Finishing school

We all spend time teaching our players how to shoot but most of us don’t spend much time teaching them how to finish.

This is a shame because young goalkeepers quite often spill the ball and a quick-thinking player who follows his team’s shots will often reap rewards.

Tip: following up on shots is a basic skill that all players need to learn, not just your forwards.

The Finishing School soccer drill will help reinforce this behaviour.

How to play: Play a small-sided game and put a coach or parent in goal who is instructed to parry or drop the ball whenever a shot comes in.

Key coaching note: Don’t use your regular goalkeepers for this: you don’t want them to get into bad habits!

This soccer drill encourages players to follow up on their shots and defenders to run back with them.

Variation: Play soccer with regular goalkeepers but goals only count if the player who shoots enters the goal and touches the back of the net in less than three seconds after the ball has crossed the line. If he doesn’t, the goal is disallowed.