Anyone remember this? Probably not since 90% of you are really just here for the HPL conversation!
Regardless, it’s one of two set pieces for direct free kicks that my U16 girls team use and we finally had a chance to put them into practice. Eight days ago, we got a free kick a full 30 yards out, dead centre. It was too far to expect a 15 year old to score (on a very good Burnaby Girls keeper as well) so we set up this free kick to try to (a) screen the keeper’s view and (b) give our poacher the best chance of getting to the ball first.
Our player then proceeded to hit the ball like I’ve never seen a 15 year old girl hit a ball before and put it in the top corner laser beam style. Keeper didn’t move. The sidelines were stunned. Poacher is now out of work looking for a new gig.
Fast forward to yesterday. Another free kick from too far out dead centre. This one’s three yards closer but the girl who hit the laser is on the bench at the time (I know, bad coaching…) I tell my daughter to take it and one of our usually more savvy players to be the poacher who starts halfway between the ball and the wall. She’s obviously forgotten her role though and stands on the end of the wall. I shout to her, “Remember the free kick we do from here?” She adjusts to an equally incorrect position. “You’re the poacher, remember?” Still nothing. So my kid then hits almost a carbon copy of the goal last week and it goes in.
What I learned:
- Don’t spend too much time thinking up and working on free kicks unless you’re going to do a lot of follow up so they remember the roles.
- Come up with key words to say in case they still forget.
- It’s still a good set piece and doesn’t become obsolete just because we scored directly from two in a row.
- These girls are getting stronger every week and can hit scorchers from further than I give them credit.
- Simple is still the best policy for set pieces with kids.