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Gareth Bale: How to score from free kicks

My free kicks are always way off target. Can you give me any advice on how to improve my accuracy?
Darren Lynch, via email

Gareth Bale says:

“I practise my free-kicks after every session, for between half an hour or an hour depending on how well I’m doing and what I did in training.

But I have to work at it to improve: I usually aim for the top half of the goal, but if I’m nearer the goal, I’ll go low and hard.

You need to be versatile otherwise goalkeepers will know where you’re going: though I know that if I hit it sweetly, it’s hard to stop. I usually know as soon as I’ve hit it if it’s going in.

Make sure your standing foot is on the inside of the ball, hit the outside of the ball with your striking foot to curl it and follow through with that foot for power.

Practice makes perfect but when it comes off it’s a great feeling!”

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