Players, Coaches, Referees, Administrators and Their Parents

One of the keys elements of finishing is accuracy. Power is nice, but it's a distant second in priority. In the past, I have always stressed the need for shooting with the instep. Though, I don't want to downgrade the importance of this technique, I am starting to believe it is more meaningful to emphasize first and foremost accuracy by "passing" the ball into the goal. Power can be trained later after the player understands a slow roller into the goal is worth more than a rocket shot not on frame.

Warm-up -- Set up two lines (of 1 to 2 players), six to eight yards apart (goal post width); these two lines are directly across from two other lines of players; the distance between the sets of two lines are ten to fifteen yards (coach should adjust to player age and ability).

    A2    C2
    A1    C1    

| ^ ^|
| \/ |
| /\ |
| / \|

B1 D1
B2 D2

A1 passes straight across to B1 and follows the pass to the B line; B1 receives, makes an angled pass to C1 and follows pass to C line; C1 receives, makes a straight ahead pass to D1 and follows pass to D line; D1 makes an angled pass to A2, etc.

Warm-up Progression

* Ask players to pass with specified foot
* Restrict number of touches to control ball before making next pass
* Switch to an instep pass, if accuracy can be maintained
* At some point, have the team envision that each line is a goal post; the straight ahead passes are to the near post, the angled passes are to the far post
* Ask the players to pass to the inside foot of the receiving player (i.e., inside the post)

Warm-up Coaching Points:

* Ensure the inside of the foot is used to pass (as this normally is the most accurate type of pass for a player)
* Play should be continuous, have extra balls ready between groups A & C and groups B & D. Bad passes can be chased down by the passer while the next player puts a new ball back into play
* Make sure receptions are toward the target

Shooting Drill:
Setup -- Structure the drill exactly like the warm-up, except with a goal between groups A and C. When A passes to B, B finishes with an angled pass to the far post; when C passes to D, D finishes with an angled pass to his/her far post

Drill Progression:

* Change drill so that A passes across to D who finishes (to the near post) with a straight on pass; C passes across to D who finishes with a straight on pass
* Restrict number of touches before shot
* Use instep (if accuracy can be maintained)
* Add a GK; initially position the GK away from the post the players will be shooting; that is, the GK should be shaded toward the side that makes the initial pass
* Let the GK be active and allow the attacker to finish to the appropriate post and appropriate part of foot

Drill Coaching Points:

* Stress accuracy, not power, constantly
* The position of body and support foot should be towards the finishing point
* Have player look up to side of goal they are finishing; when GK added, player should look to near post, if not covered shoot there, else go to far post (do not look at or try to find the GK)
* Make sure player is looking at the ball at the point when the shot is taken
* Team and coaches should reinforce every made goal with some kind of positive exaltation; save the loudest for the accurate goal as the power shot will get its fair share of "oohs" and "aaahs."

--Thanks to: Gary Rue, KY HS and Select

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