How often do you see a player running with the ball straight at goal? I’m guessing very rarely, if at all. The only time recently I’ve seen one of my players run straight at goal was from a poor goal kick that only just got out of the area. So what do I do in practice? Run in single file to the penalty spot and shoot? No, I create angles for my players to practise shooting. Try this drill which will get your players firing the ball at angles to the goal.
One of the most challenging situations for a striker is when he finds himself approaching the goal from an angle. He needs to combine a number of skills – balance, technique, awareness, and no small amount of composure – if he is to find the net.
And if that wasn’t enough of a challenge, there’s a goalkeeper to beat as well!
In the English Premier League last season, more than 50% of goal opportunities came about with the ball outside the parallel lines of the goalposts.
And getting your players to master the technique of shooting at an angle – particularly across the goalkeeper – offers opportunities from rebounds as well.
You’ll have your own way of communicating good shooting technique, but this drill will certainly help your players become more familiar approaching the goal at an angle.
How to set it up
- Mark out two channels – one to the left and one in the centre of an area measuring 20 yards long by 50 yards wide, with a goal at each end as in the top picture. Make the channels three yards wide.
- You’ll need a constant flow of balls for this drill.
- Start attackers from either end.
- Players will run down their channel, approaching the goalkeeper and shoot across him, aiming at the far corner of the goal.
- The goalkeeper can only advance a couple of yards from his goal.
- Once players have dispatched a shot, they then swap to the other channel, shooting at the second goal with their other foot.
- Progress the session by removing the channels and allowing the attackers to approach in line with the goal post. Despite approaching head-on, their task still is to find the bottom corner.
This session originally appeared in Soccer Coach Weekly.
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