Soccer Goal Kick

When the ball goes out of bounds over the end line & was last touched by the attacking team, it is put back into play by the defending team, who may place it anywhere within their Goal Box (including on the line) & then kick it. The kicked ball may not be touched again by anyone on either team until it clears the Penalty Box and the other team must stay outside the Penalty Box until the ball clears the Penalty Box. A goal kick is kind of like having the ball on your own 5-yard line in American football, you're glad to have the ball but if you turn it over you can be in trouble. If your goalkeeper has a strong leg, have him take your goal kicks. Otherwise, you may want to have another player take the kick while the goalkeeper stays in front of the goal. If you have an advanced team and don't have someone who can kick the ball to the halfway line, consider "Spreading The Field" in order to "Stretch The Defense". You can do this by spreading out your players and taking the kick from the middle of the Goal Box line, directly in front of the goal. This way the Defenders won't know which side of the field you will kick to and they are forced to spread out. The rules give the kicking team an advantage by requiring the Defenders to stay out of the Penalty Box until the ball clears the Box (if the Defenders run into the Box the kick is retaken). The kicking team can be in the Box or can run across it, but cannot touch the ball until it clears the Box (i.e., your team can make runs across the Box but the other team can't). If you aren't able to kick it deep or spread the field, the Defenders will cluster within kicking distance, mark up behind your players & step in front to steal the ball. (This is how you should teach your players to defend goal kicks). I like spreading the field because it teaches the concept of controlling the ball, rather than just booming it, and teaches the attackers how to spread the field, take the ball wide & how to "build an attack from the back". However, spreading the field is probably not practical for a recreational team because of the practice time required. For recreational teams, the best approach is to have the strongest kicker take the kick (even if it is a forward) and to teach the MF's and F's that they must fight to "win the ball". (See the diagram titled "Spread The Field Goal Kick Set-Up".

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