What is a Corner Kick in Soccer? 5 Ways to Take a Good One.

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If you’re a soccer player, or even just a fan of the sport, you know that corner kicks can be one of the most exciting parts of a game. But exactly what is a corner kick in soccer?

From the tense buildup as players elbow each other for position, to the exhilaration of a well-placed header or volley, corner kicks are a crucial element of the beautiful game.

But how exactly do corner kicks work, and what are some strategies for making the most of them?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about corner kicks, from the basics to some insider tips that will give you an edge on the field.

Let’s kick off!

What is a corner kick in soccer?

In soccer, a corner kick is awarded to the attacking team when the defending team sends the ball over its own goal line without scoring a goal.

This can happen when a defender makes a mistake and accidentally knocks the ball out of bounds, or when a forward puts pressure on the defense and forces a clearance.

When this happens, the attacking team is given a prime scoring opportunity: they get to place the ball in the corner of the field nearest to where it went out of bounds and attempt to score a goal directly from the kick.

Sounds easy right?!

what is a corener kick in soccer infographic with arrow to show movement

There are many different strategies for corner kicks, depending on the strengths and weaknesses of your players, team and your opponents.

Some tactics to help your team score from corner kicks include having a designated player kick the ball accurately and powerfully, positioning players in certain areas of the penalty area for better odds of scoring, and using set plays or decoys to fool the defense and create open shots.

Ultimately, the key to success with corner kicks is to be creative, think strategically, and practice, practice, practice!

Corner kick rules 101

Here are the official rules you must keep in mind when taking a corner kick.

1. Placement of the Ball

The soccer ball must be placed within the corner area nearest to where it crossed the goal line.

This means that if the ball went out-of-bounds between the goalpost and the corner flag, the corner kick must be taken from the side nearest to where the ball went out.

The kicker may place the ball anywhere in the corner arc but must stay within the confines of the arc.

2. Stationary Ball

Once the ball is in position, the corner kick taker must ensure that the ball is stationary before kicking it.

This means that the ball must be still and not moving in any direction. The kicker can use one foot to hold the ball in place before taking the kick.

3. The Start of Play

The ball is considered in play once it is kicked and clearly moves, regardless of whether it leaves the corner area.

This means that if the ball is kicked, and it remains in the corner area, play continues, and the ball is still in play.

However, the kicker may not touch the ball until another player has touched it.

4. The Role of the Opponents

Opposing players must remain at least ten yards (9.15 meters) from the ball until it is in play.

Once the ball is kicked and is in motion, the opposing team may charge out at the offense, which is where most of the excitement comes from.

5. The Corner Flag

Finally, it is important to note that the corner flag must not be moved during a corner kick.

This means that if the ball is kicked and hits the flag, play continues, and the ball is still in play.

the five types of corner kicks infographic - The five crucial types of corner kicks are the outswinger, inswinger, straight, chips, and low balls.

How to take a successful corner kick: 5 ways to make it awesome

Taking a corner kick may seem like a simple task, but there’s a lot more to it than just kicking a ball into the box!

A good corner kick can make a huge difference in winning a game, so it’s essential to do it right. 

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a novice who wants to brush up on your skills, these tips will help you score from the corner kick more often. 

#1 Approach the Ball with Confidence

To take a good corner kick, you need to calm your nerves and approach the ball with confidence.

This means taking a few steps back from the ball, taking a deep breath, and mentally envisioning where you want the ball to go before actually striking it. Practice taking deep breaths and clear your mind of any distractions.

You often find that one person is designated corner kicker. And there may be a different person for each corner depending on whether they are left or right foot.

#2 Focus on Technique

Your technique must be on point to get the result you want.

You must strike the ball with the correct part of your soccer boot, keeping your body and head over the ball, and being consistent with your approach, run-up, and follow-through.

Practice your technique over and over until it becomes second nature.

#3 Bend the Ball

Bending the ball (like Beckham!) is a crucial part of taking an effective corner kick.

When you’re taking the kick, make sure you hit the ball with your foot’s outer edge, kicking it with a curve that makes it hard for the goalkeeper to make a save.

To practice bending the ball, aim for the far post, and curve the ball towards the goal.

#4 Vary Your Kicks

Vary your technique by mixing up the types of kicks you take.

The five crucial types of corner kicks are the outswinger, inswinger, straight, chips, and low balls.

Experiment with each style and kick according to yours and the team’s strengths.

#5 Communicate with Your Teammates

Communication is probably the most important thing when it comes to corner kicks.

A corner kick is a set piece you practice in training, so and your teammates must know the plan before taking the corner kick.

Communicate who will be the primary target for the kick, where the kick should go, and what to do in case the opposition is playing a particular formation.

Scan the field for your teammates, and deliver the ball with accuracy and power. 

Watch and learn: How to take a corner kick like a pro!

Here’s a great video that coaches you how to take a corner kick that lands exactly where you want it to, step-by-step (or kick by kick!).

What is the difference between a corner kick and a goal kick?

A corner kick and a goal kick are very different!

A goal kick happens when the ball goes out of bounds off the attacking team, going over the goal line.

From there, the defending team gets a chance to kick the ball back into play from the goal area. (It’s not always the goalie that takes a goal kick!)

A corner kick is awarded to the attacking team when the ball goes out of bounds over the goal line after a touch from the defending team.

When this happens, the attacking team gets to place the ball on one of the corner spots and kick it back into play, hoping to get a goal.

Can a corner kick be a goal?

While it may not happen often, it is definitely possible for a corner kick to sail right into the net without any other players touching it. And we love it when it happens!

This beautiful moment of glory is called an “Olympico goal” and has happened in some of the most epic soccer matches in history.

What’s more common is that a defender from the opposing team touches the ball and causes a deflection that catches the keeper off guard and makes an own goal.

That’s why our coach always tells us to aim for the box and let fate do the rest!

Can you end a soccer game on a corner kick?

Technically, a goal can be scored off a corner kick at any point during the game, including stoppage time.

However, if the ball goes out of bounds again after the corner kick, the referee will typically blow the final whistle, effectively ending the game.

So, while a corner kick itself may not end the game, it can certainly lead to a game-winning goal.

Keep this in mind during your next match, and maybe you’ll be the one to score the game-winner off a well-placed corner kick!

The final score.

Corner kicks are an important part of soccer and can be the difference between a great game and a missed opportunity.

Whether you’re looking to make the most out of a corner kick or online in play, mastering these skills is an invaluable asset to any team.

Take the time to practice your corner kick techniques and add a few extra moves to your arsenal – you never know when they might come in handy.

By understanding how corner kicks work, learning strategic tips, and putting these ideas into action, you’ll be able to bring a whole new level of skill to the field that will help elevate your entire squad’s performance.

So what are you waiting for – dust off your cleats and get kicking!

This article was written by

  • Anna Adams, Creative Director & Content Lead

    Hi there! I'm Anna Adams, your go-to source for all things women's soccer. I've been crazy about soccer for over 20 years, ever since I was kicking a ball around with my brothers as a kid. I've turned my passion into a career where I get to share all the cool stuff about soccer with you. As a content lead, I've had the awesome opportunity to work with various sports brands and publications. Whether it's the latest gear, pro tips, or just some cool soccer trivia, I'm all about making soccer ac...