6 ways to score from close range

In youth soccer, a high proportion of goals come from close range – so finding space in the area to get a shot away or convert a cross is a vital skill. Scoring from close range is based on instinct but there are key skills, such as picking up a position where defenders can’t see you, that you can practise on the training ground.

Torres Atletico Madrid

Here are six of my favourite sessions to help you coach your players to score more from close range.

Firstly, you need to create simple scenarios that give players lots of chances to get in front of goal and shoot. This three-step shooting game Score from close range is a great way to start.

You can also use this small-sided game called Penalty area battle which puts the technique under pressure and is great fun for all the players with everyone getting a chance to shoot at goal.

For younger age groups, the best sessions are in my EasiCoach manuals – Dribble forward and shoot inside the penalty area (U8 game) shows young players how they can get close to goal to get a shot on target.

For older age groups, making late runs into the penalty area just as the ball arrives often catches the opposition out. Late runs into the penalty area and Time your runs are two great sessions for coaching players to arrive late into goalscoring positions.

You should also look at tactics-based drills for your strikers like Set and go, which involves losing a defender to create room to receive the ball in the box and shoot.

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