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5 Favorite Practices: The FA Coaching School (for One-Touch Finishing)
Analysis tells us that about 72 percent of all goals are scored with one-touch shooting. Practicing this skill is important for all teams. This was first published in the FA magazine Insight in 1997.
• If you don't shoot, you don't score.
• It is where it finishes, not how it gets there.
• Low shots are more difficult to deal with than high ones.
• Accuracy is more important than power.
• Follow up every shot.
• Being in position to finish frequently enough is crucial.
• Needs to be bright and a quick thinker.
• A quick mover - with quick reactions.
• Be persistent - willing to keep missing.
• Be brave - physically and mentally.
• Be composed.
• Needs a wide range of techniques.
PRACTICE 1: BALL RUNNING AWAY FROM SHOOTER
• Two players face the goal.
• Server (S) uses a number of service variations:
a) on the ground between the two players
b) on the ground down the side of the players, biased toward one player
PRACTICE 2: BALL GOING ACROSS THE SHOOTER
• Two players with back to the server.
• React to the "sound" of the service to command TURN.
• Service variations:
a) on the ground fast
b) on the ground slower
c) in the air over the players
d) in the air down the side of the players
• Players compete as to who gets the one-touch finish in
• Either player competes for rebounds off the goalkeeper
• Progress to 2 v. 2 as shown
a) "Shoot" or "set up" for rebound
b) "Rebounds" off the goalkeeper
PRACTICE 3: SQUAD PRACTICE
Initially, one attacker goes in on each goal simultaneously, e.g., red (S) serves for red attackers as blue (S) serves for blue attackers and so on. Attackers continue to the other end, e.g., reds become blues and vice-versa.
Organization and variations
• Driven ball low across the second six-yard box, slide to finish if necessary.
• Driven ball diagonally toward the far post.
• Ball pulled back - short, sharp, late.
• Ball pitches (chip) to come up just in front of attacker.
• Driven ball below chest height for diving headers.
Progress to attacking in pairs to produce headers back and knockdowns for partner to volley or half-volley and "rebounds" off the goalkeeper.
PRACTICE 4: VOLLEYS, OVERHEAD KICKS AND SETTING UP PLAYS
Server (S) floats long diagonal passes to runner (A1), into the area at the far post, around 12 yards out. Attacker (A1) practices volleys across his body, bicycle and overhead kicks. Attacker (A1) is then joined by another attacker (A2). A1 heads for A2 to finish early as possible with one touch.
• Angle of attacking run and body position should set the player up to hit the ball with the foot farthest from goal.
• Adjust body position to ensure ball is struck through its top half. If the ball is high, the player is required to perform an overhead or bicycle kick.
PRACTICE 5: DIAMOND SHOOTING
• 6 balls in each net.
• 4 v. 2 in each half.
• Players must shoot from their own half initially, with the two forwards following in for rebounds.
• Goalkeepers can throw only into their own half.
• Any shots over the bar, the shooter is substituted by one of the fielders (F).
• Defenders may play two touch.
• Take the first shooting opportunity and one touch.
• Accuracy before power.
• Follow shots in for rebounds and secondary chances.
• Once the ball has gone into the attacking half, any defender can go wide to shoot or cross (as shown on diagram above).
• When the ball enters the attacking half, any one defender can enter the attacking half to join in combination play
• When possession is lost, re-group back to 4 v. 2.
Reprinted from NSCAA.com's Coaching Tips section.