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Coaching Youth Soccer – Power V’s Accuracy »

[tag-tec]Coaching soccer[/tag-tec], in particular [tag-tec]coaching youth soccer[/tag-tec]? Have you noticed in games that players are struggling to find the back of the net? There are some great coaches out there teaching many terrific techniques and skills but many coaches overlook one of the most important skills – Finishing technique. Being able to finish off an attacking movement is vital. Even though it is one of the most important aspects of[tag-tec]soccer[/tag-tec], it is unfortunately overlooked or not adequately addressed at soccer training sessions. Many players don’t know how or have never learned to finish off attacking movements, leading to missed opportunities and frustration for everyone involved. These tips and [tag-tec]soccer drills[/tag-tec] will help those coaches in charge of [tag-tec]coaching youth soccer[/tag-tec] and give the strikers in the team the confidence needed to become more efficient in front of goals.

A player can score a goal with any part of the body except the arms and hands. You will have noticed that the top goal scores aren’t too fussed how they get the ball in the back of the net. Could be toe, head, shins whatever, as long as it goes in. However, I want to address here how the majority of goals are scored and that is by using the instep of the foot. Players should shoot with the instep, which is basically striking the ball with the laces of the boot. A lot of power can be generated by kicking the ball this way. When coaching a player to kick with their instep, ensure the player approaches the ball from an angle, point the shoulder to the target and follow through to the target with the foot still firm. An important aspect of kicking and a crucial coaching point for those coaching youth soccer is to keep the ball low and this is particularly important when finishing. To keep it low, the player should be striking through the center or top of the ball.

One of the key elements of finishing is accuracy. How many times have you been watching either your team or some other team and when players get in front of goal they try to whack the hell out of the ball, lift their head and as a result, the ball sails about ten feet over the cross bar or it goes straight to [tag-tec]the soccer goalkeeper[/tag-tec]? Power is great to have, but it should be a second priority when shooting in youth soccer. Power can be developed over time and will increase as the child becomes stronger. It is better to have a good accurate finishing technique than a powerful shot. Some simple soccer drills to practice at [tag-tec]soccer goal shooting training[/tag-tec] include, setting up two markers both approximately two feet inside the goal posts. Without the soccer goalkeeper, the strikers have to place the ball between the marker and the goal post. As the striker’s confidence and accuracy increases, the distance of the marker to the goal post can be narrowed. In this drill, the soccer coach should stress accuracy constantly. The position of the player’s body and support foot should be toward the finishing point. Players should look up to the side of the goal they’re finishing, and look at the ball when the shot is taken.

Another important aspect of finishing, is scoring goals from different distances. Sometimes defenses are hard to break down and it becomes very difficult to get the ball into your opponents defensive third to take advantage of close goal scoring opportunities. Simple [tag-tec]soccer drills[/tag-tec] to practice this include setting up two maybe three markers outside the penalty box area and have the players dribble through the markers and then shoot while still outside the penalty box area. Another [tag-tec]soccer drill[/tag-tec] involves using ten or so balls and scatter them around the field. Players should start with the ball placed furthest from the goal, move forward, shooting the balls as they get closer.

These are a couple of tips and techniques that can be easily introduced into any soccer training session and when practiced regularly, will increase your goal striking percentages. Remember, when coaching youth soccer, in particular at soccer goal shooting training, always stress accuracy as a finishing element. Power is great but at a younger age the emphasis should be on accuracy not power. Power will come later as the child develops. You will become a more successful coach and your strikers will become better finishes if they concentrate on technique and accuracy.

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