Striker tips – How to lose your marker and score

by Pablo M12th Mar 2019

Everyone wants to score goals, but only a few players consistently do. They seem to have that special gift, to be in the right place at the right time every single time. It is not magic, you can actually train this skill. In this post, we share a video from FourFourTwo in where specialist striker coach Allan Russell goes over a few striker tips.

Moving in front of the defender

When you’re creating space, a lot of what you do is your preparation and how you maximize what you do off the ball to then maximize what you do on the ball. You’re looking at the timing of your movement to get in front of defenders. Once you’re in front of a defender, how good you are at controlling the ball dictates the time and space you have to get a finishing angle.

When you are outside the box, if you put yourself in a situation where you are standing between the defender and the origin of where the pass is coming from, the defender can see the ball and can see you. They can then plan their defence and read your movements. Therefore, you want to get yourself out of the defender sightline, by their side but slightly behind them. Look where the passing is coming from and at the right moment, as the pass is coming through, get in front of the defender. Then, with a little bit of movement, you are in a position to shoot.

This way, instead of being in a situation where you’re protecting the ball you are now in a situation where you are at the edge of the box facing the goal instead of back to the goal. There is now a better space and you are facing the defender.

A final tip on positioning. When the defender is looking at the ball, you want to come in and knock them off balance just a little bit. Use your shoulder, but don’t use excessive force or the referee will call foul. As you knock the defender off balance, you get in and receive the ball with more space.


So, you are now facing the defender. How effective can you be in this situation? When you get the ball at your feet, sell a dummy to the defender and push the ball out. Between this touch and the final shot, take a quick look at the goalkeeper. They are going to move based on your movement but the goal doesn’t move. Focus on the goalkeeper and then it is eyes on the ball approach.

Make the first touch count, keep the ball close to you. Control the ball, position your body facing the goal, sell a dummy, and then push the ball out. When you shoot, focus on hitting the corners of the goal and keep your hips straight as you shoot the ball. Keeping hips straight will provide maximum power from your body. Have a look at our training drill on shooting for more details.

When you receive the ball, and you have the space, don’t push out the ball straight away. It is easy for the defender to move one or two steps on each side and block you. You want the defender to come to you or commit to the wrong side. It will be more difficult for the defender to recover.

Have a look at the video below for a better understanding of the striker tips described in this post.