A goal is the holy grail of the match, score and don't let your opponents score.
Soccer shooting drills are a vital part of success so with that in mind having good technique in front of a goal is key for attacking players – and even defending players should be able to master the technique of shooting at a goal. It goes from seeing the opportunity, the timing of runs, what to do with the standing leg, and which part of the ball you kick.
We hear a lot about the fantastic players who can shoot with both feet or chip a ball beautifully over the goalkeeper and into the net.
Goals are scored by players shooting from angles from different areas of the pitch and from different parts of the foot. Goal scorers deserve the accolades they get because it is such a huge moment in a game.
In this guide, we explore the different techniques – how to shoot, where to shoot, and which part of the foot to use. If you want to see the Goals For column filling up then read on...
When shooting at goal there are two things to consider, power and accuracy. This can also mean decision-making will come into the shot when the player looks up and sees where the goalkeeper is and where the best part of the goal is to shoot at.
Shooting is something that all players of the game enjoy, regardless of age. Think about your first 10 minutes of training when your players turn up, I bet you're constantly telling them you want them to pass the ball between themselves not shooting at the goal!
But it does need to be practised because it is the practice that will make it easier for your strikers to hit the net in their next match.
In youth soccer accurate shooting is usually more successful than power shots, purely because if you hit the target it takes good goalkeeping technique to keep the ball out. But also if the player is in the penalty area and wants to hit the corners of the net with an accurate shot. With a power shot you use the laces but with an accurate shot you want to use the part of the foot which lets you control where the ball is going and that is the inside of the foot – like a sidefoot pass.
- Pick a spot away from the goalkeeper – corners are good.
- Head over the ball, eyes looking at the ball.
- Standing leg should be planted next to the ball.
- Kick through the centre of the ball with the inside of the foot.
- Players can punch through the ball to give it a firm shot that will be difficult for the goalkeeper to get.
- Be ready for any rebounds from the post or from the goalkeeper.
Youth players should shoot with power from distance so that the shot has a good chance to go into the net. This is a less accurate way of shooting but if the player catches it correctly the goalkeeper will do well to keep it out. Hit power shots with the laces of the boot, the instep.
- Pick your spot and concentrate on hitting the ball onto that part of the goal. Confidence and conviction that the ball is going to be hit with power are key to hitting the ball in the sweet spot.
- Often power shots hit an opponent and rebound back so be ready for the ball and react to the rebound.
- Keep your head steady and your eyes focused on the ball and where you are going to kick it.
- Strong standing leg should be a foot or two away from the ball, slightly behind it ready to take the weight of the player as he/she swings his/her foot.
- Lock the ankle of the shooting foot, it needs a good firm foot not a floppy one, think of it as a hammer blow to the ball.
- Strike just below the centre line of the ball – don't go too low or that may take the shot high and over the bar which is a common error that is often seen when watching adult games.
- The shooting foot should then follow through like a golf shot to give more power to the shot.
It takes practice to master the two techniques but hitting shots at goal is good fun and the more a player does it the more confident they become and the more success they have.
Top Tips to Create Great Strikers of the Ball
To coach players to be the best strikers of the ball here are a few ways to help them get better at scoring goals with good shots:
- Look for space on the pitch, check shoulders and be able to see routes to goal with an open body to receive the ball. Knowing where opponents are is a key way to getting into positions to score goals. Space is a striker's friend it buys them time to set up and shoot without being under immediate pressure.
- Check the goalkeeper's position, are they off the goalline, one side of the goal or maybe looking at another problem and are calling defenders back. Things like this can make a big difference to the keeper's ability to save the game.
- Using both feet is key to scoring when the ball comes at speed and the attacker doesn't expect it. Often strikers will try and get the ball onto their stronger more developed foot instead of using the best foot for the job.
- Just practising on their own can help a striker to see the goal and how they are going to shoot. Get in the back yard and shoot into goals without a goalkeeper. Strikers can use their imagination to help them practice on their own. Players can practice with different parts of the foot without pressure of peers watching, they can use different angles and positions on the pitch. They could also hang a hoop from the crossbar of the goal that they can try to shoot through or cone off an area they can shoot at.
- Shooting under pressure in small-sided games a key way to get better. Make the training games difficult for the strikers to score and that will help them when they are in situations in matches where they are being crowded out in attacking situations.
- Tell your players to try and stay calm when an opportunity arises and not to snatch at the shot.
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Top 10 Fun Soccer Shooting Drills
1. 1v1 Finishing
In this shooting drill, the players have decisions to make going up against a defender who can get to the ball first and should the attacker shoot first touch or shield the ball before going up against the goalkeeper?
2. Shooting From Runs Outside the Penalty Area
If you want your players to shoot from runs into the penalty area with build up play from outside the penalty area this is a great drill and one that gets players shooting to catch keepers unaware.
3. Accurate Shooting After a Dribble
I want to see players having an end product after they have made a successful dribble into attacking areas of the pitch – in this shooting drill the dribble ends with a shot on goal where they make the decision over accuracy or power.
4. Build up to Score 2v2
In this drill, players link up with passing and movement to build up interplay setting up each other to shoot at goal with a first-time shot – technique key to success.
5. Overload Attack to Score
In match play, the overload situations that happen should create goal-scoring opportunities. This drill helps the attackers to make the right moves and decisions so they can score more goals.
6. Transition to Attack
Counter-attacks can create shooting opportunities for players with fast breaks and passes or crosses into the penalty area that players can attack. Move fast in the 3v2 to create lots of overload situations
7. Finishing Circuit
This drill develops combination play and 1v1 situations that lead to lots of shooting opportunities
8. Chip the Keeper
There are situations in matches when the goalkeeper comes out of goal or has poor positioning or dives at a players feet when a chip shot over the keeper is the best way to score a goal. Coach players how to chip the ball into the net with this drill.
9. Score Close to Goal
In this shooting drill combination play between players in tight spaces like the penalty area of a pitch can be great way to split a defence and create shooting opportunities that put your team in the driving seat
10. Single Striker
If you play with one striker up front it can work to your advantage with great through balls to the player up front. Get them receiving and turning to shoot at goal in this clever drill.
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