Shooting practice

Objective: To practice shooting and goalkeeping skills.

Age group: U6s and upwards.

Number of players: Nine (but can easily be adapted for larger numbers).

Set-up: Create a 30×20 yards playing area with a goal on the centre line.

Divide your squad into two teams of four plus a goalkeeper.

Teams stand at each end of the playing area. The goalkeeper stands in the goal.

Note: This game does involve children standing in lines but it’s very fast moving so there shouldn’t be a problem providing you keep the lines short.

How to play:

First, discuss shooting technique.

Ask your players if the goalkeeper would find it easier to save a shot directed at the corners of the goal or the centre. Talk about power v accuracy.

1. Stand on on the centre line and serve a ball for each player in turn to control, then shoot. Vary the serves so the ball goes across the player, away from her and towards her. Also serve the ball so that it goes to either side of the player, play hard passes and serve a bouncing ball.

2. Now give each player a ball. The first player on team A takes one touch to push the ball in front of him then shoots. If the keeper saves the ball, she returns it to the player. If the shooter misses or scores, she retrieves the ball. As soon as the first shot has been dealt with, the keeper turns to face the other team and the process is repeated.

Coaching notes:

Make the game competitive. The team scoring most goals with X number of shots wins.

Watch your players’ first touch (do they push the ball out of their feet?) and shooting technique (head over the ball, non-striking foot next to the ball, good follow-through) and do they use the correct surface (instep (laces) or side of foot).

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