Shooting from distance

This is a session designed to improve shooting ability, particularly for midfield players in and around the edge of the penalty box. The ability to contribute a good quantity of goals is an important aspect of any midfielder’s game.

We play three stages of the session for eight minutes each then conclude with a 12-minute small-sided game.


Two penalty areas pushed together, with cones laid diagonally from each goalpost to the halfway point of the touchline on each side
Goals, balls, cones
Number of Players
12 (6v6, 4 players and a keeper in the defensive half,
1 player in the attacking half)

What do I get the players to do?

We play 6v6 with each team attacking a goal – play begins with the keeper who must roll the ball to a player in his half. In stage one there is only one player forward in the attacking half. Players cannot cross the halfway line and must construct passing moves to the point where a player takes a shot from inside his own half. The lone forward in the attacking half needs to be alert to any rebound opportunities (1a).


• Stage one: yellow receives a pass and shoots from within his own half

In stage two, three players and a goalkeeper are in the defensive half, with two in the attacking half. A shot must still be dispatched from the defensive half, but the two attacking players must work to draw defenders across and obscure the keeper’s line of vision, whilst continuing to stay alert to rebound opportunities (1b).


• Stage two: with an overload in each half, defenders and attackers work for position and space.

In stage three, we progress to chances in and around the goal where the ball can be passed into the attacking half (1c).


• Stage three: long-range shots are combined with passing moves into the opposition half

Players will always have an overload in one half or the other. To make the most of this session, they are encouraged to take shooting opportunities and look for quick play in and around the box in order to create goal scoring chances.

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

In this session, we look for players with vision to be able to create space by using quick interchange play. Technical ability is important given the limited space available, while players receiving the ball on the half turn need to be aware of all forward options around them, whether that’s a pass to a team-mate or a shot.

How would you put this into a game situation?

To put this into a game situation we set up an area of 54×30 yards, with the length divided into three 18-yard zones. Play a standard 9v9 game, with the goalkeeper beginning play from the back (2a). Ensure that goal scoring only comes as a result of a shot from the middle zone, and only after play has been built into the end zone and the ball laid back (2b/2c).



• The yellow team builds from the back


• The ball must be laid back from the final third before a shot can be taken


• The keeper saves but the rebound finds the target

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