Curl- this technique (as shown in the photograph above) is used most commonly for curling the ball around the wall. Curling a free kick is very useful in many scenarios. However, as simple as it appears, it can be difficult to master.
Starting position- a long run-up is not needed for this technique. Approximately 3 steps back should be good however it varies based on preference. An important step is that you’re going to want to start from a bit to the side to truly wrap your hips around the ball to execute the curl effect.
Impact location on the ball- if you’re a righty, hit the ball on the right side of the ball and do the opposite if you’re a lefty.
Impact location on your foot- to maximize spin on the ball, strike with the instep of your foot.
Power- this technique is extremely useful in almost any scenario. With a power shot, you can finish in basically any part of the net whether it’s top corner or bottom. This shot has great results because goal keepers find difficulty stopping it.
Starting position- for this particular shot, the ideal starting position is about 5 steps back for maximum power.
Impact location on the ball- ideally strike right under the center of the ball should allow for a solid attempt at goal.
Impact location on your foot- for this shot you’re definitely going to want to strike the ball with your laces. This allows for maximum power and effectiveness.
So there’s the two most common striking techniques when taking free kicks. Good luck and have fun!
I spent my 2019 Christmas break in Florida with my soccer team NEFC for one of the biggest tournaments of the year. This tournament was hosted at IMG academy in Bradenton, Florida.
I had to wake up at 3:30 in the morning for my flight at 7:40. My friend Jeff and his father picked me up at 4:30 to take me to the Logan airport in Boston. For this trip, I was going with my friend Jeffrey and his father which is why he picked me up. I would also be staying in the same hotel room with him. From my house it was about and hour long drive until we arrived. We went through security and had extra time so we decided to get some Dunkin. I ordered the go-to glazed munchkins and a frozen chocolate. We board the plane and since Jeff has been on a plane more then I have he let me sit in the window seat. I munched on my munchkins and sipped my frozen chocolate throughout the plane ride. Jeff and I came to the executive conclusion to watch Detective Pikachu on our plane ride.
The plane ride was nice and I was very excited when I peered out the window to see large palm trees and light blue pools. We touched down and of course the move was chick-fila. We turn the corner right outside of our gate and are dumbfounded to see a chick-fila right there. Chicken nuggets with chick-fila sauce really hit the spot after that long plane ride. Once we finished eating it was time to meet up with some of the boys. After a few shuttle rides we were with the rest of the boys and got our rental cars. I drove with my close friends max and Arthur. It was about an hour drive from the airport to the hotel and we were bumping music the whole time.
Day 1, December 19th
Before we went to the hotel our team met up at a restaurant near the hotel. Once we ate lunch we all headed over to the hotel. At the hotel, we checked in and settled into our rooms. Considering the only thing we had to do on that night was practice at 6:45, we decided to get to know our hotel by exploring it with the team. After a bit of hide and seek in the hotel, we headed off to practice a bit early to get some shots on the beautiful IMG fields. We arrived at practice a few hours early and ran some game-like drills and shots as a team. Our practice was only 45 minutes so we mostly ran drills to warm us up for the weekend with being physical on our tackles. After practice we ate pizza in the lobby of our hotel room. Once we finished dinner, Jeffrey and I went to our room to watch a movie as we fell asleep.
Day 2, December 20th
This was the day of our first game of the IMG tournament in Florida that we had been training for over the past couple months. We woke up around 7:30 for breakfast at 8:00 with the team. Breakfast was finished so we headed to the field for the 9:45 game. Our team knew that we had to start this tourney with a win. In this tournament there was a division of four teams and each team played against each other. In the end the team with the best record would get the win.
After getting through the warm-up our tam is looking solid, however it was a hot day and that would take a toll on our performance. We were playing against the #5 ranked team in Florida, meaning they were a well put together squad, and were used to the heat. I’m not going to get too much into the intricacies of what occurred throughout the match, however overall it was a hard fought game from both sides. NEFC (my team) was seemingly dominating possession and we were having more chances. Unfortunately, just after the second half began, our goalkeeper made a sloppy mistake and played a ball to the top of our box while he was out of goal. The opposition took a one touch shot and finished. We kept fighting but a few mistakes and less determination from select players lead us to the one goal loss.
With our heads hanging low after the undeserving loss, we decided to go to the beach to have a good time and blow off some steam. At the beach, we swam, played volleyball, and football with some random college kids we met. Later, we returned to the hotel and had a meeting with coach. Coach explained how we can improve for the following game and went over the starting line-up. To close the night, we played hide and seek throughout the hotel until we eventually went back to our rooms to rest for the game the next day.
Most teams play in the formation of a 4-3-3 which isn’t a bad formation when played right, however I believe that a 3-4-3 formation is more effective. The formation that a team plays can make or break the whole team and is the base of a team’s strategy. I think 3-4-3 is the best formation on the offensive and defensive side of the pitch.
This is how the formation works on the offensive side of the pitch. I think this formation is very effective in these situations because with a strong back 3 defenders, it allows your wing backs to step as well. The three strikers stay high and compact so they combine and dish out wide to the left and right mid/back who will step up and handle balls and near the sideline. These players are also used for cleaning up crosses when they go through the box and nobody gets a touch on it. With these 7 players contributing to the attack and 3 defenders sitting back at half, the team should be able to score.
On the defensive side of the pitch this formation allows the team to drop and have a compact and impenetrable line. The 4 players in the mid-field cover balls over the top and the initial attack. Then, when the opposition gets through to the back 3, they stay compact, the mid-field drops, and everyone forces the opposition out wide.
Going into week 4 our team was coming off of two tough losses and we were sitting at 5th in the league out of 8 teams which isn’t great. Knowing we needed a win we were coming up against the toughest opponent in the league, GPS New Hampshire. They’re ranked #1 in New Hampshire and were undefeated in the league.
The whistle blows and the game starts. Straight out of the gate it was an equal game with possession constantly shifting. The other team’s defense was looking shaky but at the moment they were only making slight mistakes. Until, their left back loses control of the ball and our right forward sends a through ball to our center forward. He takes a few quick touches past the center back and scores bar down. Our team was stoked after this and we tried to keep momentum but when getting pressed hard towards the end of the first half our defense collapsed and they got a lucky shot off. The shot barely snuck in the bottom corner and the half ended at 1-1.
We started the half off fast with a shot off the crossbar and a missed shot off of a cross into the box. We were pressuring high when the other teams goal keeper scuffed a clearance and the ball fell at the top of the box to our left mid and he scored top left when the keeper was out of position. At this point we were up 2-1 so we switched formation to a 4-5-1 and started to play more defensive however when playing this we were getting pressured into our own half constantly giving lots of scoring chances for the other team. So we switched back to a 4-3-3 and caught them off guard. With so,e quick passing up the field our attacking mid fielder sends a good ball over the top of the defensive line and the left mid scores yet again. On that note, the game ended 3-1 pushing our team, NEFC, up to third in the league.
When a dedicated soccer player says that soccer is a lifestyle they aren’t lying. On and off the pitch if a player wants to be great, they must work for it. How to work hard on the pitch is fairly basic for example, hustle, 100% effort and so on. But off the pitch is a different story. Eating and treating yourself right plays a huge role in how you’re going to play in your games and trainings.
Here are the basic rules to follow when preparing for a match or an intense training-
– About 12 hours/the night before the match you want to eat something substantial like a hamburger, or some type of heavy meat will suffice.
-About 4-6 hours before the match you want to eat something a bit lighter however still good nutrition. Some good options include salmon, chicken, and/or dark greens like a salad or spinach.
-About 30 minutes to an hour before the game you want to make sure you are constantly drinking water as hydration is very beneficial. Many think that you shouldn’t eat this close to a game but something light like a banana, blueberries, or even nuts can be tremendously helpful in providing an energy boost throughout the match.
-Lastly, after the game eating is less strict but water is still important as dehydration does nobody any good.
Starting the regular season off in week one feeling pretty good. We (NEFC) were coming off of a two tournaments. In the first tourney we performed well, winning three games, the scores being 3-1, 7-1, and 9-2. That’s a good few games right there and we were feeling strong until we faced GPS red in the finals. They came out very strong and defeated us 3-2. Then in the second tournament in the following weekend unfortunately I could only attend one of the games and let’s just say we did not perform well in the tourney at all. Losing to New Jersey, GPS, and ending with a draw against bolts ECNL.
WEEK 1 GAME AGAINSTAztec Boys 06 Elite Red
Coming into the first game we were very pumped and excited. This team we were facing is ranked 2nd in New Hampshire so we knew it would be a tough game. The whistle blows and the game starts. For the first 5 minutes the possession looks pretty equal however we were in their half and when we strung together a few quick passes in the mid-field the ball fell to our holding midfielder at the top of the box and he hit a banger top left. Now that we’re winning 1-0 we started to get comfortable, but a little to comfortable as our left defender gets caught pressing too high on a corner kick. It isn’t a great corner by us and they quickly dish the ball out to their striker on the counter attack, he cruised by our left back and it was a foot race to the goal, our center back got there when the attack was in our box and their striker made a few quick moves and scored a nice shot. As the game settles down and it’s tied 1-1 right before the end of the half our left striker uses his speed to blow by the right back and puts it away in the bottom right corner to make the game 2-1 NEFC winning at half time. The second half starts and it’s a lot of back and forth between each others half until out left striker sprints down the line and outs in a great cross to our center striker and he finishes the easy tap in. Th game ends NEFC 3 and Aztec 1.