Long shot drill – Score from outside the penalty box

by Pablo M13th Nov 2020

Scoring by playing a possession game can be futile if the opposing defence is unbreakable. This long shot drill will help improve your chances of scoring from long distance to open up difficult games.


You need approximately half of an actual football pitch, cones to mark the zones and 2 full-sized goals that you can move to fit the size of the field. Mark two zones with a goal each as shown in the picture. If you can’t move your goals, you can use cones, agility poles or this convenient portable goal.

This drill is designed to be practised with 10 players: 6 defenders, 2 strikers and 2 goalkeepers. However, you can practice the drill with as few as 5 players: 2 defenders, 2 strikers and 1 goalkeeper. The pictures and video in this post use the 10 players configuration: 1 goalkeeper per zone, 3 defenders in each zone and 1 striker in each zone.


The drill is simple, attackers try to score and defenders attempt to block the shots. One striker attempts to score from a long distance while the other waits for a rebound or deflection to score. In addition to the basic football rules, follow these instructions:

  • Players must stay in their zones.
  • To start the goalkeeper passes the ball to the striker in his zone.
  • The receiving striker can’t pass the ball or move to the next zone. The only actions allowed are shooting from a long distance or dribbling to find a space to shoot.
  • The second striker can also score, but only from a rebound or a deflection.
  • Defenders stop the attack by controlling the ball or kicking the ball out.
  • A ball is considered controlled by the defence when a defender has touched the ball three consecutive times. If a defender blocks the ball but it bounces straight back to an attacking player, the attacking player can continue the attack.
  • Sliding tackles are not allowed.
  • If the ball is recovered by the defenders, goes out or is controlled by the goalkeeper, the second striker gets a turn to attempt long shots.

You can add variations to this exercise. For example, you can make it a competition between strikers: the first striker to score x number of goals wins. You could also rotate players every time a goal is scored. This way everyone has a chance at practising long shots.

If the instructions are not clear for you, have a look at the images and video below.

Goalkeeper passes the ball to the striker in his zone.
Striker takes a long distance shot.
Second striker takes rebound


This drill fulfils two purposes: improves the chances of your team scoring from long shots and prepares your defence to stop them. This exercise will improve:

  • Taking chances quickly. A problem with many players and teams is that they try to score from a short distance, preferably by tapping the ball in. This approach can be useful in futsal, but it is wasteful in the 11 aside version of the game. This drill encourages players to incorporate long-distance shooting in their game.
  • Shooting accuracy. Long-distance shooting is pointless if the shots miss the target completely. Not every shot needs to be a goal, but at the very least they should provide a second chance at goal, either from a rebound or by generating a corner kick.
  • Timing and reaction. Once a striker shoots from long distance, the second striker must be ready to score from a deflection or rebound. Defenders should also be ready to block second chances at goal.
  • Defending close to the goal. Not allowing sliding tackles forces defenders to be patient and keep their position. Defenders practice how to recover the ball avoiding reckless defending.
  • Goalkeeping. This is a great drill for goalkeepers. They practice saving long shots while controlling the ball as much as possible to avoid second chances.

I hope you find this drill useful. If you like this post, please share it with your friends. If you know other exercises or have any questions, leave a comment below.