Defend the goal – Have fun with this shooting drill

by Pablo M29th Apr 2020

Drill created with Tactics Manager

Often when the goalkeeper is beaten, defenders must rush to defend the goal. This post describes a fun drill that simulates this scenario


This drill requires you to have access to a full-size goal and a good number of balls (at least 1 per attacking player). If you can’t use an actual football field to practice, you will need cones and poles to mark the pitch.

Ideally, you want to practice this drill with a minimum of 6 players. Divide your players into two teams: shooting players and defending players. Position the defending players in line at the corner flag and the attacking players at the corner of the edge of the box. Attacking players should have 1 ball each. Have a look at the diagram above for more details.

 If you struggle with numbers, you can play this game with as few as 2 players. On the other hand, you don’t want to have too many players waiting in line. You want everyone moving constantly.


This is a simple shooting and defending game.

  • The game starts when the first attacking player touches the ball and runs towards the shooting mark.
  • As soon as a striker starts running, a defending player must run into the goal to defend the shot.
  • Defenders cannot use their hands or run towards the attacking players, and they must remain in the goal area (one or two steps from the goal line).
  • The attacking players can only shoot once they get around the mark outside the penalty area.
  • Attackers are allowed only “one touch” after passing the mark to shoot.
  • If you have a limited number of balls, attackers are expected to retrieve their ball after they shoot.

Use a time limit for each shooting round to maintain intensity and everyone running. After a few shooting rounds, swap players’ roles. The team that scores more goals wins. 


While emphasising defence, this game also helps players improve their shooting accuracy and power. Key skills that this game targets include:

  • Timing when clearing the ball
  • Using the whole body (except arms and hands) to protect the goal
  • Keeping eyes open
  • Kicking technique to clear the ball
  • Heading technique to clear the ball
  • Shooting accuracy