Shooting with training defender

Shooting with defender

Shooting with defender


Set up and area 15x30yrds with 2 full size soccer goals. Balls are positioned next to the posts of the goals. R1 and R2 represent rebound players positioned on the sides.


The GK feeds a bal to one side or the other using either feet or hands, The player on the other side becomes a recovering (trailing) defender. On the first touch of the attacking player a player on the opposite side to which the ball was played enters the field to finish possible rebounds.




Good driven shooting technique (Knee & Shoulder over ball, non-kicking foot, etc.)
Correct technique for each attempt on goal.
Hit the target (force a save from the goal keeper).
Shots should be low and hard.
Side foot (in-step finish) on close range shots.
Finish at game speed.
Player entering field should be looking for rebounds.


2 Touch finishes.
1 Touch finishes.
Require one foot finishing (i.e. left or right).


Make sure the GK’s have a good supply of balls and distribute quickly after a shot is taken. This ensures everyone gets a lot of shots in. Shooting soccer drills should be fun and challenge the goal keeper. Shooting is one of the most valued skills in football and should be practiced often!

Shooting gallery



Skill: receiving and shooting

Number Of Players Required: Full U6 – U10 team

Equipment: 10 or more cones to mark grid, a lot of soccer balls (at least 2 per player).

Grid Requirement: 15 X 20 yard grid

Organization: Create a 15 X 20 yard grid marked with cones. Mark two goals with cones on each goal line. The coach will be located on the opposite touch line from the players with a good supply of soccer balls.

How The Game Is Played: The coach will call the name of the first player in line, when the name is called the player will run between the near 2 cones, receive a pass from the coach so the player can shoot on goal and return to end of the line.

Variations: Coach and players will switch sides. Players should try to one touch the shot on goal. Have players use their left and right foot.

Shooting from square passes

Shooting from square passes

A soccer coaching game from Manchester United youth coach, David Williams.

David Williams has extensive coaching experience and credentials including coaching in the English Premier League and at the National team level. Prior to joining Manchester United, Williams was the Assistant Manager/First Team Coach at Leeds United, Norwich City and Everton of the English Premier League and the Assistant Manager of the Welsh National Team.

Shooting from square passesMost shooting sessions are set up where the player moves forward onto the football to shoot at goal. It is important that players receive practice at shooting where they receive the ball from different angles. This shooting practice involves receiving the ball from square passes and shooting on the second touch.

Organise two full-size goals with goalkeepers that are 36 yards apart (two penalty areas). Two shooters are in the middle of the field, one shooting to goal one and the other to goal two. They each face a line of players on the centre line who have a ball each.

Player 2 receives a pass from the first player in line 1. He has to receive and shoot using only his right foot and in one or two touches. At the same time the other shooter does the same. Both shooters then join the back of their line and are replaced by the passer.

Reverse the practice with the player facing line 1 shooting to goal two and the other shooter shooting to goal one. They will then have to control and shoot the ball with their left foot.

Coaching Point

Remember, the players are only 18-20 yards from goal, so encourage a short, quick first touch as this will be required in game situations close to a crowded penalty area.


This time the shooters have their backs to goal (side-on to the passer). The shooter allows the ball to go across his body to be controlled with his right foot and shoot with his left foot.

Coaching Point

The shots could either be curled toward the far post or hit hard and low toward the near post as shown in the diagram.

Run, shoot, run, shoot

run, shoot, run, shoot

run, shoot, run, shootObjectives:

Work on shooting while continuously running.

Setup and Procedure: Goalkeeper, passer at 20 yards out from goal to side, shooter 30-35 yards out from goal at cone. 8-10 balls with passer and on whistle the passer delivers a ball from side for shooter to hit first time.

Shooter than runs back around the cone shoots next ball. Continue with all balls.

This is good shooting practice because often you must shoot the ball when your legs are tired or you’re winded. Good for conditioning. Players switch places after shooter is done.

Soccer coaching tip: Switch the side that the pass is delivered to so as to work on opposite foot. For a variation, place another cone at 20 yard spot and have the shooter control, make a move, and then shoot.

Run, pass and shoot!

Run, pass and shoot

Run, pass and shoot

Summary: a fast, competitive and fun way to practice passing, receiving and shooting.

Age group: suitable for all ages.

Playing ..

Split players into 2 even teams … give each team a name…and set up 2 small, coned goals and 1 cone 10-12 yards away from the goal.

Set up a line of cones 5-10 yards to the side of each goal (the older the players, the further the distance)

Line up teams next to a goal, each player with a ball and each team positions a player outside the line of cones.

When the coach blows the whistle, the first player from each line dribbles to and around their cone and then passes the ball to his/her teammate who then returns the pass to his/her teammate for a shot on goal.

The first player to shoot the ball into the net gets a point for his/her team.

Play until one of the players scores a goal, so if both players miss the net, they chase down their ball and try to kick the ball into the net first. (Players should not give up until a goal is scored.)

Weak passes from the dribbling player must be dribbled by his/her sideline teammate behind the line of cones and then passed to his/her teammate for an easy shot on goal. (Passes must be made behind the line of cones to penalize weak passes from the dribbling player).

Coaching Points

  • Players should dribble at speed toward the cone keeping close control of the ball.
  • Return pass should be targeted in front of oncoming teammates for an easy shot on goal.
  • Oncoming players should quickly shoot after receiving the return pass.
  • Coaches must keep the lines moving so after a players has scored, blow the whistle to start the next 2 players.
  • If there are a lot of players, split them into 3 groups.
  • Encourage cheering for teammates.

Competition, Variations & Restrictions:

Play games to 7, losing team does 5 jumping jacks.

Move the line of cones further away from the goal as the players become better passers.

Restrict the side players to one touch soccer.

Passing and shooting

One of the keys elements of finishing in soccer 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.”

Moving goal

Moving goal

Moving goal

A soccer warm up or main drill designed to improve decision making, shooting and vision

Two equal teams. Select two players to become the “moving goal”. These players take the ends of a pole, rope or towel and stretch it out as they move around the space. The other players play a game trying to score in the moving goal.

Coaching Points:

Players should look at the football during shooting motion.

Strike the ball with the instep (laces) with toe pointing down and ankle locked. This will give the players a firm hitting surface.

Hips should face the goal.

Try These Variations:

  • Add two balls.
  • Add a second goal. With more goals, players will get more shooting chances and must play with their eyes off the ball. This will present more complex decision making.


One of my favourite shooting/finishing drills was given to me by Franklin Lawson during a soccer camp he did in Anchorage several years ago. It is referred to as the “Mac Daddy of all shooting drills” shortened to Mac Daddy drill.

Setup: Divide up the team into 2 even teams. Team one lines up about six yards outside the left goal post. Team 2 lines up about 6 yards outside the right goal post. Place a cone somewhere around the 18 yard mark roughly even with the left post. Coach has a supply of balls (around 5) at his feet.

Game: On coaches signal the first player on team 1 makes a bending run from the end line around the cone on the 18. Also on the signal the first player on team 2 makes a run behind the goal, around the left post and enters the goal area to be the goalie. As the player from team 1 rounds the cone and starts toward goal the coach plays a football and the player takes a 1st touch shot. As soon as the shot is taken the next player on each team starts their run so we end up with a new goalie and a new shooter taking a 1st touch shot.

Play for a period of time keeping track of shots scored. Game ends when time expires OR coach runs out of soccer balls to play to the shooter. This means that if you shank a shot or kick it over the goal you have to chase down your ball and get it back to the coach in a hurry. I also allow the keeper to punt the ball out if they make a save. The teams quickly get competitive and remember if someone sent their ball flying.

While this sounds like a line drill after the first 20 seconds it becomes a conditioning exercise as everyone is chasing down misplayed balls and getting back in line. There needs to be some communication as a player may need to send a long pass to get a ball back ready to play. This requires a teammate to get ready to receive the ball and get it to the coach.

At the end of time the 2 teams switch roles and team 2 gets to shoot while team one defends. I usually run it from both sides to simulate right side and left side runs. Hopefully encourage left foot and right foot shots. I can vary where I serve the balls from to simulate other option. I also vary the cone placement and distance for age of team.

This is the favourite end of practice for my U11 girls team.