This drill offers an easy way for players to practice taking and defending free kicks around the penalty area.

Set Up

For this exercise you need a large goal, goal keeper, several defenders, and a free kick taker. Place various supplies of balls around the outside of the penalty area to have the kick taker be able to practice taking shots from different areas.

How It Works

This exercise can be done in various ways depending on if the focus is offensive or defensive. With an offensive focus the free kick taker simply focuses on taking shots, trying to score on goal. The offense can also work on ‘special plays’ to execute in set piece situations but that is beyond the scope of this post.

With a defensive focus, the main thing to keep in mind is that the wall is set up correctly. To help defenders practice this, the coach can call out ‘left’, ‘right’, or ‘center’ before each kick and the kick taker goes to take the free kick from the area the coach calls. This forces the defense to line up the wall correctly depending on where the ball is on the field.

Coaching Points

The goal keeper plays a very important role when defenders are setting up a wall. First they should communicate to their team how many players should be in the wall, then they should help the wall get lined up.

For free kicks right outside the box in the center, five players should be in the wall. For free kicks that are off to the side or further away, less players can be used in the wall depending on the degree of danger.

Keep Away To Attack

Keep away to attack is a small sided game where two teams must complete a given number of passes before trying to score on goal.

3v3v3 Rondo

The 3v3v3 rondo keep away drill is played with 3 teams where two teams keep possession against one team in the middle.

Small Tight Rondo

The small tight rondo is a simple rondo variation with 3 or 4 players playing keep away from a defender in a small space.

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