Simple corner kick drill to practice attack and defence

by Pablo M15th Dec 2019

Amateur football teams often don’t practise set-pieces. However, your team must master corner kicks to succeed in a tournament. This post describes a drill that combines an attacking corner kick drill and a defending corner kick drill in one.

It is pretty challenging to score a goal from a corner kick at the professional level. A study shows that 6% to 10% of corner kicks result in goals. Unfortunately, there are no statistics for amateur football, but we can assume that the percentage of corner kicks’ goals is higher. Some reasons for this include lack of defensive discipline or organisation when defending corner kicks; goalkeepers height and skills; quality of the pitch; etc. You probably get the picture, and I’m sure you’ve been on the receiving end.

You don’t want to be the team whose players are running like a headless chicken when defending a corner kick or crossing a ball to nobody when taking a corner kick. The following drill will help you out. This simple setup will provide your team with a basic structure, whether you are defending or attacking.


You will need half of an 11 aside pitch and 3 small goals for this drill. The small goals will be evenly distributed in the midfield line. The exercise is played with 9 players attacking, 9 players defending and a goalkeeper.

This drill is based on stats from another study. Most goals scored in corner kicks come from the centre of the box and the near post. Therefore, the setup of the attacking team is simple: a player outside the box ready to receive a pass on the first post and three players grouped in the penalty spot.

The remaining attacking players are arranged this way: two players close to the goal line blocking the goalkeeper, one outside the box in line with the penalty spot and a player staying back halfway between the box and the midfield. Defensive players mark one-on-one, except for two players covering the posts.


The main objective of this drill is to practice corner kicks, both in defence and attack. For attackers, the aim is to score. For defenders is to protect the goal and to transition into attack quickly.

  • 2 teams of 9 players.
  • 1 goalkeeper.
  • It is a competitive drill where both teams can score, and a tally is kept.
  • The attacking team scores in the standard size goal.
  • The defensive team scores in the small goals.
  • Play always starts with players arranged as shown in the picture above.
  • Only 3 touches are allowed (e.g., 1 touch to control the ball, 1 touch to change direction and 1 touch to pass the ball).
  • If the ball goes out, start the game again.
  • Execute a series of 5 corner kicks from each side of the field.
  • Other than the above, all official football rules apply.

You may want to consider some variations, such as defenders needing to complete several passes before scoring in the midfield goals. But, again, be creative and add your own rules.


The objective of this drill is for your team to know a simple corner kick setup. This way, your team will be organised and know what to do when executing a corner kick.

  • Players positioning. Players will know where to stand in a real game scenario. This is definitely the case for attacking players. Defensive players will have to improvise as opposing teams will use different tactics. However, the two men staying at the posts will be nominated before the game to avoid discussions during the match. The remaining defenders will take one on one marks.
  • Finishing. Touches are limited to three. Therefore attacking players must finish quickly.
  • Transitioning from defence to attack. Since limited touches are allowed, defensive players need to circulate the ball in an orderly fashion to score in the small goals.
  • Playing as a team. Although individual skills play a part in the game, limiting the time players can hold the ball forces everyone to play as a team.

I hope you find this routine helpful. You can see more exercises like this in our drills section. If you know other exercises or have any questions, leave a comment on our Facebook page.