Shooting Drills Competition Winner

It was difficult to choose a winner in our recent shooting drills competition because we received so many good entries. In the end we picked this exercise from Dennis Hillyard of New York. We were looking for drills that were easy to understand, used equipment all coaches have access to, provided a lot of repetitions for the players, were scalable to larger and smaller numbers and provided progressions that could be used as the players develop. This exercise meets all of those criteria.

Shooting Competition - First Time Shooting

One of the most difficult techniques to acquire is that of the ability to shoot first time and none more so than for the younger players.

In their eagerness to score then very often they will either ‘snatch’ their shot and / or, forget the correct techniques.

Statistics show that a greater percentage of LOW shots result in goals than that of shots aimed HIGH.

Unfortunately, when players ’SNATCH’ their shots then usually they will
A)   kick through the middle / bottom half of the ball and B) lean back at the point of impact.    In both instances this will cause the ball to rise.


  • Approach the ball from the SIDE and not directly HEAD ON.
  • Approaching the ball, look up to see the position of the goal keeper.
  • Just as you are about to shoot, look down at the ball and on the point of impact
  • keep the head still and over the ball, lock the ankle,  toes pointing down and
  • heel raised.
  • Kick with the laced part of  the cleat through the middle / top half of the ball and follow through so that the kicking foot is pointing in the direction of the flight of the ball.


Players line up as per diagram.


Player 1 passes the ball forward to centre of area.
Player 4 approaches the ball from the side NOT straight on
to shoot  FIRST TIME.
Players 1 and 4 now move to the back of their respective lines,


Player 10 passes the ball forward to centre of the area.
Player   7 approaches the ball from the side, NOT straight on to shoot first time.
Players 10 and 7 now move to the back of the line.


Proceed the same rotation until Players 4 5 6 and 7 8 9 have EACH taken SIX shots.

Now switch the format so that Players 1 2 3 and 10 11 12 are now the strikers and Players 4 5 6 and 7 8 9  are the passers.


It is ESSENTIAL that there is COMMUNICATION between the passers and
strikers at all times.


Obviously, to develop the correct techniques for first time shooting but equally important, the drill eliminates the long lines of players waiting to take a shot.

The constant rotation means that a) 12 players PLUS two goal keepers are
participating and that the time between passing / shooting and resting is
relatively a short one.

In a real game situation and more often than not, the striker will be challenged
by an opposing player in an attempt to either BLOCK the shot or, to reduce the ANGLE  for the striker to shoot at.


The layout and movement are identical as to the previous one EXCEPT that now
the PASSER follows his pass in an attempt to either BLOCK the shot OR,
NARROW the angle in which the striker has to shoot at.

At first, instruct the passer NOT to SPRINT forward but to jog in order to provide
a PASSIVE resistance to the striker.   As the confidence of the striker increases then increase the pace of the passer.


Once ALL the players are competent then introduce a competition between the
passers and the strikers using the same format as previously but now,
the coach keeps a tally of how many successful shots as well as, blocked
tackles and or, where the passer forces the striker to shoot wide.

Whilst it is a competition it can be a great FUN exercise that the kids will enjoy as well as, providing the coach with opportunities to correct any errors.

There are more complicated exercises that you could do not many that are more efficient and economical.

We will release all of the drills that were contributed as part of an eBook in the coming weeks. Look for info about, '31 Favorite Shooting Sessions' in future email newsletters.

Have a great day!


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