For those of you who are NFL fans, you will have watched Chris Berman and the cast of ESPN Primetime this past season covering, and commenting on, many football games. A portion of their broadcast would often be dedicated to issues and events – on and off the field – that make you say C’Mon Man. Each cast member would pick an event or a happening that either made them laugh or made them want to hold their head in their hands, show it on air, then finish by saying C’Mon Man.
Free-kicks in soccer have been discussed in previous blogs on Goalden but after recently coming across a new video that breaks down how David Beckham takes a free-kick I felt it was worth re-visiting this and sharing a few key points that stood out for me. Some of the point are listed below. They are also routinely missed, if not completely ignored by many players. Watch the video of David Beckham below and look for the following bullet points. Then in training try to apply them to your own free-kick.
As one commentator put it, “the American dream has come to an end.” The men’s US nation soccer team fell out of the 2010 World Cup in the round-of-16. Once the dust settles, there are many questions to be answered: did the US exceed expectations or fall short? Where does US soccer rank in comparison to the top teams in the world? Finally, what conclusions can be drawn about US soccer and, ultimately, North American soccer?
You want the good news or the bad news? Let’s start with the bad news…
When your skill level becomes very abundant and your team is playing at a high level it is often the smallest details of the game that separate one team from another, one player from another. The smartest and best players often have a trick or two up their sleeve in case the time comes to use it. They have often practiced these traits in training and mentally gone over the scenario in case the play occurs in a game. This summer’s world cup has seen some ‘sneaky’ goals scored and surprise plays that were by no means lucky. Whether you’re a professional or amateur player developing these secrets will always put you one step ahead of the competition and make you a feared apponent.
FREE KICKS, including corners and throw-ins are match winning situations, so defending at set-plays needs informed planning if you do not want to concede goals.
Consider the games dead ball specialists: David Beckham, Roberto Carlos, Zola and Dennis Bergkamp. All these players and many more practice for hours perfecting their technique but as defenders how often do you practice defending against them? Very little I expect.
Then there is Beckham’s reputation in the soccer realm, which is largely attributed to his incredible command of a soccer ball during a free-kick.
There are multiple crosses that can be executed from multiple positions on the field. One of the most difficult crosses to execute – and to deal with as a defender and goalie – is the curving cross to the near post.
Whenever crosses or freekicks are mentioned, David Beckham’s name is usually mentioned in the same breath. He has established himself as a great freekick taker, but also as a pin-point crosser. In order to develop the ability to cross the ball like Beckham and many other effective crossers, there are a few techniques that need to be understood, practiced and eventually mastered.
As with many things in life if you want something, go get it. As one of my university professors once said “if you want change, you have to change yourself or your situation. You’re crazy to expect better results if you’re doing the same thing over and over again.” With that being said there are many soccer tournaments in North America that are great venues to participate in as a player that will expose you to the best players and top scouts around.
Many wingers think their sole responsibility is to run up and down the field, take throw-ins, corner kicks and be fast. However, there is more to being a midfield winger than this. Depending on the formation your team plays you will have different duties.
4-4-2: in this formation the wingers’ main offensive responsibility is to provide through-balls to the forwards, cross the ball into the 18 yard box when in the attacking third of the field, attack defenders with the ball and a lot of runs off the ball to receive passes from your teammates, specifically center midfielders.