Free Kick Guide

Discuss your training routine and techniques you are practicing
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Posts: 2695
Joined: 23 May 2008, 19:51


Make You Set Pieces a Gift From Above

Dead Ball opportunities are golden opportunities to punish opponents, the best players will almost never waste them…


1. Direct Free Kicks
Free Kick Essential Skills
Pin Point Accuracy
Knuckle Swerve
Putting them Together
Your Free Kick Technique

2. Penalties
Main Pointers

3. Delivering the Ball into the box
Kick Taking Tactic’s
Tactic’s in the Box
Throw in’s
Free Kicks

4. Drills

1. Direct Free Kicks

Its very common for free kicks to break the deadlock in close games…
But in saying that free kicks are a fantastic way to score, but people under estimate how difficult it is to be good at set piece’s
Scoring directly from a free kick is the hardest of them all…

Free Kick Essential Skills:

First of all to take free kicks you must first know how to preform the type of kick your trying expertly... learn to walk before you run basically...

also you must be prepared to practice them LOADS, as free kick oppurtinites come probably once in a match

Obviously you should always aim for corners
But the problem about shooting for corners is there is a wall of people protecting one side of the goal, and the keeper protecting the other side…
You must learn how to get the ball past the wall and into the unprotected net

First you must decide which type of kicking technique you are best or most comfortable with when kicking, here's in this guide is a list of kick techniques:

NewBornProdigy's Striking Guide

Distance: These are guidelines (You don’t have to follow these)

18-24 yards: you should concentrate dipping the ball over the wall and getting the ball in one of the corners, this would beat most keepers
25-30 yards: curl and power, a good solid ball contact would see most of these shots on target
31+ yards: Mainly power as a good ball contact will deliver the accuracy

Curling and Dipping Angles:
Akward Angles: should have curl most importantly
Direct Angles: Should have dip, preferably late dip

Tee Up’s:
Get one player to lay the ball off to another player (who should be good at shooting from range and have lots of power)

Credit to Jdefoe:
Jdefoe's Free Kick Guide

These are the base skills all dead ball specialist’s must have, usually a good free kick will have two or three of these attributes:

Pin Point Accuracy:
All free kicks should be accurate, but when I say pin point I mean ‘absolutely inch perfect scraping the bar as it goes in’ accurate…
This is possibly the most important attribute for a free kick to have

The ability to curve the ball sidewards (either way) usually by putting spin on the ball, this can be very effective and can leave keepers standing watching the ball go in…
This is most commonly used to curl it around the side of the wall

when following through try to enlongating contact with the ball by making your foot follow through in the direction you want it ti curl or dip

always postion yourself looking slightly to one side of your target, aim your kick slighlty outside of the post (or slightly inside the post) so it curls into the corner...



This is the one thing that most players find hardest to apply to their set piece’s and it is and extremely effective way to fool a keeper or get a shot on target…

Learning back and putting your support foot slightly behind the ball is a simple way to get dip…

but you should experiment with different support foot postions and leans, and paticulary different ball contacts

Credit klc123: (I found this a very useful tutorial for dipping)
Klc123's Topspin Tutorial

Knuckle Swerve:
This is an extremely challenging kicking style to learn, you should learn the instep drive then the standard knuckle shot before you attempt this as a free kick

This is how C. ronaldo strikes his free kicks, it is when the ball travels (very hard and fast) through the air while spinning very little (when hit perfect, it doesn't spin at all) and with the right contact and follow through the ball will suddenly ‘drop’ real quick out of the air, and hopefully into the net


watch it closely:
Ronaldo versus Portsmouth

Also if you get good at it you can learn how to make the ball swerve left or right (and sometimes both ways in the same kick!!!) but you have to sacrifice some of the amazing dip to make the ball curl laterally…

to do this you must strike the ball more to one side of your foot, more to the outside for outside swerve, more to the side of the foot for inside swerve (and one side of the middle of the ball) and you will make the ball spin once or twice in the air, which will make it shoot off in that direction

check out these video's:
Ronaldo FreeKick Complation

(look very closley at ronaldo's freekick that leads to the goal, you will see the ball swerve's right then suddenly left)
Ronaldo FreeKick versus Tottenham

This skill is extremely difficult to pull off so you must be very dedicated to practice it, as the results are worth it

Knuckle Shot:
This is a very unique style of kick
all it is, is an instep drive (or even a certain few different kick techniques) that is struck so beautifully it does not spin in the air, this is down to striking the ball bang in the centre and because the ball is not spinning as much, as if there is no spin, there is no wind resistance on the ball, so it travels quicker through the air

it may sound easy but a shot like this is extremly hard to strike

This is extremly difficult to learn and it is advisable you learn the Standard Knuckle Shot before you try this one...

this is basically hitting a knuckle shot but making the ball 'dip' and 'swerve' in the air by applying slow revolutions, which enhance the swerve, also at a very quick speed

this is more about your body movements and how you contact the ball, instead of a complete different technique than the standard knuckle

this is the kick when the ball does barely spins in the air, but it dips fantastically, this is the kick ronaldo use's for his free kick's

here in this guide at the kick technique's section it is better explained how to execute the kick
NewBornProdigy’s Ball Striking Guide


Follow Through
The Follow through is the hardest thing to master in this kick
by rising your knee toward your chin (you chin should be coming down as your leaning over the ball) and have your kicking leg move slightly across your support foot and land on your kicking foot

A little secret about executing the kick
As you place your plant foot you should have your head down, but you should be leaning away from the ball, sidewards and backwards but your upperbody should arch over the ball (you should make a < shape with your upper-body and your kicking leg)… this requires great balance, and should give your leg a clean strike path, then as you strike the ball quickly bring your leg up to meet your chin while keeping your ankle locked for the whole motion…

Sounds complicated but with time (about 6 months to a year) it becomes a lot easier to execute… and trust me the results are worth it (witness C. Ronaldo’s goal vs Portsmouth)

Basically making you shot really move through the air, this along with accuracy could beat any keeper…

The power of a free kick comes from taking a longer step with your plant foot (when placing your plant foot beside the ball) before you strike the ball… and the quicker you contract the muscles in your leg the more power, but power of a kick will come from a good technique not necisarilly a huge leg (but that help’s)


Deception is fooling a keeper to where your shooting on goal

Curling the ball can be a great skill for fooling a keeper and can leave him diving the complete wrong way
Using your weak foot (presuming you have already used your strong foot for a free kick) can completely decive a keeper, but you need to be really good with your weak foot

A few deception tricks:
Get a man so set himself of for you to lay the ball off to, then as the whistle is blown, you (who is supossed to be laying the ball off to the runner) actually swivels and shoots hopefully catching the keeper by surprise…

Or pretending to shoot but you cross into the box…

deceiving the wall into jumping and you kick the ball under it and into the net (very stylish when it works)…

ask the referee can you shoot everytime the keeper tries to organize his wall (you know he starts hugging the post, directing the wall left or right) if he says yes just clip the ball into the far and unprotected corner…

another trick is to get 2 players to line up to strike the ball, the first sprints toward the ball as if to drive it, but then run’s straight past the ball and run’s into a open postion to one side of the wall then the second player run’s up as if to strike the ball but passes to the running player…

Putting them Together:

Ideally all free kicks will have at least one out of each of these groups:

Group A: Pin Point Accuracy or Power (or both)
Group B: Dip, Curl, Knuckle Swerve or Deception

you can combine these attributes to get excellent free kicks, preferably you should try the combonation that you can perform best and easiest

1)C. Ronaldo’s Free Kicks Have, Power, Knuckle Swerve and Deception

2)Ronaldinho’s Free Kicks Have, Pin Point Accuracy, either Dip or Curl

3)Juninhno’s Free Kicks Have, Pin Point Accuracy, Power, Dip, Curl and Deception

4)Roberto Carlos’s Free Kicks Have, Power, Curl

5)Beckham Free Kicks Have, Pin Point Accuracy, Dip and Curl

As you would expect, Juninho’s Free Kicks are extremely effective as he combines so many attributes to make his free kicks leathal, although the other 4 players I mentioned have a fantastic free kick aswell…

Credit to expert:
expert's Freekick Guide

Your Free Kick Technique:
Find out Which type of kick technique you can perform with the most confidence, accuracy and power…

Say you have a great Instep Drive, use your instep for free kicks

Say you have a great Inside Curve, use that for your free kicks

Say you can’t do the Knuckle Shot (C. Ronaldo’s Style of Free kick) for god sake don’t try do that type free kick until you learn the kick first

Next experiment at what your best at with your kicking technique:
Making it Dip?
Knuckle Swerve?
Driving it Hard and Fast?
Perfect Accuracy?
(if you have a keeper) Deciving him to which direction your shooting:

Note: you should be good with 2 or 3 of these

Then decide which of them you are gonna practice so you can do them during free kicks

After practice you should have a good free kick technique that suit’s you…


Believing and visulising your free kick going in is so important when it comes to match day… having confidence in your kick can be such a difference between hitting the 3rd man in the wall and hitting the back of the net…

“My free-kick secret? I just look at the net and say 'take the kick, Cristiano’ “ – Cristiano Ronaldo

2. Penalties

Penalties all come down the nerve of a player…

First Rule:
Pick a spot and stick with it.
With you mind made up put everything into getting the shot as good as possible.
Changing your mind will only seed doubt in you mind.

Second Rule:
A hard shot is good, but not if its wide.
Concentrate on hitting the side netting, because thats the point furthest away from the keeper.

Third Rule:
Only when your accuracy is flawless and consistent should you dare trying tricks like deception or power.
There are many ways of deciving a keeper the general idea is to make him dive the wrong way.
If you can try put yourself in the keepers shoes and think 'what does he expect me to do'
When adding power to your shot you do not want to sacrifice any accuracy, power comes through good contact and follow through, with practice so does accuracy

Fourth Rule:
When Striking the you want to have total control over how you strike it.
Most players have a favored technique that they are most comfortable with using.
Whichever one is yours you should use that, so you don't need to worry about the technical side of trying to hit the ball right

Fifth Rule:
Its a battle of the nerves, but try your best to calm yourself down, the keeper is under no pressure to save the kick, but you are under pressure to score and you will feel it.
Come up with a routine (eg. a certain run up) that you are familiar with to help you relax and concentrate on the kick.
Since taking penalties is all about who is more mentally confident, you should practice until your technique is flawless and can score them with no pressure consistently.
So when the pressures on you aren't crushed into a mistake by pressure

Mathew Le Tisser:
He missed one in his whole career, but he always used to kick them hard and accurate into the bottom corners… his secret? He used to practice all the time!

Eric Cantona:
He missed one in his man united career, what he used to do was a slow run up… and he watched the keeper the whole way, then usually the keeper would dive or shift his weight to one side of the goal… and Cantona would slide the ball into the net…

Thierry Henry:
He set the ball down, took a good long look at the keeper and shaped as if he was gonna curl the ball to the right post, but instead he clipped the ball with the edge of his foot closest to the heel and the ball skids (pretty quick) into the left bottom corner… he didn’t always do this penalty but he was the master of deception…
He also once scored one when he ran up to the ball and shaped to strike the ball with his right to the right post, but instead struck the ball with his left into the opposite corner

Deceiving the keeper is the most stylish way to score... but the most risky and difficult to execute

Finally confidence is a massive issue:

Believe that when you take the penalty YOU WILL SCORE just keep saying to yourself 'I am the sh*t' and 'this will be the best peno ever'

Credit to delone:

1. Accuracy: this is obviously the most essential part of penalty taking - getting your shot on target.

2. Power: using the force of your shot to blast it past the keeper.

3. Deception: this involves disguising your shot to send the keeper the wrong way or leave him guessing as to where you're going to place the ball.

you will need to achieve a combination of 2 of the 3 tips to beat the keeper and accuracy will always be involved.

That means you are more likely to score if:

1. you combine Accuracy with Power or...
2. You combine Accuracy with Deception

3. Delivering the Ball into the box

The most important thing about a set piece is the delivery into the box, obviously…

And mastering that skill can lead to hundred’s of goals!


Having a good delivery is essential for corner’s, you must concentrate on putting the ball in an area of the box, not necessarily for a person… the main thing is the ball MUST get past the first defender…


Kick Taking Tactic’s:

Inswinging Corners are usually the most effective as they curl toward the goal and can be very hard for a keeper to judge

Outswinging Corners can tempt a keeper out of his goal but it then curls away from him and someone could have an open goal to shoot at

Dipping Corners can float over a keeper leaving him in no-man’s land

Tactic’s in the Box:

General Rules
Don’t bring too many players forward as this could leave you vulnerable to a counter attack…

Tall players should run for the near or central areas, and smaller players for the far post area

Concentrate on getting contact with the ball not accuracy

Move around! Pull defender’s out of position anything that can create confusion

Passing Outside of the Box Tactic’s

Passing to the edge of the box for a volleyed shot on goal, this should be rehearsed in training…

Or as the defenders rush out, a clever chipped pass

Low Corner Tactic’s

This can be very effective if there is a player with fantastic movement who can run to the near post and flick the ball-on or even lead to O.G’s, but can be a complete waste as well

These corners should be struck HARD and FAST along the ground, bouncing, or even around chest height to cause confusion…

Short Corner Tactic’s

Use these to set up runs along the Bi-line or for setting up better angled crosses

Play the short corner and have the receiver run toward the Bi-line drawing the marker with him, then the corner taker runs toward the corner of the box, and the player with the ball then passes to the corner taker (maybe even backheel’s the ball to him) who is at the corner of the box and crosses the ball or even shoot’s

Far Post Tactic’s

For slightly smaller people (who can jump pretty high preferably) to run onto and head at or across the goal…

On the Edge of the box get 3 (or more) tall players to line up to run to the near post, then have 2 (or less) smaller players slightly behind to disguise their runs for the far post… as the kicker kicks the ball to the far post the tall players run to the near post to distract the keeper and the defenders, as the ball sails over their heads to the 2 smaller less noticeable dudes at the back post

This is really cool:
INFORM THE REFFERE, at what your gonna do before you actually do it…
Don’t try this until about the 3rd corner of the game,
When your awarded a corner pick the ball up an carry it over to the spot and place it down, then shout to some dude ‘Hang on, You Take it man’ then touch the ball on the sly (making it active) and walk away… then the dude who you told to take it just starts dribbling towards the box… causing crazy confusion

When this works the whole defense will start screaming at the ref… putting them on his bad side

and if someone (on the other team) cops what’s going on just get the normal corner kicker to re-spot the ball… the ref will probably let it go… But MAKE SURE the ref understands what’s going on

Throw in’s:

Long Throw:
throwing the ball can be as effective as a free kick, (not a stylish way to score but, a goal is a goal regardless) if you have the throwing ability of John Arne Riise or Roberto Carlos you can even play in people from the half way line (Off-side doesn’t count from a throw in)

To Feet:
Basically passing the ball in to someone’s feet so they can control and maybe play a return

Lead Throw-in:
throwing the ball to a runner (a lot like a through ball)

Free Kicks:

You should follow the corner guidelines when considering what to do for a set piece

A simple Chip when in close proximity can cause huge Confusion!
Try to chip the ball in for the near post or even driven along the ground

But the most effective of all is the outswinging, high and curling pass to the far post for players to run on-to…

Also quick free kicks and passes to un-noticeable and un-marked players…

4. Drills

NewBornProdigy's Drills

red font: simple and effective way to do drills
green font: more advanced and game realistic way to do drills

Set Piece Drills

Group A

Drill 1
Tire (any object with a hole in it would work), rope, Goal (full sized preferably)…
Hang the tire off the crossbar of the goal and kick the ball at the tire, from about 20-25 yards away
Hang the tire off the crossbar of the goal and kick the ball through the tire, from about 20-25 yards away

Drill 2
Ball, Goal, Corner Flag (preferably a tall object, those plastic free-kick walls would be ideal)…
Place the object in line with the near post about 10 yards away from you and curl the ball around it into the net, from about 20-25 yards away
Place the object slightly beyond the far post about 10 yards away from you and curl the ball around it into the net, from about 20-25 yards away

Drill 3
Ball, 25 Yards of space, 2 Cones…
Make a gate with the 2 cones and cross the ball through them, from about 20-25 yards away
Take away one of the cones and then cross the ball trying to hit the cone Place the object in line with the near post about 10 yards away from you and curl the ball around it into the net, from about 20-25 yards away

Group B

Drill 1
Blindfold, Goal (full sized preferably)…
Take penaltys
Take penaltys with blindfold on

Drill 2
Ball, Goal (Small or Large)…
Take free kicks using your favorite free kick technique, from about 20-25 yards away
Take free kicks aiming for the crossbar of the goal, from about 20-25 yards away

Drill 3
Ball, Full Sized Pitch and Goal…
From one corner swing the ball in and try score, then go to the opposite corner and repeat using your weakfoot
From one corner swing the ball in and tryhit the crossbar, then go to the opposite corner and repeat using your weakfoot

This is my Free Kick Guide!!! If you have any extra tips or suggestions just leave a comment and I’ll edit it in...

Other NewBornProdigy Guides

NewBornProdigy’s Ball Striking Guide ... hp?t=15192

NewBornProdigy’s Weak Foot Guide

NewBornProdigy's Volley Guide

NewBornProdigy's Dribbling Guide

“He's a gift from heaven, he is truly a gift from heaven. Whatever he touches turns to gold” - Commentator Alan Parry on Ronaldo's free-kick against Portsmouth
Last edited by NewBornProdigy on 02 Aug 2009, 12:05, edited 16 times in total.

Veteran Member
Posts: 4471
Joined: 27 Aug 2007, 18:41


Holy sh*t.

That's a massive guide. It's not bad either :wink: .


Senior Member
Posts: 238
Joined: 27 Jun 2008, 22:18


Your first Jdefoe link is broken.

I like the guide but unfortunately I only have 6 weeks and want to get other attributes enough attention. IF I want to expand my arsenal, I will surely check back here again.

New User
Posts: 21
Joined: 22 May 2008, 12:24


Some great free kicks in here:

Posts: 2695
Joined: 23 May 2008, 19:51


thanks for the heads up Met

the links working now

i will have a dribbling guide posted soon...

cheers Davidson9, and thanks for the june award nomination!!! :D

Veteran Member
Posts: 736
Joined: 21 Jun 2008, 19:57


great guide man, i really cant thank u enough :D

EDIT: i dont really understand this:ask the referee can you shoot everytime the keeper tries to organize his wall (you know he starts hugging the post, directing the wall left or right) if he says yes just clip the ball into the far and unprotected corner…
by the time u askk him, wont the goalie have gotten ready??

Posts: 2695
Joined: 23 May 2008, 19:51


great guide man, i really cant thank u enough

EDIT: i dont really understand this:ask the referee can you shoot everytime the keeper tries to organize his wall (you know he starts hugging the post, directing the wall left or right) if he says yes just clip the ball into the far and unprotected corner…
by the time u askk him, wont the goalie have gotten ready??
thanks man!

yeah it doesn't seem to make sense...

but i seen giggs do this in the 06-07 champions leauge vs lille...

the keeper was ''hugging the post, directing the wall left'' (or right i can't remember :? )

and the wall was 10 yards back, the ref had just counted... he was standing close to giggs who had the ball set (with ronaldo beside him set to blast it)

then giggs turned to (seeing the keeper out of postion) the ref and said 'can i take it?' and the ref quickly said 'yes' (this took a second)

and giggs (who was standing right beside the ball) just clipped it into the far corner... the keeper copped on what was happening as giggs kicked the ball but he was so out of postion he didn't stand a chance

the whole lille team went ape, like the manager called them all off the pitch at around 67mins in like protest.. but it was perfectly legal... :)

heres a link:

hope you understand now... :D

should i edit this into the guide to avoid further confusion for other people?

Posts: 2695
Joined: 23 May 2008, 19:51


i edited in the link to the kicking guide to keep things simple

hope this helps :D

Senior Member
Posts: 108
Joined: 01 Aug 2008, 07:12


I no how to the Knuckle shot and make the ball dip but i dont understand how you can make the ball swerve diffrent directions as well. Some help plz. Thanks
Great guide by the way :D

Posts: 2695
Joined: 23 May 2008, 19:51


cheers mate

well is quite confusing, but i'll edit in, in more detail, just check out the guide again :D

Senior Member
Posts: 108
Joined: 01 Aug 2008, 07:12


i read in a magazine and it had saying that juninho invented the technique and it is achieved by striking the ball as close to the toes as possible is this tru? sorry bout double post the 1 i quoted is what i meant to say.
Last edited by FootballAddict5 on 10 Oct 2008, 17:21, edited 1 time in total.

Senior Member
Posts: 108
Joined: 01 Aug 2008, 07:12


FootballAddict5 wrote:i read in a magazine and it had pirlo saying that juninho invented the technique and it is achieved by striking the ball as close to the toes as possible is this tru?

Posts: 2695
Joined: 23 May 2008, 19:51


dude as i said there are three different area's of the foot

the knuckle (the place you qouted)
which gets the most spin and swerve, but is the hardest to do

the instep
the most powerful, with a fair bit of swerve, pretty easy to do i think

the middle
basically the laces, bang in the centre of your foot, just above your toes
powerful and accurate but not pone to swerve as much

but your follow through and where you strike is where the power and swerve comes from

Sophomore Member
Posts: 33
Joined: 29 Jun 2006, 10:13
Location: Australia


be happy everytime =)

Posts: 2695
Joined: 23 May 2008, 19:51


lolo, dude was that you? love the celebration... how far out was it?
lol no offence but that keeper looked crap

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