Restarting from a goal kick – Drill

by Pablo M07th Sep 2022

Drill created with TACTICS MANAGER

A poorly executed goal kick can put a team under pressure. Unfortunately, this is a very common scenario in amateur teams. This drill emulates a safe way of restarting from a goal kick to avoid silly mistakes that can lead to a soft goal.


This drill emulates a build-up pattern you can apply in an actual match. Therefore you need a full-size field and 12 players (2 goalkeepers and 10 field players). If you have good attendance at training, practice with your starting team and use any other drills on our website to keep the remaining players warm—switch players after 10 minutes or so.

In addition to a full-size field, you will need balls, mannequins, a timer, and cones to mark the pitch, as shown in the picture.


While the goalkeeper can kick the ball high up the field during a goal kick, it is a bit of a lottery to do it at the amateur level. There are many other ways of restarting from a goal kick. In addition, the rules have changed, allowing defenders to be inside the penalty box to receive the ball. So, this drill emulates restarting with a short pass to the centre back and moving into attack through the wings. To make it fun, run the drill as a competition between “left” and “right” players. The drill progression:

  • The goalkeeper passes a ball to the right centre-back (CB) to start the right team and then passes the ball to the left centre-back (CB) to start the left team. After that, the following steps are the same for both teams.
  • After receiving the ball from the goalkeeper, the CB passes the ball to the fullback (RB or LB).
  • The fullback passes the ball to the centre midfielder (CM) and runs by the sideline to pass the mannequin.
  • The centre fielder returns the ball to the fullback on the other side of the mannequin but weighs the pass to be received before the midfield line.
  • The fullback receives the ball and sends a long ball toward the corner flag that the wide midfielder (RM or LM) will run after. The pass must be executed before passing the midfield.
  • The wide midfielder runs to collect the ball and crosses the ball to the striker (ST) through the gate outside the box.
  • The striker, waiting in the box marked with cones, tries to score from outside the penalty box.

The team scoring the most goals under a given time limit (10 to 15 minutes) wins. If you have more than 12 players, swap players and repeat the game.

You can make alterations to this drill, such as having a couple of players apply pressure to the fullbacks, midfielders or strikers. For example, if you have just a few more than 12 players, you can ask the spare players to crowd the penalty box to make it more challenging to cross the ball to the strikers and shoot from outside the box.


This drill will help practice one of many options to start play from a goal kick and also help with:

  • Mechanising movements. The exercise simulates a common build-up from the back used in actual games. The more the team practices it, the easier it will become to execute in real games. Everyone will know their role, and there will be no confusion when restarting from a goal kick.
  • Positioning and Team Shape. This drill can be altered to practice your preferred formation. Then, players will practice playing in their positions and how to support each other without losing shape.
  • Teamwork. This drill encourages collaboration over individual efforts.
  • Triangulation. The centre midfield (CM) and fullback (LB or RB) pass the ball to each other around a mannequin simulating a wide midfielder or striker pressing on the fullback. This is a common scenario happening on the wings.
  • Passing accuracy. Players must be accurate with their passes to move forward quickly. The more accurate the passes are the more repetitions of the progression that can be completed in the time limit, and therefore the more shots at goal that strikers can complete.
  • First touch. Because the game is played with a time limit, players must improve their first touch to control and pass the ball or shoot and avoid wasting time.
  • Crossing and long balls. Consistency is critical in crossing and long balls. Crosses have to be timely and with the right power on them to make them easy to control by the receiving player.
  • Shooting. Practising shooting from outside the box with a goalkeeper requires the strikers to shoot with power and pinpoint accuracy.
  • Goalkeeping. This is a good drill for goalkeepers. They practice saving direct long shots. They also practice restarting the game from a goal kick.

I hope you find this drill helpful. If you like this post, please share it with your friends. If you know about other exercises or have questions, leave a comment on our Facebook page.