Taking corner kicks is a huge responsibility since they give your team excellent chances to score some goals. It's a good idea to work on your basic passing skills first, but corners are different than other passes in soccer. This is why you need to develop a consistent routine that will make you a confident corner kick taker.
Even if you are not your team’s primary corner kicker, it is still a good idea to know how to take them to have a better understanding of how these plays should be executed.
Below are five things that every soccer player should know if they want to kick accurate corners.
Understand Your Team’s Set Plays
You can be the most accurate corner kicker in the world, but that won’t mean much if you don’t know what your teammates are doing when you take your corners. Hopefully your coach has designed at least a few corner kick routines for your team, and everyone is on the same page when you are preparing to take the kick.
The reason why it is so important to know what your teammates’ plans are is because you can visualize how the corner is going to play out. Your one huge advantage over the defense is that you know your team’s plans on these corners, so you need to know where you want to put the ball to give your team the best chances of scoring.
Read the Defense and the Goalkeeper
A corner kicker has to have the mentality of a great playmaker. There are only so many things a defense can do when they are facing a corner kick, but it is vital that you get a read on it before you attempt your kick. This also helps you understand how your team’s routine will play out so you can pick out the best target.
The two primary defensive tactics against corners are man-to-man marking and zonal marking. If it’s man-to-man, then you will run through your team’s routine normally and try to pick out the best target. If it is zonal marking, then you will need to find the hole in the zone.
Visualize What You Want the Ball to Do
Knowing your team’s set piece routines and reading the defense will allow you to visualize how you want the corner kick to play out. You also give yourself a slight advantage over the defense when you can visualize how your team is going to be moving around during the play.
The other reason why you want to try to visualize what’s going to happen on your corner kicks is because it takes some of the pressure off of you. When you are able to put your focus on what you need to do more than how you are going to do it, you will have a much higher chance of kicking an accurate corner.
Aim for the Lower-Half of the Ball
You will want to lift the majority of your corner kicks, so will pretty much always want to be aiming for the bottom part of the ball. The reason why this is important to keep in mind is because it allows you to focus on one part of the ball when you are preparing for your delivery.
While you want to kick the bottom-half of the ball during corner kicks, you don’t want to kick it too low. Since you are putting plenty of power (and usually whip) behind it, you want to hit just below the center of the ball to keep it from flying past the box. Make sure you practice hitting the sweet spot over and over again in training so it becomes second nature.
Many soccer players go through everything mentioned above perfectly, but they forget this extremely important last step. If you don’t consistently follow through when kicking your corners, the ball can go absolutely anywhere. The follow through is how you get the ball to go accurately where you need it to go, so always remember to swing your leg complete through the ball.
The easiest way to make sure that you follow through on your corner kicks is to never take your eyes off of the ball. Look at the spot on the lower-half of the ball like we talked about earlier, and then kick through it without looking away from that spot.
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