With age sometimes
comes wisdom. When I played professionally I never
focused on scoring. I instead focused on feeding
others the ball and while quite good at it…
it was the biggest mistake of my career. Now as
a coach I realize how vital it is to develop good
finishing skills. Not just for strikers but midfielders
and defenders as well. If you don’t score
you don’t win and learning how to convert
the scoring chances you get or make for yourself
is a most critical soccer skill.
Some players seem
to have a natural feel around the net. Alan Shearer
although nearing retirement and Andy Shevchenko
embody all the qualities of the deadly finisher…always
on the right spot at the right time …….focused,
sure footed, no mistakes. These players make it
all look so simple. That is their genius. But these
skills don’t come out of a can of Spinach.
Instead we can be sure Mssrs. Shearer and Shevchenko
spent hours honing their craft.
At Coerver Coaching
we try to integrate finishing in many of our drills.
As much as possible we want to encourage our players
to get used to scoring. To get used to delivering
the ball under pressure to making moves to free
up shots and to being relentless in pursuit of the
In lesson five
of our Six Steps To Success Program. We focus on
the single most important thing you can do on the
soccer pitch…. score the goal. Yes somebody
has to play defense, move the ball up the feel deliver
the cross/pass but without someone to finish…all
that work is for naught.
Should Think They Can Score!
The earlier we coaches
get it hot wired into our brains that it’s
the players on the field who will have to assess
their options and make decisions in split seconds
that will eventually decide games and scores the
better it will be for everyone.
Too early and often we subtly and not so subtly
tell players their job. Do this. Do that. Go wide.
Stay back. And a couple I must have heard a thousand
times if I’ve heard them once at youth games,
“Get back!” and “Boot it!”
Finishing is as much an art and an instinct as
it is technique. It’s something to be nurtured
not ordered and if this applies to forwards and
strikers how much more should it apply to midfielders
and defenders who seldom is not to score. I think
this is a mistake. This takes the edge away from
players. An edge needed to play good defense,
to make a nice run up the middle, to make a cross
into the goal or a strike from the 18 yard marker.
If we don’t teach our players to think offensive,
to think of getting a goal then we run the risk
of having them sit back waiting for the game to
come to them.
I personally think
one of the reasons we have such a huge drop off
in soccer participation is because of this very
condition. Players feel restrained and slotted
in…no longer able to be free, to be creative,
to feel like a part of the greater whole, they
stop having fun and leave. Is it right that they
should feel this way…defense of course must
be played…not everyone can attack all the
is I believe that you can not dictate feelings
to players or anyone else for that matter. What
you can do is try and encourage players to feel
as part of an offensive machine and that occasionally
circumstances set up for a defender to make an
extended run with the ball and to deliver a critical
shot and goal…not often but it happens.
The finishing drill we have for your review today
is something the entire team can participate in…not
just the forwards and midfielders. It’s
fun and extremely energetic. I think you are going
to like it a lot. Let’s have a look.
the video closely to see the correct form.
The text below should help you with the set up for
the drill reviewed in the video. Watch it a couple
of times make sure you got it down.
A 30- by 40- yard
A goal and a goalkeeper
at each end.
Four teams of two
with different color pinneys or bibs.
Coach with a supply
of balls at midfield.
The coach throws in
a ball at the beginning o the game, after a goal
is scored, or when the ball goes out of play. The
teams try to score in either goal.
Players can score
from anywhere on the field.
When a team scores
the number of goals allotted by the coach, it rests.
The remaining teams continue to determine the next
The losing team is
eliminated and the three winning teams return to
start a new game, scores beginning again at zero.
The game continues
until a second team is eliminated. The last two
teams play a final game and the first to score the
allotted number of goal wins.
to follow all shots because many goals come from