking through the middle like a shot. This gets the soccer ball up and over and clears the box.
Here is a very good demo and instruction on how to take a kick.
When do we teach the players to chip or hit a dead ball? Young players from U10 to U12 need to learn the difference between shooting and chipping the soccer ball.
The young players need to learn how to do both even if it is just teaching them the basics. The kids will benefit as they grow into the game. Once the players can chip or strike a soccer ball their goal kicks will improve.
Now, obviously if they are 4 & 5 year old don't expect them to have much power in their kicks. Learning a technique is the most important aspect at this age.
I would recommend teaching players how to use the laces at this age.
My kids are still learning to chip or strike the soccer ball so what do we do while they are still learning.
Pro - The player has gotten the ball into play.
Con - The kids have to play out of the pressure and get down the soccer field.
If a coach is all about developing the soccer players this is a great way to teach the players how to play out of this situation, but the kids will make some mistakes or even give up a goal or two while they are learning.
Pro - The opposition don't win the soccer ball and the kids play out of the pressure.
Con - Your kids don't match up and you are back to where you were in the beginning. For some funny reason the ball will go right to the open player.
The coach will also have to remind the players to match up.
Coaching point: The key to this is that the player taking the kick has to take 5 good steps and really run onto and hit the soccer ball.
In closing, the goal kick is a way to get the ball back into play while young players are learning to strike the soccer ball or chip the soccer ball with some degree of accuracy and power.
These two options will help get the ball back into play. Enjoy your coaching...leave me some feed back - did the kicks improve?