Goal are typically hard to come by in soccer so its important for players to learn the proper techniques for kicking the ball at the net, known as finishing a play. In game situations, soccer players will sometimes kick a stationary ball -- during a free kick, for example. At other times they will kick a smoothly rolling ball courtesy of a teammate's pass or a bouncing ball that's rebounded of the goalkeeper or a defender. Practicing all of these kicks and doing so from different points on the field helps you put the ball in the net during actual play.
Items you will need
- Soccer balls
- Flags or similar markers
- 4 cones
Step : 1
Set 10 to 12 balls on the ground at a variety of distances and angles relative to the net. Have a player move from ball to ball, kicking each into the net. The player should take time to set himself before each shot, as he would with a free kick. Observe the player’s shooting form and make corrections as necessary.
Step : 2
Place six balls about evenly spaced around the outside of the penalty area. Set three cones in a line, evenly spaced about 12 to 18 yards past the top of the box, with the two outermost cones lined up with the sides of the penalty area. Position a player behind each cone, then have a player or coach hold each ball. The player on the far left cone begins the drill by running toward the top of the box while a ball is rolled at the penalty mark. The player kicks the rolling ball into the next, using the foot closest to the ball. The player then moves behind the second cone as the next player in line takes his shot. Players continue changing cones after each shot. Alternatively, simply have one player dribble toward the net with a second player running to the right or left. The first player passes to the second, who kicks the rolling ball into the net.
Step : 3
Position four cones in a rectangle outside the top boundary of the penalty area. Place two cones near the boundary and toward the sides. Set the second cones straight back from the first two, leaving enough space for a player to dribble through the cones on the same side of the penalty area. Place a ball just to the left of the cone on the left side that’s farthest from the box. Have a player dribble between the cones and bend the ball into the far side of the net, using the inside of his right instep to strike the outside of the ball. The second player dribbles through the two cones on the right and uses the outside part of his right instep to kick the outer portion of the ball and bend it into the net. Players should kick from both sides and with both feet during the drill.
Step : 4
Position one player by the top of the penalty area and a second player several yards farther toward midfield. The second player tosses the ball toward the penalty area, over the first player’s head. After the ball bounces, the first player kicks it into the net.
Step : 5
Position two flags or other markers eight yards apart. Set two players about 50 yards apart in a line that’s perpendicular to the line between the flags. Have one player dribble the ball forward about five yards, then shift left or right before shooting the ball between the flags. The second player retrieves the ball and repeats the drill, shooting from approximately 20 yards from the flags. Have the players shoot below crossbar-level, which is 8 feet from the ground.
- Encourage players to use the correct kicking form, taking a long stride with the non-kicking leg, then planting the foot next to the ball with the knee slightly flexed. Players should bend their kicking leg sharply at the knee so the shin is close to parallel with the ground, then strike the ball with the instep while their toe is pointed down.