How To Shoot While Running in Soccer
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In soccer, the ability to shoot accurately while on the move is a skill that can make a striker truly stand out. Shooting while running requires a unique blend of technique, timing, and decision-making. Whether you're a newer player or an experiened striker, learning how to shoot while running in soccer can significantly enhance your impact on the field and goal-scoring ability. This guide will provide a breakdown of some of the key elements involved in shooting while running, along with practical tips to help you hone your skills and become a more lethal striker.
Understanding the Technique of Shooting While Running:
Technique is the most important aspect of learning how to shoot while running. Let's dive into the core aspects of executing this skill effectively:
- Foot Placement: A coming challenge you might face is that the ball get too far ahead of you as you set-up for your shot. Practice dribbling quickly and shooting into a net. Pay attention to how your planted foot needs to line-up with the ball while it is rolling to understand the right positioning for different speeds. When moving faster, your planted foot may have to be planted further ahead so that by the time your striking foot makes contact the ball has moved forward into the correct position, rather than too far ahead. Rehearsing this skill and shooting into the net close by will allow you to start to get the feel for the way to approach shooting at different speeds.
Kylian Mbappe dribbling at full speed, staying aware of how far the ball gets away from him and his respective foot placement
- Body Balance: Balance is crucial for a successful shot while on the move. Focus on keeping your body upright, engage your core muscles, and use your arms for balance. Proper balance ensures greater accuracy and control in your shot.
- Striking the Ball: Focus on striking the ball with the area around the laces of your foot. This "sweet spot" allows you to generate power and maintain accuracy. Swing your leg forward, locking your ankle at the point of impact to maximize the force of your shot. It’s difficult to stay balanced and strike the ball in the right area while dribbling quickly. Start out practicing this at a slower dribble, and as you get comfortable and are striking the ball well, gradually increase the speed of your dribbling.
Timing is a fundamental component of shooting while running. Consider these timing strategies to improve your execution:
- Controlled Approach: As you approach the ball, take slightly shorter strides to maintain better control. This controlled approach enables you to adjust your positioning based on the ball's movement.
- Rhythm and Stride: Develop a comfortable rhythm that matches your running pace. Your stride pattern should help you maintain balance and ensure your dominant foot is in the optimal position for shooting.
- Ball Awareness: Keep a keen eye on the ball's movement. Anticipate its trajectory, bounce, or roll, and adjust your timing accordingly to make a clean connection.
Cristiano Ronaldo keeping his eye on the ball to set up a shot while dribbling very quickly
Quick and effective decision-making can make all the difference in a game. Improve your decision-making skills with these tips:
- Reading the Defense: Before receiving the ball, scan the field to identify defensive gaps. Anticipate the goalkeeper's positioning to determine the best spot to place your shot. Be aware of the defenders and their movements in order to find space for your shot. While shooting while running is a critical skill, you’ll never be able to shoot effectively while running at your absolute maximum speed without slowing down. The more efficient your positioning and decision making, the easier your job will be.
- Instinct vs. Strategy: Learn to differentiate between instinctual shots and deliberate, well-placed efforts. Trust your instincts for quick shots, and opt for strategic shots when precision is required. This is often determined by how much time and space (or lack of time and space) you have.
- Peripheral Vision: Develop your peripheral vision to be aware of your teammates' positions. This awareness enables you to make split-second decisions about shooting or passing.
Drills for Skill Enhancement:
Dedicated practice is essential for mastering shooting while running. Here are some drills to help you improve your skills:
- Cone Dribbling and Shooting: Set up a series of cones in a zigzag pattern. Dribble through the cones and finish with a controlled touch before taking a shot while running. This drill enhances ball control and shooting accuracy under pressure.
- One-Touch Shooting: Practice receiving a pass from a teammate while on the move and shooting with a single touch. This drill sharpens your ability to make quick decisions and execute accurate shots.
- Small-Sided Games: Engage in small-sided games to apply your skills in game-like situations. These games foster rapid decision-making and allow you to practice shooting while running under varying conditions.
Shooting while running in soccer is a skill that can set you apart as a dynamic and lethal striker. By mastering the technique, refining your timing, improving decision-making, and engaging in purposeful drills, you can elevate your game to new heights. Remember that consistent practice and dedication are essential on your journey to becoming a proficient shooter while on the move. As you step onto the field, embrace the challenge and enjoy the process of becoming a more versatile and impactful player.