Technical – Tactical Shooting Drills

My favorite Technical and Tactical Soccer Shooting Drills:

Soccer technical training refers to a practice that improves a player’s ability to perform specific mechanical movements such as passing and receiving, dribbling and shooting the ball.  The mark of an experienced player is smooth, efficient motion and the ability to elegantly transition between different soccer techniques and moves.  Shooting technique should be perfected prior to adding these tactical situations.  Tactics can apply either to defensive or attacking formations and methods of play. The following drills combine practicing and reinforcing good shooting technique and small group tactical training. 

Technical and Tactical Soccer Shooting Drill #1

In this first drill Blue Player 1 checks to the ball and receives a pass from Red Player 1. As Red Player 1 plays the ball forward he breaks wide to the opposite side of Player 1 to receive a return pass from Blue Player 1 for a first time shot. 


Technical and Tactical Soccer Shooting Drill #2

The follow-up to the previous drill involves Player 3 checking back to Player 1 and receiving a pass. Player 1 plays the ball forward he breaks wide to receive a return pass as in previous drill. In this iteration, Player 3 breaks away wide from Player 1 to receive a return pass from Player 1. Note that the return pass to Player 3 should be played slightly in front of him allowing him to take one or two steps towards the goal prior to taking the shot. The key to getting a good shot is a properly weighted and well placed pass. Player 3 should not be forced to make adjustments to the direction or speed of his run prior to receiving the pass.


Technical and Tactical Soccer Shooting Drill #3

In this next drill Red Player 1 clears the space to the right of Blue Player 1. Blue Player 1 dribbles into the space vacated by Red Player 1, and then passes to Red Player 1 for a first time shot. Defenders typically follow the movement of the ball. The movement to the right of Blue Player 1 may draw defenders towards him, and away from the run of Red Player 1. Note that the return pass to Player 3 should be played slightly in front of him allowing him to take one or two steps towards the goal prior to taking the shot. As stated above, The key to getting a good shot is a properly weighted and well placed pass. Red Player 1 should not be forced to make adjustments to the direction or speed of his run prior to receiving the pass.


Technical and Tactical Soccer Shooting Drill #4

In this next drill Blue Player 2 is dribbling at an angle towards the goal. This movement provides time for trailing players to support the player in possession of the ball. In the drill the movement of Blue Player 2 is from left to right. Red Player 2 balances the movement of Blue Player 2 with an overlapping run from right to left. As with the previous drills the movement to the right of Blue Player 2 may draw defenders towards him to the right side of the goal, and away from the run of Red Player 2. Note that the return pass to Red Player 2 should be played slightly in front of him allowing him to take one or two steps towards the goal prior to taking the shot. As stated above, The key to getting a good shot is a properly weighted and well placed pass. Red Player 2 should not be forced to make adjustments to the direction or speed of his run prior to receiving the pass.

 

Technical and Tactical Soccer Shooting Drill #5

The follow-up to the previous drill involves Player 2 checking into space ahead of him for a pass from Player 1. Red Defender 1 closes down Player 2 as he turns to face the goal. During this process Blue Player 1 makes a hard run behind Player 2 and who verbally demands a pass from Player 2. This may draw the attention of the defender. Blue Player 2 takes advantage of the possible momentary distraction of the run of Blue Player 1, and fakes a pass to Player 1. Player 2 then dribbles in the opposite direction of the run made by Player 1, and dribbles to goal.

 

Technical and Tactical Soccer Shooting Drill #6

This next video demonstrate one method of creating onside space prior to making a run to goal for a pass. Player 2 makes a supporting run towards the Player 1 who is in possession of the ball. This bending run creates about a yard or two of space that Player 2 can later exploit. The run of Player 2 also provides important information as to the speed and direction of Player 2, and gives him some time to make a pass before Player 2 runs offside. Player 1 use the information from watching the run of Player 2 to make a properly weighted pass alongside of Player 2 as he cuts towards the goal, allowing Player 2 to protect the ball. The key concept here is that since Player 2’s initial movement was towards the ball, he now has created some time and space to cut towards the goal at speed without running off side prior to the pass from Player 1.


Technical and Tactical Soccer Shooting Drill #7

This next drill is a follow-up to the previous drill. In this drill Player 2 makes the same bending run towards the ball. As Player 1 plays the ball forward to Player 2, he trails the play slightly to the inside – opposite direction of the movement of Player 2. If Player 2 determines the Defender is preventing a shot on goal, he can lay the ball off to the trailing player for a shot. This drill can be run simultaneously with the previous drill. Player 2 must determine if he can take a shot or he needs to pass to a trailing player. He must evaluate the position of the defender and the timing and pace of the pass to him and choose the best option to score a goal.


Technical and Tactical Soccer Shooting Drill #8

In this next drill Player 1 plays a pass to Player 2. Player 2 protects the ball from the defender by dribbling laterally from right to left across the goal. Player 1 balances the movement of Player 2 with a run to the space created by the movement of Player 2. Player 2 fakes a pass to Player 1, and continues to dribble to the goal. Player 2 has the option of keeping the ball or passing to Player 1. Player 2 bases his decision to pass or keep possession based upon the movement of the defender. In all these drills there are always more than one option.

 

Technical and Tactical Soccer Shooting Drill #9

This next Technical-Tactical drill involves a takeover to create some time and space for the ball in possession of the ball to take a shot on goal. Teams should practice takeovers prior to going to goal. The key to a successful takeover is that the player in possession of the ball MUST remain goal side of the supporting player. The player in possession of the ball decides whether or not he will lay the ball off to the supporting player or he will keep the ball. The supporting player should never attempt to take the ball away from the player in possession of the ball. In the video, Player 1 passes the ball to Player 2. Player 2 dribbles in the direction of the supporting player. The supporting player decides to support Player 2 by making a close run to the outside of Player 2. Based on the position and movement of the defenders, Player 2 decides whether or not to lay the ball off to Player 1 or fake a pass and keep the ball. In either case, both players should accelerate away from each other after they pass each other. Player 2 always maintains the option to pass the ball to Player 1 following the take over attempt.

 

Technical and Tactical Soccer Shooting Drill #10

In the following Technical-Tactical drill Blue Player 2 is supporting Player 1 in possession of the ball, and is being tightly marked by a defender. Player 2 fakes a run wide to the near side of the pitch, and then makes a bending run to the inside of the marking defender. The speed and direction of Player 2 provides important information to Player 1. Player 1 uses this information to give the proper weight to the pass so that the speed of the pass matches the speed and direction of the run.  The run to the inside of the marking defender allows the Player 2 to protect the ball by allowing him to position his body between the ball and the marking defender. Player 2 maintains the option of returning a pass to Player 1 as he breaks wide to the right of Player 2 if he is unable to take a shot.

 

Technical and Tactical Soccer Shooting Drill #11

In the following Technical-Tactical drill Blue Player 1 is supporting Player 2 in possession of the ball, and is being tightly marked by defender 1 in red. Player 1 creates some space for Player 2 by making a hard run laterally across the goal. Player 2 briefly dribbles away from the space created by the run of Player 1, and then dribbles to the space vacated by the run of Player 1.  When player 2 is closed down by defender Player 2, Blue Player 1 makes a quick cut to the inside of defender 1 to receive and pass from Player 2. Player 1 returns the pass behind the marking defender to complete the give and go. Note the give and go passes must be one touch. Limitations of the animation software make the creation of combination plays difficult to produce at the speed they need to be executed to be successful and avoiding offside situations. The key concept is the movement of the players to the inside of marking defenders. The timing is critical. If the final short run of Player 1 to the inside of defender 1 is too early, the pass will likely be intercepted. The short run to provide support to Player 2 must be done just before the pass of Player 2 is executed. Ideally, Player 1 should receive the pass for the give and go as he is still moving to the inside of defender 2.  Note as well the run to the inside of defender 2 prevents the defender recovering back to the goal to intercept the pass. Because Player 2 has run to the inside of defender 2, he can protect the ball while taking the shot.

 

My eBook details numerous additional passing and dribbling options for the player in possession of the ball based upon his movement and or the movement of teammates. My Soccer Blog will feature the drills I have used to train Strikers.