Ajax Shooting Game

Like many coaches I focus on one particular aspect of the game during each training session. Sure, I try to train the technical, tactical, physical and psychological components around the specific skill so that the practice is as economical as possible. But in the past if my focus was on passing and receiving I wouldn't have thought about ending the session with any type of shooting.

When WORLD CLASS COACHING conducted a tour of Dutch club a few years ago I was fortunate enough to attend. While visiting the Ajax Academy I watched a session presented by Robin Pronk, coach of the U17 Boys Academy team. The focus of his session was on passing combinations but after going through a number of progressions that lead to a small-sided game the team then moved to a series of shooting competitions.


Shooting Game
The teams from the 7 v 7 scrimmage are used for this shooting game.  The two goalkeepers switch off so that they attempt to save the shots of the other team.  An assistant coach score.

Player 1 passes to Player 2 who turns with one touch and shoots with the next.  The players change positions so that everyone has an opportunity to shoot.  The other team repeats the same movements.

The teams change sides so that they shoot with both feet.

The assistant coach gives the score after all of the players on each team have taken a shot.  Keeping score motivates the players to give their best effort.


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Progression #1
Now Player 1 passes to Player 2 who sets it back for Player 1 to shoot.  Player 1 is allowed one touch to controll and one touch to shoot.

Again, the assistant coach gives the score after each team is finished.


Progression #2
Player 1 compleats a give-and-go with Player 2 and then passes to Player 3.  Player 3 passes back for Player 2 who passes wide to Player 4.  Player 4 crosses for 1, 2 and 3 to finish past the other team’s goalkeeper.  Each player moves forward one position.

Players from the inactive team wait behind the active players for their turn.  The other team starts the movement as soon as the first team is finished.

This session had me thinking about my own training sessions and how I could incorporate this idea of having the session, whatever the primary topic, finish by going to goal. This idea may not be new to you but at the time it wasn't something that I thought was important.

After a number of years of doing this with my sessions I've seen the benefits of 'finishing with finishing'. I usually tie the shooting element to the theme of the session so that the players experience the final result of what we're trying to do, to score!

Do you finishing with finishing or a scrimmage?

Have a Great Day!


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