Long-range shooting

This session is about shooting from distance and the process of moving the ball into position for a shot.

Goalscoring, more than anything else, builds confidence in players. And with a game-realistic session such as this, players are building good habits into their match day practice.

SET-UP

Area
36×18 yards
Equipment
Balls, bibs, goals
Number of Players
14 (6 per side and 2 keepers)
Session time
Session 50mins
Progression 30mins
Game 20mins

What do I get the players to do?

The long-range shooting session starts by dividing a 36×18-yard pitch into two halves. Goals can only be scored from the defending half. We set up four attackers in the defending half, and another two in the attacking half. The role of the two players furthest forward is to set the ball back for any one of their four team mates to shoot at goal. It’s a high-intensity practice, so players rotate every three minutes. (1a)

1a

• Unopposed, the ball is laid back for a shot from the defensive half

Progressing to an opposed practise, opponents now attack  the opposite goal – thus each side has a 4v2 overload in their defensive half. (1b) While the set-up men cannot be challenged when the ball comes to them, they now also have to act as defenders, closing down play and attempting to win possession. In addition, they can follow in any rebounds from blocked shots (1c). Whether a shot ends in a goal or otherwise, a new attack must come back in the other direction.

1b

• Now fully opposed, two whites press, but reds work the ball and a shot finds the corner of the goal

1c

• Players must be alert to rebound opportunities


How do I progress the session?

We progress by encouraging each group of four to act as all-out defenders when their team is not in possession. They can block long-range shots and tackle back to deny the two attackers rebound opportunities.

We might also add touch or time restrictions, as well as asking players to shoot with their other foot.

And to ensure a high intensity is maintained throughout, defenders can catch any balls going wide. This ensures that play comes back the other way immediately, and if a catch is made, the attacking team loses a goal. (2)

2

• In the progression, reds lose a goal as a wayward shot is caught by a white


What are the key things to look for technically/tactically?

We’re looking for a good first touch from the set-up players to ensure a team mate the best chance of getting a clean shot away. Players should move quickly and get the ball into space, and when shooting, (3a) should be aiming for the corners of the goal. The two rebound players must remain alert at all times, while other tactics such as shooting when the keeper is unsighted, (3b) and disguising shots, are encouraged in order to create space and clearer routes to goal.

3a

• The keeper is unsighted and reds use this to their advantage by despatching a quick shot

3b

• Here play is switched across the pitch to shake off pressing opponents and create clear shooting space in the middle

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