Fire stations

Your players will sometimes just get a small window of opportunity to score. Use this session to encourage them to shoot first-time when the opportunity opens up for them. This session allows players to work on first-time shooting in a competitive game-like situation. It works on technique of shooting and tactical positioning so your players make themselves open to shoot

Set up

Set up an area of 40×44 yards or use your penalty area. We’ve used 11 players in this session. You need balls, bibs, cones and two goals.

How to play it

Split your players into a 5v5 including goalkeepers and a neutral player. Play starts with either keeper and players can only score with a first-time shot. The neutral player plays for the attacking team. This is a continuous activity, with both teams trying to outscore the other. Restarts are with the goalkeeper but play throw-ins as normal.


First-time shots need quick reactions and good technique. This session puts players under match-like pressure and helps to focus your young players on shooting the instance a scoring chance occurs.

    1. Play starts with the goalkeeper who plays out from the back to a team-mate and play builds up from there
    2. The neutral player works for the team in possession – here he lays off a pass for the striker to hit a first-time shot

    3. Here the neutral player has dropped deep to receive a pass from the goalkeeper and plays the ball wide to open up the defence
    4. To score players must make a first-time shot – if they take a touch first the goal doesn’t count

    5. Restarts are from the goalkeeper except throw-ins – here a team-mate has made space to receive the throw
    6. The neutral player has found space to work in and sets up a striker for a first-time shot
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