Every game plan needs to have a football tactic for the set piece. Set pieces are an integral part of the game, and should be planned for accordingly. The purpose behind goal kicks, corner kicks, and throw-ins is to create an advantage for the team that has been slighted, and with the right strategy that advantage can provide an excellent chance for a powerful shot and goal. There is an element of chance to the set piece play, and either team could potentially benefit in certain situations. Offensive Set Pieces The football tactic changes depending on whether you are the team moving the ball back into play or defending. The offence on a set play has the upper hand, since the play occurs right in front of the goal they need to get the ball into. Retaining possession of the ball is key. If you can keep the ball, you can set up another attack and create another opportunity to make a goal. When there is a lot of pressure or a lot of ground to cover, the ball may be thrown along the line to eat up more distance. Defensive Set Pieces When you are on the defending side of a set piece, your football tactic is to block any possible goals and recover the ball as soon as possible. Corner kick defensive strategies generally become man-to-man coverage, with each defender protecting a specific offensive player. Free kicks allow defenders to set up a wall in front of the goal, with the goalie filling in any gaps that might allow the ball to get through. The most difficult set piece to defend is the penalty kick, because that involves only the kicker and the goalie. The best defensive strategy during a penalty kick is to place the defenders in the perimeter of the goal as closely as possible so that they can capture any deflection and shift play toward the other team's goal quickly. Drawing a Foul There are some teams that use a football tactic employing the benefit of fouling. These tactics are meant to shift the momentum of the game and change the other team's timing so that the fouling team has a chance to regain control of the ball. Fouls can also delay the game, allowing players to rest a little bit. It is generally thought to be poor sportsmanship to use fouls as a strategy for winning. Taking Advantage of Set Pieces The most important football tactic when there is a set piece involved is to recover the football and change the game. Set pieces bring a halt to the regular action on the field, and can cause a change in the dynamic of either team. Though they rarely result in a direct goal, set pieces can create opportunities for a team to recover from a bad formation, which can make their attack on the goal more efficient. Set pieces can also be exciting, especially penalty kicks, because the result of the set piece can be so random.