Goal Kick Explained

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A Goal Kick is actually quite a simple process that doesn't take too much reading into. Generally performed by the goalkeeper (unless nursing an injury) is striking the ball from anywhere along or inside of the six yard box into the field. The ball must leave the goalkeepers box before being touched by a player.

Complicated I know, but it can be used as an attacking set piece if flicked on in to your goal scorers. Most teams play the deep option by hitting the ball as far down the pitch as possible to a big target player. Other sides like to play the ball just barely outside the box and maintain possession and build out of the back. Generally this is decided by the situation presented at the given time. Again this is a skill that does take some time to really perfect, repetition and attention to detail will do the trick.

Who Can and Should Take the Goal Kick?

Well as soon as you start playing at any type of level that is decent never mind the professional level the goalie is responsible for all of them.

Sometimes if the goalie has a foot or leg injury that allows him still to play he may ask another player on the pitch to take it.

He'll do this because long kicks tend to put a strain on their leg so to avoid aggravating an injury they let somebody else take it and this is perfectly legal and fine.


Long or Short?

That's really up to the goalie and the team. Sometimes you want to hit it long and play to a target or just get it out of your defensive third. This is generally the most common play off of a goal kick. Straight down the middle in the air to a target.

Other times playing the ball short has it's benefits in terms of keep the ball from the opponent instead of lofting the ball in the air for a 50/50 challenge. One time it may be short, the other long, both will be used over the course of a season or week or game just make sure you know when to play which.



Must the Ball Leave the Box When Kicked?

The ball must leave the box according to rule. That means you can't play the ball to a teammate inside of the box and continue playing. Another teammate may be in the box at the time of the goal kick but cannot receive a pass or touch the ball in any way.

Why would a teammate stay in the box you say? Well in case the goalie shanks the ball the defender is close by to defend any attackers or if the goalie kicks it and injures themselves (rare) the centre back is their to stop they next shot (without their hands of course).


Things to Remember:

-Get under the ball when striking it

-Big follow through landing on your kicking foot

-Aim for your target players (that means all you Crouchs' of the world)

-Keep the ball off the ground when going long, no need to play with fire

-Don't complicate your life by trying anything fancy, the purpose here is get the ball up and out

-Take your time and pick your target out

Now if your the type of team that likes to keep the ball and play out of the back the goal kick may be a great opportunity. Your team could get some possession and rhythm if you play it quickly enough if the striker on the other team isn't lurking. It's not rocket science, you get your outside backs or centre backs to stand just outside the box, play it to them, they turn and away you go.





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