Once the Striker has perfected his shooting mechanics with a stationary ball and rolling ball, the level of difficultly needs to be increased. I’ve trained Strikers separately from other players. To hone a Strikers shooting technique I’ve created a series of shooting drills that will be displayed in my Striker Shooting Drills Blog series. The following video demonstrates one of my Striker Training Shooting Drills I have utilized for many seasons. Ideally, Strikers should take no less than 100 quality shots per training session, with a minimal lag time between shooting repetitions.
This third technical shooting drill for Strikers emphasizes two important components. The first component is a change in speed, and the second is a change in direction. Both of these are incorporated into this drill. Blue Players 3 and 4 are the Strikers in this drill. Blue Players 1 and 2 are target players, and Red Players 1,2,3 and 4 are Defenders. In the first instance, the server plays a pass to the feet of Blue Player 3, who dribbles to goal. Blue Player 3 is challenged by Red Player 3. The limitations of the animation software cannot accurately demonstrate the next events. Blue Player 3 makes a quick hard pass to the Blue target player 1. As he is making the pass he is changing his speed and direction. Player 3 needs to dramatically increase his speed to a sprint as he plays the ball past Defender 3 and runs to the inside of the Defender to goal. Player 1 reads the speed and direction of Player 3, and lays the ball back in front of Player 3 who takes a first time shot on goal. The target player who receives the ball will need to reduce the pace of the return pass somewhat to the Striker for the shot, and use his body to prevent Defender 1 from challenging the Striker. In the second instance of this drill the near side Blue Striker 2 receives a pass from the server who then dribbles to goal. Blue Player 4 is challenged by Red Player 4. As with the previous left side instance of this drill, as the Striker is making the pass he is changing his speed and direction. Player 3 needs to dramatically increase his speed to a sprint as he plays the ball past Defender 3 and then runs to the inside of the Defender. Player 2 reads the speed and direction of Player 4, and lays the ball back in front of Player 4 who takes a first time shot on goal. Blue Player 2 needs to shield Defender 2 from challenging the shot.
Unfortunately, I cannot animate another important component of this drill. The player in possession of the ball should be observing the feet of the challenging Defender. Ideally, the pass the Striker makes to the target player for the wall pass should be made past the foot the Defender is standing on. As the Defender moves to challenge the Striker he will momentarily alternate placing his weight on one foot or the other. The best opportunity to play a ball past a Defender is when he places all of his weight on one foot. The ball can be played within inches the foot the Defender is standing upon, and there is nothing the Defender can do to intercept the pass. See my Soccer Coaching eBook for demonstrations of this technique by professional players.