Goal Kick Problems/Strategies, U13 Girls

Discussion in 'Coach' started by paulb, May 8, 2007.

  1. paulb

    paulb New Member

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    Apr 17, 2007
    Greetings,

    I am filling in coaching my daughter's rec-team next week. U13 girls. One of their biggest problems, and most frustrating problems to watch, is what they do during goal kicks. There is no one with a really big foot to take the kick, first of all, so often the ball isn't kicked very far outside the box. But the frustrating thing is that the girls are totally passive about receiving these kicks. They frequently watch the ball while the opposing team intercepts it and turns it into a scoring opportunity. They have lost more than one game because of a goal they essentially handed to the other team on a goal kick.

    What can I do to address this problem? What kinds of strategies, plays, drills can I use to help them?


  2. EJDad

    EJDad New Member

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    Aug 26, 2004
    Have the players "front " the opponents- Stand between the other teams player and the ball. Give them the assigment of making sure the other player doesn't touch the ball. Sometimes the offensive team- having been told to spread out, get open etc, just stops when the ball is not delivered where it is supposed to go. This technique gives them a responsibility regardless of where the ball is struck.
    I know this sounds counter intuitive- it is your ball, you should be spreading out, they should be marking you etc. but the reality is what you are experiencing- opponents know the kick is going to be short so don't bother marking people out of range- they just wait where the ball is going to land.
    You could also play a short pass to a player and play possession out of the back.
  3. paulb

    paulb New Member

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    Apr 17, 2007
    Yes, this sounds along the lines of what I was thinking.

    More specifically, I was thinking that defenders and middies on our side should get right on opposing players, and actually shield/block them to create gaps that the kicker can kick through. The kicker has to spot the gaps as they develop. The next line out would move to those gaps to receive/win the ball.

    Make sense?

    At the very least, if the ball is lost in this scenario, it is lost further from our goal, and with some defenders between the opponent and our goal.
  4. loghyr

    loghyr ex-CFB

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    Is the goalie taking the kick or a defender?

    Is there someone short and square to receive the pass?

    Or is it always kicked up the middle?

    In other words, you want to maintain possession and not big kick it like you were alluding to. Give the kicker an easy option such that she can dump the ball off.


  5. ranova

    ranova Member

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    Aug 30, 2006
    There is no blocking. It is illegal to obstruct an opponent's movement unless you are within playing distance of the ball. And then you must be in position to play the ball. Then you are shielding the ball with your body to prevent a tackle so that you can maintain possesion of the ball.

    On a goal kick the ball is not in play until it leaves the penalty area, so in a sense the penalty area line is already preventing the opponent from closing in. Only defenders can be inside the penalty area at the restart.

    This is a typical coaching challenge. All you can really do is the ordinary things. A goal kick can be restarted from anywhere in the goal area. So be sure to place the ball to one side or the other, not in front of the goal itself. Have them kick to the side, not into the danger area in front of the goal. Be prepared to defend in depth if the opponent recovers the ball. Have someone other than the keeper take the goal kick. This frees up the keeper so that she can concentrate on defending the goal. Have an appropriate (I don't know your system, number of players or size of field) amount of defenders positioned to immediately defend the penalty area should the opponent win the ball. Remember that a weak side defender should be responsible for defending the far post area. Have the other field players ready to transition to defense should they lose possession.

    Immediate pressure on the ball and defense in depth are the principles that I would concentrate on.

    I think that fear of failure or ridicule is often the cause of the timid behavior. To correct this I suggest that you encourage the team generally with positive comments, praise specific play as often as you can, and refrain from making corrections in a negative manner. You can either make a comment about a specific play in a complementary way or you can make the corrections generally without calling attention to any specific individual.

    I cannot stress enough how strong a motivational tool the coaches approval is. The team's attitude, positive or negative, will ususally reflect the coach's attitude.

    Good luck.
  6. blech

    blech Member

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    You're always going to be at a disadvantage at this age level and at rec soccer without the proverbial "big foot" in this scenario. Obviously, playing wide and passing it out of the back would be great - but it may be a stretch for the skill level, particularly without the threat of a big kick to keep the attackers honest if they start to "over" converge on that area. But it's definitely worth trying that. Also, if nothing else, hopefully the player going wide will draw an attacker and thus create some space. The suggestion of marking in front may also become a practical reality, but I also hate the notion that you're playing "defense" when it is your kick. You want them to be smart about where the danger is if the ball is intercepted, and thus you do want people marking (or at least prepared to be marking) goalside, but don't just assume you're going to lose the ball. Although, if you stand stationary in front of the attackers, you will more times than not. Get them to understand that they need to move, and think about where the open areas may be. Just like a corner kick, you don't want to stand in front of the goal, but want to leave that space open and run there. It will be the same on your goal kick. Identify a couple of areas that are reasonably within your kicker's range, such as 25 yards up the field on the sideline, 25 yards up the field and 20 yards from the sideline and so on. And then have understand that they're not going to stand there, but are going to move there when the ball is about to be kicked and try to get open.

    Another thing to work on might include getting the ball quickly and trying to take the kick before the other team sets up against you. Of course, this requires that your team can get ready quickly itself, but you can create as much trouble for yourself by taking too much time.

    Of course, much of this is meant to be optimistic. You do, of course, want to have someone in the goal, either the goalie or a defender if the goalie is kicking, to provide some backup in case things go wrong. It is also perhaps worth reminding them how the Law works about goal kicks having to leave the penalty area. The ball has to leave the area before it is in play, BUT there is no penalty if you stop the ball from leaving the area. The ref might look at you with a certain amount of disgust, but the "punishment" for failure to get the ball out of the area is a re-kick. If there is a flubbed kick and they're under pressure from behind, there is nothing that prevents them from coming into the area and touching the ball before it leaves in order to get another chance to kick. Not suggesting that this should be part of any strategy as it only wastes time, but they should be aware that it's an option in the event of an emergency. I've seen players wait for the ball to come out of the area when they knew they had two attackers right on their back and scratched my head as just taking two steps into the area and kicking the ball would have been the best offensive and defensive move available.

    Good luck. Bottom line is that it's a tough problem at this level without a big foot....
  7. paulb

    paulb New Member

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    Apr 17, 2007
    Thanks for those responses.

    First, yes, of course, the ball must leave the penalty area. The problem is that the kicks are such that they can often be intercepted not far beyond the penalty area. Even if the kick is to one side, the result is often a dangerous threat against us.

    By "short and square" are you suggesting outside the penalty area to the sideline (and not forward (hardly) at all)? That is a thought, to have someone there. We typically do not, currently. I would have some concerns about that player getting marked tightly on the pass and losing the ball deep in our zone. Although, at least, it would not be in front of the goal.

    As to the "blocking/screening" idea, there's "blocking" and then there's positioning yourself on one side of an opponent and holding that position. The latter is surely legal, and it is all that I'm suggesting. Stand a player just outside the box to the right of, say, the opposing left-wing, and another one to the left of the opposing center-forward, and you create a gap where it would be very difficult to those two players to intercept a ball.

    We have one goaltender who is a poor kicker. If she's in goal, one of our defenders takes the kick. If our better-kicking tender is in net, she will take the kick herself, typically.
  8. blech

    blech Member

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    Don't assume that because you know this, that your players do. And don't assume that players knowing this might not understand the nuance I went through above. A 12 year old might very well think "I can't touch the ball until it comes out of the area" precisely because that is the Law. Again, it's not a strategy, but it's something that sounds like might be helpful for them to have thought about before they get into that situation.

    As for areas, I would definitely consider bringing someone all the way back to be available for a square pass and would identify that as one of the "areas" where you're trying to get the ball. But, again, it's only going to work once or twice before she is marked. Also, everyone needs to understand that they have to help -- it can't just be that one player getting square, as she's going to need options to pass to, with the preference being out wide on the sideline where it's less risky than going to the center of the field.
  9. paulb

    paulb New Member

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    Apr 17, 2007
    Blech, I wrote my response simultaneously with yours, so that reference to "of course the ball has to come out of the penalty area" wasn't referring to your post.

    Thanks very much for all the suggestions.
  10. assistman

    assistman New Member

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    I've been in this situation before. Though in my cases, I had a player who was just very inconsistent. So, at times she could kick it past the first line of players, then other times, it would go straight to them.

    What about trying a set play? Sort of like like a basketball in-bounds play. Have the short-square option. Use it until the she is marked. Then go to some sort of wall-pass type play to create space for someone else to receive the ball.

    Also, use the goal box to your advantage. Remember, the only punishment for receiving a goal kick in your own box, is to re-kick. Therefore, try to teach your players that if the kick is short, and they are pressured, to get inside the box before receiving the ball. You will have to re-kick it, but, that is better than a turnover 20 yards out.

    Good luck. I hope the fact that you are needing to fill-in as the coach is appreciated.
  11. BigGuy

    BigGuy Red Card

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    Apr 12, 2007
    You have no one at all who can take a kick for distance until your keeper learns how? Any one can take it for now. If you have someone who can do it then we can talk strategy that hopefully will help your team hold possession after the goal kick.
  12. loghyr

    loghyr ex-CFB

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    Is there any correlation between when you get scored on here?

    I.e., does the defender taking the kick enable the goalie to protect the goal?

    Does that defender then move into a good position here? Either following her kick or into the middle to stop cherry pickers?

    Or is the better kicker also a better shot blocker?
  13. rca2

    rca2 Member

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    Nov 25, 2005
    Law 12. "An indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a player, in the opinion of the referee ... impedes the progress of an opponent...."

    I also have a problem with a coach telling a U13 player to intentionally violate any law (i.e., playing a ball in the penalty area). Youth rec coaches should teach the kids how to play better, not how to cheat. If the ref believes that the player was deliberately violating the law it is punishable as misconduct. I would not expect this to happen the first time, but I would expect a verbal warning and an escalation to a caution for repeated occurrances.
  14. blech

    blech Member

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    I'm all for fair and honorable play and teaching kids how to play better, but I've got to disagree with you -- playing a ball before it leaves the penalty area isn't in any way or form intentionally violating any Law. And it isn't cheating. And it wouldn't be the basis for a caution for misconduct. (I suppose if there were multiple occurences a ref could deem it to be delaying the restart but even that would be a stretch).
  15. rca2

    rca2 Member

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    Nov 25, 2005
    It is no different then telling a kid to stand less than 10 yards from the ball on an opponents free kick.
  16. paulb

    paulb New Member

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    rca is referring to my idea of having players standing on one side or another of an opposing player to help create space for the kick.

    I have no intention of teaching the girls to cheat or skirt the rules in any way. I was unaware of the rule, and I was never advocating blocking the other player as in, say, a basketball screen or anything like that, in any case. Seeing the rule, it still must be perfectly alright for a player to position themselves on the space side of another player in order to facilitate receiving the ball to that space, or to line up with an opposing player and anticipate the ball going to the space, which has the same effect, assuming they get ahead of the opponent on the way to the space.

    The way they execute these kicks now, they tend to stand stationary and leave themselves open to an opponent just cutting in front of them to intercept the kick.

    We have two players who play keeper. One is also our best offensive player, and one of our better legs. If she's not in goal, she's on attack. Though she can at times be inconsistent with the goal kick, she can usually do a pretty good job of it. Although again our girls tend to be pretty passive about going after the ball on these kicks. The other keeper is just a weak kicker, so I have a defender take the kick when she's in. But even our best kickers are inconsistent. I suppose I could bring the first keeper back from the front line for the kicks.
  17. blech

    blech Member

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    It is very different. Sorry if you don't understand. One is not permitted by the Laws; the other is not a violation.

    If you want to advocate a change in the Laws, go for it, but there is nothing wrong with doing what I've suggested (and to the contrary I would suggest that it is quite smart).
  18. BigGuy

    BigGuy Red Card

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    Apr 12, 2007
    "Also, use the goal box to your advantage. Remember, the only punishment for receiving a goal kick in your own box, is to re-kick. Therefore, try to teach your players that if the kick is short, and they are pressured, to get inside the box before receiving the ball. You will have to re-kick it, but, that is better than a turnover 20 yards out."

    Not exactly

    "Note that if one team continually plays the ball before it leaves the area, the referee might rule that this is wasting time and penalize accordingly."


    The ball is not in play until it leaves the penalty area. This means that once the ball is kicked, no player of either team may play it until it leaves the penalty area. If someone does play it in the area, the kick is simply retaken as the ball was never in play. "Note that if one team continually plays the ball before it leaves the area, the referee might rule that this is wasting time and penalize accordingly." If the ball stops rolling or rolls back over the end line before it makes it outside of the penalty area, it is rekicked.
    1. The opponents must remain outside of the penalty area until the ball is in play. That is, the attackers are not only prohibited from playing the ball while it is in the area but are actually prohibited from entering the area at all. On the other hand, defenders can take up any position that they want either inside or outside of the area.
    2. The kicker must not play the ball a second time until it is touched by another player. This is similar to the ruling on all restarts except a drop ball. The kicker can not play the ball again until it has a) cleared the area and b) touched another player of either team. If the second touch takes place in the area, the ball is kicked again. If it takes place outside the area, it's an indirect free kick to the opponents at the point of the second touch.
  19. NHRef

    NHRef Member+

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    One option is to actually have your players start a bit further out, then have them run back towards the net, creating space.

    Kicking it square also might work, especially if the receiver didn't start there, have them start up higher and run down towards the corner.

    As for the strategy of intentionally intercepting a dangerous ball before it leaves the area, you are asking for a yellow card for delaying the restart. At this age, if it were me reffing, I would stop the play, tell the player what they did wrong, and re-kick. If it becomes clear that this is a coached move, I would move to a very strong warning, then a caution for the next person that does this. The restart however remains a GK coming out since the ball was never in play.
  20. blech

    blech Member

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    - the yellow card, if any, is for delaying a restart
    - you're highly likely to get a warning first, and even then probably not until the second or third time it happens (and even then it's somewhat questionable or unlikely if you're behind in the game)
    - and even then that's probably not the worst thing in the world compared to giving the other team the type of goal scoring opportunity we've been talking about

    - i also want to be clear, i'm not talking about the kicker purposefully doing this, but rather about a flubbed kick that just rolling out lamely to an attacher waiting to pounce - i didn't mean to make such a big deal out of this, and hopefully that situation won't occur often if at all in your games (i just thought it made sense to discuss with your players how they might deal with it on a strategic level)
  21. loghyr

    loghyr ex-CFB

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    blech, I think it is a good conversation to be having.

    At U10, getting it out of the box was one of our biggest concerns. The space between the box and the sideline was about 3 feet. That made it extremely difficult to do a square pass for a dump.

    And yes, I'd trade a throwin for a cherry-picked goal any day.

    So we had a lot of balls die in the box. It would get frustrating for the GK and at times they would get embarrassed.

    And while sometimes I would yell at a defender to go in to tap a dead ball to help the Center restart the game, I never hit on this as a strategy to avoid a sure goal.

    I know Rec coaches who would do this if they knew about it. Our club put new referees in for U9/U10 games to get them seasoned. Even if they saw what was going on, they might not call it.
  22. NHRef

    NHRef Member+

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    Your players shouldn't have to go in to tap a dead ball, the CR should be all over it anyway.

    I remember coaching younger kids and when the move was made to a ful field, GK where very scary, I've even reffed games where there was literally a line up at the 18 just waiting because even though the ball would easily clear the 18, it wouldn't be able to clear players heads standing at the 18. GK becomes a great attacking chance in this case and I make sure as a ref to work with the AR for the game to make sure the ball is clearing the 18.

    I know toe-kicks are frowned on, but they have thier place, often times younger kids can toe kick further than other kicks. Might be worth trying, for many its easier to get the ball in the air this way as well.

    Younger refs tend to get the younger games so the chance of them thinking of pulling a card in this situation is probably small.
  23. loghyr

    loghyr ex-CFB

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    Younger refs.
  24. rca2

    rca2 Member

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    You are right about them being different situations. I forgot that standing too close on a freekick is no longer punished as delay of game. (It was made an offense 10 years ago so I have no excuse except that it has been longer than that since I ref'ed a game.)
  25. blech

    blech Member

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    I have no idea what you were trying to say. In any event, I'm guessing that we're just going to have to agree that we view this one differently.

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