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Series – Coaching Finishing in Soccer (2)

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There are two types of training for shooting at the goal:

  1. goal shooting technique training
  2. game-specific goal-shooting training

Goal-shooting technique training is an important part of training for beginners, but top players should also regularly repeat basic goal shooting techniques under difficult conditions in order to be prepared for the stress of the match. The better the player, the more important it is to practice shooting at the goal under match conditions.

Goal shooting technique training

Goal shooting technique training entails laying the foundations for successful shooting at the goal by means of simple, age-appropriate drills. Frequent repetition allows the players to learn and improve all-important goal shooting techniques from different distances after dribbling, after trapping the ball and directly. They learn to judge ball movements correctly and how to bring their bodies into the correct position for receiving the ball. The coach uses drills that enable him teach important shooting techniques as effectively as possible. The structure of the drills must allow players the necessary amount of repetition. In goal shooting technique training, the coach should make sure that long waiting queues are avoided and use simple exercises. A complicated exercise only distracts the players’ attention from the actual learning goal.

Effective goal shooting technique meets the following criteria:

  • A high number of reps and high exercise intensity allows the players to learn and improve their goal shooting techniques. This can be done with small group activities and as much shooting at the goal as possible.
  • The coach corrects and helps to remedy postural errors (upper body, foot position, recovery movement) and tactical errors (incorrect position on the ball, non-optimal running path, incorrect change of pace).
  • The players practice shooting directly at the goal near to the goal and shots with a second touch from different positions.
  • Players should also practice the exploitation of rebounds.

Game-specific Goal Shooting Training

  • Drills in and around the penalty box are ideally suited to the practice and game-specific application of all important technical and tactical aspects of shooting at the goal.
  • The pressure of space, opponent, time and accuracy must be gradually increased in a way that is age and ability-appropriate.
  • Small goal shooting competitions increase motivation and are both important and effective. Group pressure adds to the competitive atmosphere and fun factor.

Technical training for shooting at the goal

In shooting practice, age-appropriate and tested drills lay the foundation for a successful finish. Players learn and improve all of the important shooting techniques after dribbling, controlling the ball, and direct play through lots of repetition. They learn to accurately assess the ball’s trajectory and to move their bodies into the ideal shooting position. The trainer designs drills that allow him to teach important finishing techniques in the most effective way.

Beginners (Level 1):

  • learn to kick the stationary ball directly into the goal
  • learn to take a well-aimed shot into the goal from a dribble
  • learn to convert throw-ins with foot or head

A well-organized drill sequence is essential so the players achieve the necessary number of repetitions. The trainer should absolutely avoid long waits (in line) for the next shooting opportunity.

Advanced Players (Level 2):

  • practice shots out of a turn after a sprint to the ball or from a jump.
  • use a series of different techniques.
  • adapt constantly to the ball’s changing speed and height.



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