EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Flighted balls in the penalty area

Faced with a crowded penalty area players often just shoot without thinking. However, it might be better to flight a ball across the area, catching the defenders out of position and changing the focus of the attack.

What this session is about

  1. Being comfortable playing in the penalty area.
  2. Accuracy in passing and receiving to set up goal scoring chances.

What to think about

  •  Concentrate on the quality of the flighted ball.
  •  Good first touch to get the ball under control.
  •  Accurate passing.
  •  Being comfortable in front of goal.
  •  Focus on finishing into the goal.

Set-up

  •  Goal, penalty area, lots of balls.
Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes20-25 minutes10-15 minutes20-25 minutes10 minutes

What you get your players to do

Player 1, standing on the edge of the penalty area near the goal line, chips a flighted ball across the front of the goal to the other side where player 2 is standing.

Player 2 uses good control to take the ball out of the air and passes crisply along the ground to player 3, who is on the edge of the area directly in front of goal.

Player 3 controls with one touch and shoots with a second touch.

Players should rotate A, B then C.

Player 1 chips the ball across the penalty area using good technique.

Player 1 chips the ball across the penalty area using good technique.


Development

Add a goalkeeper so that when player 1 chips the ball across the penalty area he must get the ball over the goalkeeper’s outstretched arms. Add a defender who can only move when player 2 passes to player 3 to put pressure on controlling the ball and lining up a shot on goal. Player 3 must also shoot past the goalkeeper.

Player 2 passes to player 3 who controls and shoots.

Player 2 passes to player 3 who controls and shoots.


Game situation

Play a small-sided game with penalty areas, teams can only score goals from within the penalty area. Give 3 points for a goal if the players use a flighted ball from one side of the penalty area to the other.

Add a goalkeeper and a defender to make it harder.

Add a goalkeeper and a defender to make it harder.


What to call out

  • “Lean back slightly when you chip the ball.”
  • “First touch should absorb the pace of the ball.”
  •  “Shoot into the corners of the goal.”
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