For all soccer players, the feeling of scoring a goal is unmatched by anything else within the sport. They feel a mix of satisfaction, elation and confidence whenever putting that ball in the net and this translates across to you as the coach as well.
But to be able to experience the joy of scoring you need to practice and improve their shooting.
There is a number of different soccer drills available designed to improve your shooting skills that can be used during your soccer training sessions and we will look at some of these here.
Drill No. 1
One simple drill you can set up to begin with is to set up two lines of cones parallel to each other, separated only by three or four feet. Split your players up into pairs and have them stand behind one of the cones each so they are facing each other.
One player begins with a ball at their feet and the aim of the drill is for the players to aim at their teammate's cone and knock it over. When they miss, their teammate should control the ball before taking their own shot at the opposite cone and when they do knock it down they simply stand it back up and continue the drill. This helps aid accuracy and technique and can be made harder by moving them further away from each other as they improve. You can also introduce a competitive feel to the drill by giving each pair a set time period in which they have to score more hits on the cone than their partner.
Drill No. 2
Another simple yet effective drill is for you to stand in the center of the goal just outside the penalty area and then line your players up either side of you depending on what foot they prefer to use, left footers on the left and right footers on the right.
From here you are going to roll the ball out to the first player who has to run onto it and take a shot at goal. You can continuously alter the pace of the pass, the angle of the shot and the ground they need to cover to reach the ball to keep challenging them and as you notice their skills improve you can make the drill harder by introducing a goalkeeper that they now have to beat.
Drill No. 3
Although this drill is very effective, it can eat up a lot of time in your training session. An additional method of developing your players' shooting skills is to split them up into groups of three and set up a goal out of two cones.
One player starts off as the goalkeeper while the other two take up a position on each side of the goal, one of whom has a ball. The aim is for the first player to try and score past the keeper and then the second player can gather the ball and attempt to score themselves. Make sure that the position of the keeper is regularly swapped between players so that they all get a chance to practice their shooting.
Drill No. 4
Similarly, you can set up two goals using cones and split your players up into pairs giving each pair one ball. They both take up a position in a goal each and the objective for the player who starts with the ball is to score past their partner and vice-versa.
The goals should only be around 10 yards apart as to simulate a realistic distance that players would shoot from during games. They can start off by shooting from a dead ball situation and then practice dribbling towards the goal before shooting as well as receiving the ball from their partner before taking a first time shot on.
All these drills are extremely easy to set up and execute during your training sessions and they all focus on developing and improving your player's shooting accuracy, technique and confidence.
Promoting confidence within players to shoot is essential, because if they don't have the self belief to be able to take a shot on when the opportunity presents itself during a game then that opportunity will be gone and your team will struggle to score. By improving their shooting skills through youth soccer drills and practice, not only will their technique and accuracy improve, but the more they practice the happier they will be about taking every chance they can to shoot and score.
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