The objective of shooting is to legally propel the ball into the opponents’ goal, completely “over the goalline, between the goalposts and under the crossbar.” This may seem very straight-forward, but, in reality, the shooter has to overcome the nature of the goal itself and the opposing goalkeeper in order to score.
As young players are first learning the game, they are usually drilled to dribble and then to pass to a moving teammate. These are mobile, human activities. In learning to shoot, however, they are expected to direct the ball through a fixed, inanimate, invisible plane and to make sure that the ball goes away from the goalkeeper.
Conceptually, this can be a very hard transition to make, as evidenced by the countless times in youth games that shooters can be seen kicking the ball directly to the opposing goalkeeper. Accordingly, for the Instructional Soccer Program, coaches should utilize and build upon the more basic skills of dribbling, passing, and kicking in order to introduce the more advanced skills of shooting and goal scoring.
Coaches should first introduce their players to the goal by identifying the goalline, the goalposts and the crossbar. If simple cones are used, for the youngest players it must be clearly shown that it is the space between the cones that represents the goal. Coaches should then demonstrate that the ball must go completely over the goalline, whether on the ground or in the air, to score. Similarly, coaches should demonstrate that a ball stopped on, or rolling along the goalline, is not a score and needs to be kicked again, as long as it is not in the possession of the goalkeeper.
Accuracy is the key to scoring. When first learning to shoot, however, youth and adults alike have a tendency to want to power the ball into the goal. Accordingly, coaches should first demonstrate how easy it is to score with proper placement. This is initiated by using the skills learned earlier. The coach should demonstrate dribbling through the goal to score, push passing through the goal to score, and using the instep drive to kick the ball through the goal to score.
One player, one ball; everyone scores each time; positive reinforcement for everyone scoring a goal. Cones set up as goals. Set up as many goals and split team as needed to avoid lines.
No goalkeeper; toward the middle of the goal:
Players to get as close to the inside of a goalpost (the cone) without missing; alternate cones and feet:
Add discs to represent the presence of a goalkeeper or defender; players to dribble or shoot between the discs and a cone; alternate sides and feet with each turn:
FOR DETAILED INFORMATION ON HOW TO TEACH THIS SKILL, SEE: Introduction to Shooting and Goal Scoring
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