EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Score from close range

This session is formed of three drills that create scenarios for players to practise shooting from close range. It is always difficult to recreate this in training but vital you do so.

Why use it

A huge majority of goals are scored from close range in youth soccer.

Set up

You need balls, bibs, cones and 2 goals. Use the penalty area of your normal pitch. You need 10 players for the session.

How to play

Drill one You need a server either side of the goal, two strikers and a keeper. The first server plays the ball at pace, below knee height to the striker, who lets it go past him. The second striker has a split second to react and finish one-touch. Both players now turn around and the move is reversed. Play 10 crosses from each side.
Drill two Use two six-yard boxes together with an 8×4-yard box in the middle – six servers on the outside and two strikers in the central box. Strikers must receive passes at all angles and heights, either letting the ball run past the first man or combine for one- or two-touch finishes.
Drill three In an 18-yard box with goals at either end, servers and setters operate to the side of each goal, moving along the line to vary the angles. Servers pass to setters, who lay off for the attackers to finish.

Technique

Shooting technique and making decisions on whether to place shots or go for pace.

Close range finishing

    1. A server passes the ball across the 6-yard box into the two strikers
    2. The first striker dummies the ball and the second striker shoots at goal – the server works from both sides or use two servers

    3. Servers play a pass into the strikers who start in the box and break out once the ball has been received – they must combine and shoot using both goals
    4. Use all the servers so the strikers are getting the ball from different angles around the pitch like they would in a match

Close range finishing

    5. Now pairs of strikers are up against each other with the passes into each set of strikers in turn – the first pair to score five times wins
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