There is an old saying in sports that says, “defense wins championships.”
That holds true in soccer, and is especially fitting when your team is facing an inevitable free kick. It could come at any time, and the result could change the momentum of the game.
If your opponent is rewarded with a direct free kick on your team’s end of the field, setting up a solid wall is crucial to help your goalkeeper keep the ball out of the net.
A wall is made when defensive players line up in an attempt to limit the shooting angles of an opponent who is attempting the free kick. It can effectively block a part of the goal and give the keeper a much better — and smaller — window to protect.
To set up your wall, use four to five players. All but one should face the player taking the free kick. The other will face the goalkeeper to relay directions to the rest of the wall on which way to move. Your last defender should line up with your goal to prevent the ball from going into the short corner.
Your main priority here is blocking the ball, so setting up to protect yourself is important. Have one arm going down your body to help protect your groin and position the other across your face. This strategic placement can help guard you if you do block the kick.
By creating a strong wall, you can help your goalkeeper keep the shutout going the rest of the game.