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6 Essential Soccer Shooting Drills for Finishing

March 15, 2013 | Davie Carmichael

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Creating familiarity with a variety of finishing techniques and game situations is important for the success of soccer athletes. By developing their instincts through soccer shooting drills, we mold their mentality to take advantage of scoring opportunities whenever they present themselves. (See Essential Drills For Soccer Players.)

Why Soccer Shooting Drills for Finishing Are Important

Training goal scoring is often associated with shooting. However, effective and consistent soccer finishing involves more than just shooting toward a target. Becoming an effective and clinical finisher requires a player to master numerous skills in the art of goal scoring—skills that guarantee that the player will consistently hit the back of the net. There isn't just one component or skill that makes an effective goal scorer; it is a combination of ingredients.

Ingredients of a clinical finisher and soccer finishing drills

Quick Decision-Making and Instinct

Some goal scoring opportunities present themselves for only fractions of a second. Goal scorers do not dwell on these chances. They react purposefully and immediately to capitalize before a defender reacts to clear the danger.

Quick Decision and Instinct Finishing Drill

Shooting Accuracy, Control and Direction

No two goal-scoring situations are exactly the same, so scorers must always be conscious of where the target is and how to hit it with precision. These skills can be developed through target practices and drills, technique execution training and technique coaching analysis. If certain goal scoring techniques are wrong, they need to be modified to ensure the highest probability of the ball ending up where the player intended.

Heads and Tails Finishing Drills 

Creative Movement

Inventive movement on and off the ball allows goal scorers to be in the right place at the right time. Well-timed and intelligent movement that loses a defender opens up more space and time for a player to execute the finish. The most dangerous goal scorers are closely monitored be defenders to neutralize their threat and goal scoring potential. Creative movement and correct timing of runs allows players shake off defensive pressure and free themselves in danger zones.

Crossing and Finishing Drill

Composure and Clear Thinking Under Pressure

When a defender is breathing down your neck, it's easy to lose your poise. It is important for goal scorers to become accustomed to and comfortable with this pressure and remain calm. The most composed finishers display a cuteness and deception in front of goal and seem to guide the ball into the net effortlessly. Finishing drills that also work on defensive setups are great for developing composure and creating pressure in goal scoring situations.

1v1 Attacking

Vision, Awareness and Understanding of Goal Scoring Opportunities

The best finishers do not score goals by chance or by luck. They read the defense, see the game in advance and are cerebral about how the play will open up to create a chance. Natural goal scorers are intuitive. They envision chances and are always aware of their surroundings, understand their opponent's weaknesses and know where the goal is in relation to the ball and their own position.

Shots and Blocks Finishing Drill

Confidence in Front of Goal

Confidence in finishing is built by scoring goals. To build goal-scoring confidence, players must become familiar with putting the ball in the back of the net. Creating this familiarity can be done through repetitive and progressive finishing drills that start with a simple finish then add defenders and more components of play.

Progressive Finishing Drill

Willingness and Goal Scoring Mentality

Players who want to score goals often have a willingness to get themselves into tough areas and do whatever it takes to finish. They are tough competitors and have a killer instinct when their moment to score arrives. They train to score goals at every practice. This mentality can be coached and developed through competitive team finishing drills.

David Carmichael
- David Carmichael is the head coach of the men's STORM soccer program at Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio. A native of Scotland, he earned...
David Carmichael
- David Carmichael is the head coach of the men's STORM soccer program at Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio. A native of Scotland, he earned...
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