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How To Score More In Soccer: Drills Every Forward Must Practice
One of the most important skills in soccer is the ability to score goals. As there are almost countless different ways a goal can come together, effective strikers in soccer must be comfortable finding the back of the net throughout a number of different scenarios. Forwards play a critical role in every soccer team, as they are responsible for scoring the majority of the goals. To achieve success as a forward and score more goals, it is critical to practice a variety of drills that will help improve skills such as shooting, decision-making, creating space, and off-the-ball movement. In this blog, we will go over five drills that every soccer forward must practice to score more often in soccer.
1. Striker vs. Defender Drill:
The striker vs. defender drill is designed to help forwards practice finishing while at speed and under pressure. In this drill, the forward is competing against a defender who is actively trying to stop them from scoring, but the forward has a head start and is being chased by the defender from behind. This puts the forward in a 1v1 with the goalie, which is a great opportunity to score. The forward must get to goal as fast as possible, stay ahead of the defender, and score past the keeper. This drill helps forwards to develop their dribbling skills, shooting accuracy, decision-making abilities, and teaches them how to stay calm during a fast-paced scoring opportunity.
The forward should focus on cutting off the defender’s running path by taking their dribble in front of the defender. This puts their body between the defender and the ball, and forces the defender to either slow down or run right into the back of the forward, which would be a foul and a red card given the defender is the last man. Once the forward is close enough to goal, they must make a quick decision as to where to place their shot and execute it while at speed.
2. Perfect Team Goal Pattern Drill:
This passing, crossing, and scoring soccer drill is designed to help forwards practice passing, quickly moving off the ball, timing runs, and finishing from a cross. Along with two midfielders/wingers, the team will work together in this drill to create a scoring opportunity. This soccer drill helps strikers to develop their teamwork skills, ability to time runs, movement off the ball, and finally how to score from an incoming cross as a forward.
The attacker should focus on timing their run correctly and positioning themselves effectively. If they find themselves standing still by the time the cross gets to them, they likely started their run too early. Once the players are more comfortable with this, the pace of the drill should increase to challenge the players. Once the pattern can be carried out at game-speed, defenders can even be added into the box to defend the cross and further challenge the attacker.
3. Misdirection Shooting Drill:
This soccer shooting drill is designed to help strikers practice a skill move to create space prior to shooting. This is important because oftentimes in a match a forward on the ball has to create space from a defender in order to open up an angle on goal. Here, the forward uses a skill move to deceive the defender and create enough space to take a clear shot. This drill helps forwards to develop their dribbling skills, shooting accuracy while moving at speed, and decision-making abilities around finishing as they must quickly find a spot of the goal to aim at. The forward should focus on snapping off their shot after the skill move as fast as possible. In a game, they will only have a brief window before the defender catches up with their movement and is able to block the shot. Soccer forwards must learn how to shoot quickly after creating space, which this drill is great for learning.
4. Decision Making Shooting Drill:
The decision-making shooting drill is designed to help forwards practice shooting while aiming based on a last-second visual cue, to practice reactive placement. In this drill, the forward must react quickly to a visual cue that determines the placement of their shot. This drill helps forwards to develop their shooting accuracy, reaction time, and decision-making abilities. Oftentimes in a match, the available angle and placement of the shot will change right up until the moment the striker shoots the ball. This is because opposing players are trying to get in the way, the goalkeeper is moving to find the best position and cut off angles, and even teammates can become obstacles if they don’t have time to get out of the way. The ability to quickly react to an opening on goal to aim for, and then having to rapidly place an accurate shot, can make a soccer forward very dangerous once perfected.
5. Turning and Shooting Drill:
This turning and shooting soccer drill helps forwards practice quickly turning and then shooting on goal. This drill helps forwards to develop their turning skills, shooting accuracy, and decision-making abilities.
The forward should focus on an explosive and unpredictable turn that will create space for their defender, and comfortably set them up for a shot on goal ideally without another touch being needed. Players should practice taking the turn with both the inside and outside of their foot, and in both directions. This skill is essential for center forwards, as they’ll often have to play with a defender on their back and being able to turn past them to create a scoring opportunity is very valuable.
Practicing these soccer drills for forwards can help players become more successful goalscorers. By improving their dribbling skills, shooting accuracy, decision-making abilities, and teamwork skills, forwards can contribute significantly to their team's success. Coaches should incorporate these drills into their training sessions and provide feedback and guidance to help forwards improve their skills. With consistent practice and hard work, strikers can master these drills and learn how to score more goals as a soccer forward.