Football Shooting Drills

Shooting is probably the most fun part of football training and players from all positions enjoy shooting practice. Being able to strike the ball properly is important with the most popular conventional technique being to strike the ball with the laces. Again, focus on quality and accuracy before trying to take the shot under pressure in a match situation. Players should approach the ball at an angle and kick with the laces following through the ball keeping the foot firm throughout.

Inside Your Half

Teams of 3 or 4 play opposite each other on a small pitch, with a goal at either end. They must work the ball around in their half until space for a shooting opportunity arises.

Aim: To improve shooting technique

Suitable for: U8’s and upwards

Equipment: 2 goals, cones, balls by both goals.

Organisation: Split the group into two teams. Players line up in any formation. The game is played 3 v 3 + 2 goalkeepers. Each team stays in their own half of the field. The keeper serves the ball to any player who can either shoot or set up a teammate to shoot. The opposite team can try and block shots. If a goal is scored or the ball goes out of play the opposite goalkeeper can serve the ball. 

Progressions:

  • Must be high tempo
  • Limit touches
  • Each team must pass 3 times before shooting
  • Alter length/width of area
  • 5 goals wins the game

Coaching Points

  • Accuracy of shot
  • Fast, crisp passing to utilise gaps
  • Shot selection (driven, side foot placed, lob, curl, etc)
  • First, touch away from opposition to find gaps in the defence

Cross, Control & Shoot

Players aim to control a ball that is crossed in from the side, take a touch and then shoot. The player crossing in should aim to cross the ball into the marked area and the striker should need no more than 1 touch.

Aim: To improve passing and shooting technique

Suitable for: U11’s and upwards

Equipment: 1 goal, balls, 10 cones.

Organisation: 1 striker works with a wide ‘serving’ player and the striker has 5 attempts to score. The ball starts at the top corner of the penalty box with the serving player. They pass the ball across the penalty box, to the player in the cone marked box. The striker must receive and control the ball in the box (marked with cones) then shoot at the goal. As the shooting player rotates a ball can be crossed to the opposite box. 

Progressions:

  • Must be high tempo
  • After all players have had 5 shots rotate servers and strikers change boxes
  • Strikers 1st touch towards centre of goal then shoots
  • As the ball travels the 1st striker dummies and moves to a central position, the 2nd striker lays the ball off into the 1st striker’s path

Coaching Points

  • Accuracy of shot
  • Accuracy and weight of pass
  • Shot selection (driven, side foot placed, lob, curl, etc)
  • Vision, awareness of goalkeepers position

Pass, Run & Shoot

The striker passes the ball to one player, who forwards it onto another before the ball is set back to the striker who takes a shot. Progression can be obtained by using your weaker foot every few shots or adding defenders.

Aim: To improve passing and shooting technique

Suitable for: U11’s and upwards

Equipment: 1 goal, 1 ball, 2 cones.

Organisation: Player A starts with the ball. Player B stands in front and to the left of player A, with player C in front and to the right of player B. Player A passes to player B and starts to move towards the goal. Player B then plays the ball to player C, who lays it in the path of player A who shoots 1st time.

Progressions:

  • Must be high tempo
  • At least one shot must be with weaker foot
  • Add goalkeepers and defenders to pressure player as he picks up the ball

Coaching Points

  • Accuracy of shot
  • Accuracy and weight of pass
  • Shot selection (driven, side foot placed, lob, curl, etc)
  • Vision, awareness of goalkeepers position

Pass, Pass & Shoot

The striker lays the ball off to the first player, they receive the ball back and repeat with a second before having a shot at goal. Awareness of the goalkeeper’s positioning and shot selection are the main focusses of this exercise. Progression can be achieved by playing at a higher tempo and adding defenders.

Aim: To improve shooting technique

Suitable for: U9’s and upwards

Equipment: 1 goal, 1 ball, and 3 players

Organisation: 1 striker works with 2 other players, the player has 3 attempts to score. The striker passes a ball to the closest player who plays the ball back as the striker is running at goal. The striker then does the same with the other player, receives it back and then runs towards the goal and shoots. As soon as the player shoots they must sprint to the starting cone and repeat activity.

Swap roles and repeat the drill.

Progressions:

  • Must be high tempo
  • One-shot must be with weaker foot
  • Add defenders to pressure player as he picks up the ball

Coaching Points

  • Accuracy of shot
  • Shot selection (driven, side foot placed, lob, curl, etc)
  • Vision, awareness of goalkeepers position

Running At Angles

This drill encourages the striker to run at angles by zig-zagging through an agility course then along a line of cones to shoot. The effectiveness of this drill can be maximised by varying the angle of approach to create different shooting situations

Aim: To improve shooting technique

Suitable for: U9’s and upwards

Equipment: 1 goal, 3 balls, 5 slalom poles, cones.

Organisation: 1 striker works with 2 wide players, the player has 3 attempts to score. Starting point as shown in diagram. The player hits a ball to a wide player and then runs through the slalom poles runs towards the goal following one of the marked roots to the near or far post (no straight runs) and shoots 1st time. As soon as the player shoots they must sprint to the starting cone and repeat activity.

Progressions:

  • Must be high tempo
  • One-shot must be with weaker foot and one with the head
  • Add defenders to pressure player as he picks up the ball

Coaching Points

  • Accuracy of shot
  • Shot selection (driven, side foot placed, lob, curl, etc)
  • Vision, awareness of goalkeepers position
  • Players encouraged to make up their own runs

Agility Shoot

Players run through a short agility course before shooting. This drill can also be used as a general agility or fitness drill as well as a shooting one and defenders can be added for progression.

Aim: To improve shooting technique

Suitable for: U9’s and upwards

Equipment: 1 goal, 3 balls, 1 set of ladders, and 3 cones

Organisation: 1 striker works and has 3 attempts to score. The player hops through the agility ladder then through the cones runs towards a ball and shoots 1st time. As soon as the player shoots they must sprint to the start and repeat the activity.

Progressions:

  • Must be high tempo
  • One-shot must be with weaker foot
  • Add a goalkeeper
  • Add defenders to pressure player as he picks up the ball

Coaching Points

  • Accuracy of shot
  • Shot selection (driven, side foot placed, lob, curl, etc)
  • Vision, awareness of goalkeepers position
  • Player is given different activity to do when going through the ladders

Collect Ball & Shoot

Balls are set up along the ‘D’ of the penalty area. The player runs to collect each one, sets it in front of them and shoots. This drill can be done further out or closer to the sidelines for more confident shooters.

Aim: To improve shooting technique

Suitable for: U9’s and upwards

Equipment: 1 goal, 5 balls.

Organisation: 1 striker works and has five attempts to score. 5 balls are placed around the D outside the penalty area. The players come and collect a ball, turn and shoots. As soon as the player shoots they must sprint to pick up another ball.

Progressions:

  • Must be high tempo
  • Limit touches
  • One-shot must be with weaker foot
  • Add a goalkeeper and the player can take them on in a 1 on 1 situation
  • Add defenders to pressure player as he picks up the ball

Coaching Points

  • Accuracy of shot
  • Shot selection (driven, side foot placed, lob, curl, etc)
  • Vision, awareness of goalkeepers position
  • Take the ball away from defender

Shoot On Sight

Two teams compete in a specific area to score as quickly as possible as balls are crossed in. This drill can be advanced by having a smaller area or putting a goalkeeper in goal.

Aim : To improve shooting technique

Suitable for: U11’s and upwards

Equipment: 1 goal, lots of balls.

Organisation: Split the group into two teams. Have 2 feeding players, 1 on either side of the marked area, throwing balls into the area. Players line up in any formation. The idea is to shoot on-site if the opportunity is there. The players are given one instruction, SHOOT.

Progressions :

  • Must be high tempo
  • Limit touches
  • Alter width of area

Coaching Points

  • Accuracy of shot
  • Shot selection (driven, side foot placed, lob, curl, etc)
  • First, touch away from opposition
  • Taking players away to make space

First To The Ball Shoots

Two players race to reach the ball first and have a shot at goal. This drill is great for fun competition and improving reactions and pressure scoring.

Aim: To improve shooting technique

Suitable for: U9’s and upwards

Equipment: 1 goal, cones, balls

Organisation: Split the team into two groups. Players line up shoulder to shoulder facing the goal, as soon as the coach throws the ball the players can run after it, win possession and shoot.

Progressions:

  • Add a defender
  • Limit the forward’s touches
  • Players in press-up position

Coaching Points

  • Accuracy of shot
  • Shot selection (driven, side foot placed, lob, curl, etc)
  • First, touch away from opposition
  • Speed of turn

Turn & Shoot

Three players continuously feed a striker who must control, turn and shoot in a small coned area.

Aim: To improve control, 1st touch, and shooting.

Suitable for: Under 9’s and upwards

Equipment: 1 goal, 4 cones, 3 balls minimum

No. of players: 1 forward, 3 other players

How: Forward has to stay in the box. The forward must call for a pass, control the ball, turn and shoot. As soon as the forward shoots he turns away and calls for a pass from another player.

Progression:

  • Limit the number of touches for the forward.
  • Add a defender into the box

Coaching Points

  • Work on quality of first touch.
  • Speed of turning.
  • Accuracy of shot.

1, 2, Shoot

One player stands on the edge of the penalty area and receives the ball from the shooter. They then lay the ball off to the shooter who takes a first-time shot.

Aim: Shooting practice

Suitable for: Under 7’s and upwards

Equipment: 1 goal, 2 cones

How: Player A starts with a ball. They pass it to a player B who is standing around the edge of the 18-yard area. Player B lays the ball off in 1 or 2 touches. After player A passes to player B they make a move towards the goal and shoot 1st time from player B’s lay off.

Switch player B so everyone gets a chance to shoot.

Progressions:

  • Add a goalkeeper and maybe a defender.
  • Player B chips for a volley

Coaching Points:

  • Player B’s lay off should be timed correctly so player A can run onto it and shoot.
  • Player A should concentrate on keeping their head and knee over the ball to keep the shot low.

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