I think Andre Agassi had the right idea when he said “If you don’t practice, you don’t deserve to win.” Earning the right to be the person that your team turns to when presented with a free kick opportunity, takes a lot of practice. It takes even more to be able to deal with the pressure of the real situation. So if you want to improve your free kicks, keep reading to learn our 5 tips to improve your free kicks. Enjoy!
Tip 1 - Practice with a goalkeeper
It’s really easy to go out to a pitch with a ball and score a goal when there’s nobody trying to stop you. Sure, you can improve your technique, but there’s no substitute to having the challenge of a real goalkeeper standing there, putting his body on the line to stop you from scoring. It will give you a better sense of whether or not your free kicks are actually effective in a match situation, and of course, your training session will be much more fun.
Tip 2 - Practice with a wall
Again this is another step towards making the practice session feel more realistic. In the video, Joltter uses a small goal placed between him and his target to simulate the real thing, but you can use whatever you want. The idea is a simple one, but the closer you can get to a real game situation when you practice, the better you will be when the time comes in a real game.
Tip 3 - Get more footballs
A real key component to getting the most out of any training session is quick bursts of repetition. If you only have one ball and then need to run and get it after every shot, your session will need to last 5 times longer in order to give you the same amount of practice as if you had 5 footballs. You will also be able to fine tune your kick, which will be really useful. This can be a big investment, but trust me, it’s totally worth it.
Tip 4 - Find a routine
The world’s top free kick takers all have a very specific routine. Ronaldo is the perfect example of this. It’s important to stress that the routine alone doesn’t make him better at taking free kicks. It’s there to provide a mental ‘anchor’. Something to focus on. Repeat the same thing every time and I will get the same results. That’s the theory, anyway.
Tip 5 - Consistency is king, but variety is the spice of life
Practicing every day is the only way to become a top free kick taker. There are no shortcuts to greatness. Consistency is king. End of discussion. However, you need to mix it up to get the best results. Practice taking free kicks from different parts of the pitch and get comfortable with all of them. Go through the same mental routine and keep the same technique, but don’t be the guy who’s great at taking free kicks from EXACTLY 20 yards out and EXACTLY just to the left of centre, but absolutely sucks at taking them from everywhere else. You’ll be useless to your team 99% of the time.
So that was 5 ways to improve your free kicks. In the video below, you will find many more tips from Joltter, but I just wanted to go over the most important points. I hope you enjoyed reading this blog, and I hope you can use some of these tips in your next training session.
Stay tuned for more ‘How-To’ blogs in the coming weeks for more awesome #Unisportlife content.