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.