Soccer Shooting Overview
Why is soccer shooting so important? Let’s just make this point right up front….the goal of soccer is to score goals! In order the score goals you need to SHOOT! Sounds basic right? Well it is amazing how quickly players and coaches get all bogged down with all the other parts of the game, defending, possession, set plays, tactics, substitutions, conditioning etc. They often forget that the game is all about sticking the ball in the back of the net!
My advice is to make sure that at least 60% of a practice is devoted to soccer shooting. This drastically improves the odds of scoring goals in games, the players enjoy it and if done right it can also be a tremendous way of conditioning players.
Here are some stats from “The Winning Formula” written by Charles Hughes:
At the highest level of soccer the average number of shots per game is 13 and one goal is scored for every seven attempts.
Ten shots on target in a game gives an 86% chance of winning that game.
So focus on taking shots at every available opportunity. As my dad always used to say, “You’ll not win the raffle if you don’t buy a ticket.” Same with soccer shooting , you will never score a goal from the shot you didn’t take. All too often a player does take a shot and it misses the target. He is then greeted with criticism, so the next time he has a chance to shoot he doesn’t due to fear of failure. That’s no way to play the game! Get out there and shoot!
There are lots of ways of soccer shooting, from the 35 yard thunderbolt right through to the tap in with your knee right on the goal line. It doesn’t matter how the ball crosses the goal line, it still counts for one goal.
Many players miss opportunities to shoot because of a lack of vision, in that they are so focused on the ball they fail to see the scoring opportunity in front of them. Players miss scoring opportunities due to lack of speed because they are focusing on their technique instead of hunting down opportunities to pounce.
There are some patterns of play that can be studied and learned by players so that they increase their chances of “being in the right place at the right time” when it comes to goalscoring opportunities. Sometimes there is some luck involved, but more often than not, the striker has read the unfolding situation and responded accordingly and then mysteriously finds the ball a the feet for an easy scoring opportunity.
The next time you watch a game, try not to just follow the ball, try to look at the strikers movement before he/she received the ball. What did they do to earn themselves that opportunity? Watch Robin Van Persie and Chicharito from Manchester United. More than just soccer shooting practice, both incredible goal scorers who uncannily show up in exactly the right place at the right time to score a goal.
So, enjoy burying the ball in the back of the net. If you are criticized for being too “greedy” or for “not passing enough” or for “not being a team player” ignore them. Focus on your craft, enjoy scoring goals and do everything you can to master this part of the game. It can feed you for life!
Types of Shots
This type of shot can generate lots of power and when done properly, can send the ball flying right into the back of the net. The instep shot is used mostly when there is some distance between you and the goal.
The placement shot is used for a more accurate shot. There is less power in this type soccer shooting then the instep but the accuracy is greater and you have more chance of hitting the target. Players tend to favour this shot then they are closer to goal or inside the 18 yard box.
A Volley is one of the hardest soccer shooting techniques to pull off. But when done correctly, can be unstoppable. This is done when the ball is in the air and before it hits the ground, you strike the ball with the instep of your foot. this can often catch the opposition off gaurd and can produce a wonder goal you will never forget.
A chip shot is a type of shot that is looped over the keeper. Great to use when the keeper is off their line or when the keeper charges at you in a 1 on 1 situation. Make sure give this one plenty of attention when doing soccer shooting practice, as sometime too much time is spent just trying to hit the ball as hard as possible and not developing the delicate touch required for the chip shot.
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times, keep track of the goalkeepers position at all times.
- Go for accuracy rather than power, missing the goal altogether is worse then it being saved
- Lean your shoulders over the ball to keep it low.
- Concentrate and think about nothing but the goal
- Never hesitate, don’t think about it, just do it!
remember, good strikers will always think about going for goal. If you never take chances and shoot, you will not be able to score. Click here to check out a great shot by Fernando Torres, a spanish soccer player who is currently playing for Liverpool in the Premier League.