There are many different ways of shooting in football. In general, when you are outside the box, you use power in your kick and try to catch the keeper off-guard. On the other hand, when you are inside the box, the goalkeeper expects a shot and is ready to close you down. You need to be more clinical than outside the box. In this post we go over three drills that focus on accuracy inside the box rather than power.
In the top corners of the goal hang a shirt, a jumper or whatever to use as targets. In the goal line put one cone at about 2 meters of each goal post. You won’t be aiming for the cones, you will be aiming between the post and the cone on both sides. If you have pop-up goals, use them instead of cones. These four targets are the hardest places for the keeper to reach. If you don’t have cones or accessories to complete the setup (which you can buy in our shop), just simply use the goal frame as a reference.
For the following drills you don’t need a goalkeeper or defenders. Practice these scenarios on your own to start. When shooting under these conditions becomes second nature, start adding other elements and complexity.
For the first drill set up a cone 5 meters out of the penalty spot. Stand close to the cone with your back to goal and the ball at your feet. Then do a short sharp turn like you are going to breakaway from a defender. We are going to finish aiming at the corners, between the cones and the posts.
Start shooting 15 to 20 times to the bottom corners. Aim for accuracy over anything else. Use the inside surface of your foot, like when you pass the ball to a teammate. Point your standing foot towards where you want the ball to go and just guide it into the corner. Because it is very hard for goalkeepers to reach the bottom corners, most professional players use this technique. They don’t need to blast the ball, they just go for accuracy.
Add more power to your shots as you get more comfortable. Then start working towards the top corners. Use the same technique but lean back a little bit just so you can lift the ball. When you went to the bottom corners, your chest was over the ball to keep it nice and low. Now, you lean back slightly just to get the ball off the ground.
Setup a cone 5 meters away of each goal post towards the sidelines and in line with the penalty spot. We are going to practice coming up to goal from one of the sides after breaking the defense. Take a few steps from near the box line, facing the end of the field and towards the outside of the cone. As soon as you pass the cone, shoot.
Aim for the furthest bottom corner or top corner. This time, instead of using the inside of your foot, you use your laces. Your standing foot should point towards the target. You are looking for the far corner because as you are coming from the side, the keeper usually shifts with you towards your near post and opens up the far corner.
Try to keep your shots low, but keep in mind that you are not passing it into the net this time. You are driving it. Use the laces of your boot. As you get comfortable, start raising the ball a little bit.
Try a couple of top corners, but don’t focus on them too much. Aiming at the top corner from the position you are shooting is unnecessary and risky. If you aim to the top corner from this angle, you are more likely to kick the ball over the post. Besides, it is harder for the goalkeeper to shift his momentum and go low into the far post than stretching up.
You aim to the far corner again but this time bending the ball. The setup is the same as the previous drill, but instead of running facing the end of the field, you run parallel to the goal line coming from the sideline.
Aim at the far corner and bend the ball by wrapping it around the keeper. Instead of just passing the ball with the inside of your foot, you kick it with a curling effect. Start to raise the ball a little bit as well. The perfect shot would be right just beside the post.
The drills above can be practiced on your own as shown in Michael’s video below. As your shooting skills improve, it is a good idea to introduce team mates into these drills. Have a partner feeding you the ball like in the second video, train with a goalkeeper, train with a partner acting as a defender or a combination of the aforementioned.
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