Developing the Goalscorer

June 12: Match action in the NSWNPL Men's between Blacktown City FC and APIA Leichhardt at Blacktown City Sports Centre (Photos: Damian Briggs/Speedmedia)

As coaches often the one player we always searching for is the one that knows where the goal is and more importantly knows how to finish in it.

But the question for us all is? How do we develop more of these players?

There is no one way to score a goal, as we all know we just can’t use our hand or arm to score. So that means that as coaches we must provide our players with as many different tools to score and in order to do this we must design sessions that allow different ways of scoring to occur.

This article will hopefully give you some tips and things to think about when on designing your next session!

Define where you want the finishing to be from

As we know goals can be scored from anywhere on the pitch, but once you know where on the field you want to focus in on for finishing in your session that will then help you design something realistic and relevant for this.

For example, a session focus on finishing outside of the box will need different rules, conditions and different techniques than a session focus on finishing inside the box. For the outside of the box session you will need to consider a realistic position for shooting and the technique will involve more power and potentially how to avoid the defenders be it over or around and the player may also have more time to manoeuvre the ball and set themselves before shooting.

The session focus for inside the box will mean potentially less time for the player due to the nature of the crowded penalty area so it may be more of a first time finish so the technique will be different. Look as a coach to focus on finishing from as many different locations on the pitch to give your player the full toolkit.

Make your practice realistic

Once your players have started to understand and execute the desired techniques of shooting the level of realism can start to increase. In a game of football there will be defenders trying to to stop you from scoring so we must replicate this in training. Look to include defenders to apply some form of pressure on the ball to challenger the attacker to make the correct decision of when to shoot or how to manoeuvre the ball into a shooting position where they have a line of sight to the goal. Then also for shooting inside the penalty look to have realism with defenders trying to intercept the ball into the penalty area so now the attacker must time their run or make a movement to become free within the penalty area to score.

Finally and most importantly, include your goalkeeper within your finishing practices they will provide the greatest realism of them all! Remember though that shooting practices can be intense so it’s important to allow ample rest time for your goalkeeper, if you only have one goalkeeper they may be the person that says go for each attack or if you are Lucky to have two goalkeepers you can rotate them, If you are unlucky and have no goalkeepers then still provide this challenge with markers or small goals within the goal for the attacker to hit.

Hopefully these two tips help you on your coaching journey!