Soccer Goal Kick Tactics
How to Spread the Soccer Field So Your Opponent Doesn't Get Easy Goals

(The following is from the Premium Forum)

Hi Premium Forum Members,

I coach a U8 Girls team, and mine is the youngest team in the division. 7 of my 12 girls are 6. Most of the other teams are loaded with older 7 and 8 years olds.

My team is getting killed on Goal Kicks. I literally only have one girl who can kick it out of the Penalty Box. The other teams just wait at the top of the box, and hang out, intercept the ball, and score.

I'm not sure what to do, short of asking the other coaches to back off. Any suggestions? I believe the rules are that the ball has to leave the penalty box to be a valid GK -- but I'm sure you folks will help me if I'm wrong.

Coach David, U8


Hi David,

First, always have the best kicker on the field take the kick.

Second, consider practicing a goal kick play where you have one defender at the outside corner of the box and another about 9 yards in front of the goal line and 1 yard outside the penalty box on that side. Your kicker checks off on the first defender. If she is not closely, guarded, your kicker kicks the ball outside of where she is and the second defender moves to cover behind and Goalside of her.

If there is a crowd around your First Defender, your kicker kicks to the second defender as the First Defender moves toward the touchline. Then the Second Defender passes to the First Defender and moves to cover behind and Goalside.

The First Defender should be a good dribbler, and the Second Defender should have the second best foot on the field.

Good Luck!



Hi David and CrunchCoach,

Those are good ideas.

Remember: If the ball doesn't clear the Penalty Box, or if any player touches it before it leaves the Penalty Box, there's no penalty, you only re-take the kick.

At least if you kick it out to the side the opponent doesn't have a straight shot on goal if they steal it.

Your Goalie could take the kick if she is your best kicker.

A variation of CrunchCoach's idea is on SoccerHelp Premium.

If you click the link above, you will see a Diagram that "Spreads the Field" by putting a potential receiver on each side of the Penalty Box. The Kicker places the ball in the center and kicks it to the side that isn't defended. If your opponent tries to defend both sides, then they can't cover the entire center and you can kick it toward where the RMF or LMF are shown on the Diagram. DON'T kick it straight ahead unless your kicker can kick it to the Halfway Line. The reason is that there is too much risk if an opponent wins the ball because they can come straight at your goal.

I had the same exact problem as you when I coached U10. It's dangerous to kick the ball straight ahead unless your kicker can kick it far. If you have to, it's better to just kick it out of bounds, even if you kick it over the end line. At least that won't give up an easy goal.

Please let us know what you do and how it works. That's how we learn.

David at SoccerHelp