How to Improve Your Shooting

How to Score More Goals - Shooting Drills

The following are some of the best soccer drills that can improve your shooting skills:

- Soccer Shooting Drill #01: The Moving Target Drill

This drill is designed to improve your accuracy when shooting at a moving target. Have one player start as the shooter and another player acting as the goalkeeper.

The goalkeeper will start by slowly walking towards the shooter, who must then attempt to score past him/her. As the goalkeeper gets closer, he/she will start to sprint towards the shooter, making it more difficult for them to score. This drill can be performed with multiple players or different targets (e.g., cones).

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- Soccer Shooting Drill #02: The Dribbling and Shooting Drill

This drill is designed to improve your dribbling skills as well as your shooting accuracy. Players should start by dribbling a ball around an area in front of them, then when they get close enough to the goal, they should shoot at it.

 

- Soccer Shooting Drill #03: The One Touch Passing and Finishing

This soccer finishing drill requires two players to work together on passing and finishing one touch passes into various targets that are set up around the field.

 

- Soccer Shooting Drill #04: The Break Away Passes

This break away shooting drill requires three players – two defenders working together against one attacker who has possession of the ball (or can take possession if necessary).

All players should be positioned at one end of the field, with the attacker in front of the goal and the two defenders approximately 30 yards away.

The defender on the right side will try to block the attacker’s path to goal, while the defender on the left side tries to intercept any passes that are made. If successful, play transitions to the other end of the field where a new attacker and defenders take their positions.

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- Soccer Shooting Drill #05: The One vs One Keeper

This drill is designed to improve your shooting skills when facing a goalkeeper one-on-one. Have one player start as an attacking player (with ball) and another player acting as a goalkeeper.

The attacking player must attempt to score past the keeper, who will try to stop them. If the attacking player scores, the roles are reversed and the goalkeeper becomes the attacker.

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No matter your current level of skill or what position you play, it is always good to brush up on your shooting skills. Scoring goals is one of the most exhilarating elements of the beautiful games, so why not try out some of these tips and tricks when it comes to improving your shooting skills.

 

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Power

One of the key things to remember when it comes to shooting is the power required to get that ball into the back of the net. If you are still struggling with the accuracy of your kicks, power can be a great way to compensate for this and still see you scoring goals for your team.

You might think that a powerful kick comes from your legs, or at least your feet, right? Wrong! Real power is all about the technique behind it. One of the best ways to test out how powerful your kicks are is to do target practise.

By kicking towards a fixed target to see if you can knock it down, you will find it easier to judge the strength and power behind your footwork. You can use a goal if you prefer, but a wall or rebounder can work just as well.

Accuracy

Once you are feeling confident with the power behind your kicks, next it is time to focus on accuracy. Just as when we were looking at power, the accuracy of your shots is something that you will need to work at.

Accuracy is really important when it comes to getting those more challenging shots to reach the back of the net every time. Here are a few different shot types to consider when it comes to upping your accuracy game:

  • Straight
  • Curved



Straight shots may sound simple enough, but they can still be really tricky if you don't know exactly what you're doing. Always make sure that you are not leaning backwards and that instead your foot and your head are both over the ball.

When it comes to curved shots, you will need to shift your body weight. By displacing your weight, you will be able to use the side of your foot to give the ball that extra punch into the goal. Remember that with improving both your power and accuracy, practise makes perfect, so don't be afraid to use a goal or stand-in goal until you feel ready to try things out on the pitch.

Practise Tips

Although using any goal is a good way to get an idea of how well you are shooting, there is nothing quite like playing against a real-life goalkeeper to really step things up. Only a goalkeeper will be able to accurately simulate the conditions of being in a genuine goal shooting scenario, so take full advantage!

Playing against the real thing is the perfect way to see if the power and accuracy of your shots are really as good as you think. Using training balls can also be an excellent way to practise too, helping you to get used to lots of different types so you can be prepared for anything on the pitch.

Lastly, why not try to create a ritual to get you in the zone? This may sound a little crazy, but plenty of top players have developed their own rituals to keep them mentally focused during games.

Visualisation can be particularly powerful when it comes to imagining exactly how you want your shot to turn out before you've even touched the ball.

Penalties

One of the most stressful scenarios any player can come under is being asked to take a penalty. In these moments of heightened anxiety, when whole games can hang in the balance, it is vital that skill triumphs over emotions or nerves.

The best way to get better at taking penalty shots is actually very simple - practise! Why not play against your friends recreating penalty scenarios until you feel confident that even under pressure, you are not going to miss that crucial goal!

How Playing Football can Improve Your Mental Health

We all know that exercise is good for us, but did you know that playing football can actually improve your mental health too?

Not only is playing football a great workout for your body, it can also make you feel better and boost self-esteem. Mental health is a complex issue, but the number of ways football can improve our wellbeing is astonishing. Here are just a few ways playing football can improve your mental health.

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Brain Boost

When we exercise, our brains enjoy a boost of feel-good endorphins. These chemicals are released into our brains, resulting in an improved mood and helping to combat symptoms of depression. In fact, recent studies have shown that those who exercise regularly playing sports such as football decrease their risk of depression by over 25%!

Coming out of a pandemic has been a stressful time for most of us, so being able to play outdoor team sports again, such as football, has become a great way to reduce anxiety and lower levels of stress too. Exercise has always been an important tool when it comes to fighting back against depression, anxiety and stress.

But football in particular has been shown to be especially effective. This is because not only does football provide physical movement and cardiovascular activity, it also makes us feel part of a team and builds a sense of community. It is this sense of belonging and passion that really boosts our brains into feeling better.

Teamwork

Football is often called the beautiful game and one of the reasons why is the way it creates such strong bonds between players and fans. Playing as part of a football team is an excellent way to improve your mental health.

This is because not only are you putting your body through a rigorous workout, you're also building connections with friends. Having strong relationships in our lives allow us to cope better with whatever problems or issues we encounter.

Joining a football team can be a great way to make new friends as a grown-up. Making adult friends can sometimes be a little tricky, but football allows us to meet a diverse range of people in our local area to connect and bond over a shared passion. What can feel better than that?

Suicide Prevention

It is a sad fact that many men under the age of 35 will choose to take their own life via suicide. Studies show that suicide is now the primary cause of death for men in this age group, so finding ways to prevent young men from feeling this hopeless is vital.

Playing a game of football may seem pretty insignificant when it comes to suicide prevention on a wider level, but it actually has a surprisingly large impact. Not only does cardiovascular exercise give our brains the mood lifting chemicals they need to feel great, but being part of a group is key for combatting depression in men too.

There is still a stigma attached to men who struggle with depression and anxiety, but football provides the perfect way to release those pent up emotions through physical activity and human connection.

Exercise v. Medication

Like any good football match, there are two sides. When it comes to improving mental health for all ages, doing so through exercise rather than medication is of course the preferred option.

Not only is this of course much cheaper, it is actually better for our bodies and minds in the long run too. If we are able to regulate our moods by taking part in feel-good sports, this then negates the need for reliance on any medications, expensive or otherwise.

By finding activities that help to transform mental health rather than relying on medication can also assist with boosting self-esteem too.

This is because there is not the same stigma attached to exercise as there is to taking medication to improve mental health. Whilst it's always a good idea to speak to a medical professional first if you are experiencing signs of depression, anxiety or stress, do not forget that medication is not just the only option available.