Nothing beats the thrill of scoring a goal.
Sending a screamer past the keeper is one of the most satisfying feelings in sports.
It’s also essential to winning—your team can’t emerge from a match victorious if no one finds the net.
As such, teaching even the youngest level of soccer players basic shootings skills is essential.
This article (and accompanying videos) are intended to help coaches and parents of young soccer players develop basic shooting skills in an appropriate and effective manner.
Even the world’s deadliest goal-scorers had to start by mastering the basics.
Basic Shooting Technique
Youth soccer players often have a nasty habit of either shooting dribblers with very little power or sending the ball soaring well above the crossbar.
Strong, well-aimed shots are a bit of a rarity.
That’s because most youth soccer players haven’t mastered basic shooting technique, which is outlined in this video.
It starts with placing your plant foot about even with the ball.
As you approach the ball, focus on keeping your shoulders and head down and overtop the ball to keep your shot on target. Leaning back on contact will cause the ball to fly.
Strike the ball with your toe down and ankle locked, making contact on the top-inside position of your foot (right about where the laces are located on most cleats).
By ankle locked, I mean your foot is firm and stable through contact as opposed to flimsy.
Allow your body to twist through the ball to generate additional torque and power.
Always aim for a target inside the net, be it real or imaginary.
Practice taking shots with both your left and right feet.
Once you’re confident with a stationary ball, you can have a partner roll you the ball with a short pass so you can work on striking a moving target.
Touch, Roll, Push and Hit
Once a player’s mastered stationary shooting, they need to simulate how they’ll execute the action during games.
Odds are, they won’t be striking a stationary ball.
The Touch, Roll, Push and Hit Drill, as shown in this video, integrates some basic foot skills and helps youth soccer players learn how to shoot on the move.
At the top of the box, set up three cones equidistant apart in a triangle formation. Start with the ball at your feet about 5 yards away from the first cone.
As you approach the first cone, use the outside of one foot to touch the ball either to the left or right.
Next, roll the ball with that same foot to split cones two and three.
Now, use the opposite foot to push the ball out in front of yourself.
Finally, use the same foot you just pushed the ball with to deliver a shot on goal.
Perform 10-14 total reps, taking an equal number of shots with both feet.
Scissors and Shoot Drill
Once a player has mastered shooting on the run, they can add a little flair and deception to the action.
The Scissors and Shoot Drill, as shown in this video, integrates foot skills with shooting on the move.
Set up a cone 10-20 yards in front of the goal.
Begin with the ball at your feet about 6 yards behind the cone, facing the goal.
Dribble toward the cone.
When you’re within a couple yards of the cone, perform a “scissor” or “step-over” move with your left leg. Stay low as you whirl your foot in front of and around the ball.
Once you complete your scissor, plant your left foot and push the ball to your right with the outside of your right foot.
Your next touch will be a right-footed shot on goal.
Perform 10 reps that end with a right-footed shot and 10 reps that end with a left-footed shot.
Start slow and gradually increase our speed as you gain confidence.