Improve your team’s shooting accuracy!
soccer coaching drill – shooting
EQUIPMENT: 2 footballs, 2 cones, 1 tarp and bungee cords or rope
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: Whole team
After watching two games in a row where my team shot over and over directly to the opponent’s goalkeeper, I decided that I needed to do something drastic to change their thought process about shooting. Although I had told them many times in practice that they needed to shoot for the low corners as a general rule, they just didn’t get what I was trying to emphasise. In frustration at our last game, I joked to the assistant coach, “I’m going to cover up the middle of the goal with a tarp next practice – let’s see how they like that!” But then I thought, “Hey – that’s not a bad idea…”
SETUP: I arranged the old tent tarp to cover up the centre 1/3 of the goal, covering it from top to bottom. The tarp has nice grommet holes in it to lace your rope over the goal, or to attach the bungee cords to. I put the equipment bag on the bottom (inside the goal) of the tarp to keep it from blowing in the breeze.
I placed a football in each side area on top of a cone. You don’t really need the cones, but the kids get a kick out of knocking things down versus just hitting them.
I talked to the kids and explained that the giant blue tarp represented the area where the goalkeeper would easily save a shot, and the basketballs were the nearly perfect areas to shoot at. In order to hit the balls, you have to “aim small, miss small”. You can’t just “kick the ball at the goal” which is what I think we were doing in the past. You have to accurately select your target, and aim right for it!
1: Any shot in the goal not hitting the target ball
2: Knocking the ball off the cone
-1: Hitting the tarp (Negative one point)
I ran my entire practice around this silly tarp, and it was awesome! The first few minutes there were a lot of shots into the tarp, but by the end of our hour together, I would estimate that 1 in 10 were hitting the tarp, and about 1 in 5 were knocking a ball off of its cone!
You can turn almost any drill into this game, and I rewarded the kids as teams or as individuals when they had high scores after each section. Then we would start over the scoring again for the next time.
DRIBBLING: We dribbled through cones, ending with coming around a cone for the shot. Worked left and right sides. You can make your own dribbling games end with a shot this way.
SHOOTING: We worked around the perimeter of the penalty area (vary by age) shooting from multiple spots right after one another to keep it lively and minimal standing around.
Steal the Bacon works great here. Count off your team into two equal groups. Each group should have a “Player 1”, a “Player 2”, et cetera. It’s best if both of the same number kids are similar in skills and size. Line up each team on their own side of the penalty area line to start. The coach throws up a ball in the middle (about at the penalty spot) and calls out a single number (or sets of numbers as you want to increase intensity). The players with the number called race to the ball to control it, shield off the other player, and take a shot. Keep score for each side. Coaches can help to influence the game a little with “errant” throws that may benefit a slower player. Creative cheating from the coach! We always finish with a tie score and *all* of the numbers get called for the final ball.
War: Split the team into 2 groups. Players take shots from the penalty mark. If they hit the tarp, they go to the end of the other line (the other team). If they make it, they go to the end of their own line. If they knock off a basketball, the last player in the opponents line goes to the end of their line.