Getting your young soccer (football) players to concentrate on accuracy, rather than power, is one of the key points when coaching shooting skills. Focusing on accuracy at all age levels is more important. Power will come once players get their shooting direction right.
It's a good idea to concentrate on coaching players’ shooting accuracy rather than their shooting power. Obviously you want your players to strike the ball firmly. But I've noticed that when U8s go for power, they miss the target by a long way.
They need to start with simple shooting accuracy exercises.
When using the soccer (football) drills below, players can switch between kicking a stationary ball and a rolling ball. This does make a difference as it's easier to get power from a rolling ball, but harder to be accurate with it.
Simple starter drill
Split your players into pairs and name them players A and B, as in diagram 1. They need a ball and four cones to make a channel on the pitch that is two yards wide and 15 yards long.
Player A must try to get the ball past player B, then player B past player A, keeping the ball in the channel. If the ball goes outside the channel, the player who kicked it loses a point.
If the ball gets past the player inside the end two cones, the shooting player wins a point.
Between the poles drill
In diagram 2, players are shooting at a target 12 yards from goal. Tell the players to shoot the ball between the poles or between the goalpost and the pole. If they miss the target they are out. Play until someone wins. If no one is getting out, simply make the target smaller.
Strike the pass drill
In diagram 3, the players are striking a ball moving across them at a goal defended by a goalkeeper. Player A is the attacker while players B, C and D are servers. They serve a variety of passes to player A, who must try and strike the ball first time at the goal.
Make sure you rotate the attacker regularly – after two passes from each of the servers, say.
Each server should make a different type of pass. Player B serves up a lob to volley, player C, a pass to shoot first time or control and shoot, and player D, a chest high serve to control and shoot.
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Click here to read some soccer coaching tips to help your players get more accurate shots on goal.