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In short.... in soccer/football, put the ball in the net! (New Version)

If you had to define in a few words what the goal of basketball is, you could say: "Put the ball in the basket."

And baseball? "Hit the ball far away out of the field."

Football? "Get the ball to the end of the field."

Golf? "send the ball into the hole."

So, in all of these sports, youth players dedicate tons of time in practicing doing that. (at least I hope so !!!)

How much time do youth soccer/football players dedicate to putting the ball in the goal in a 2 hour soccer practice? Ten minutes? Maybe less !!!!

This aspect is very curious.

They dedicate hours to footwork ( they do ???), passing, trapping, juggling ( juggling ??? WhatĎs that ??? ), 1v1, 2v2, etc., etc., but almost nothing to shooting. So, when thanks to all of the above, they get to the right position to finalize the team effort.......

* 45% of the time they shoot out or above the cross bar
* 45% of the time they shoot straight at the keeper
* 5% they miss the ball because it's the first time in weeks they've had that opportunity
* 5% shoot properly and, occasionally, score !!!

But the 45% at the keepers is the interesting % and explains how and why the majority of the goals are scored !!!

When they shoot at the keepers, 50% of the time they let the ball roll between his/her legs and 50% the trajectory of the ball was just above his/her head and went through the hands !!!

Instead, the 5% above in which they shoot properly, was thanks to the Coaches who taught that properly (!!!), so the ball was kicked powerfully and....

* arrived on goal 2 feet from the ground and 2 feet from the far post,
* was kicked with the laces while locking the ankle,
* while putting the standing foot to the side of the ball,
* while snapping the knee that was above the ball,
* while looking at the ball, going through it......
* while still running toward the goal !!!!!

The last 5% were..................shots on goal practiced at practices!!!

As a provocation, I'm stating that a minimum of 50% of the practice time should have shooting and SCORING involved in the exercises. (never say drills and be heard by Coach Karl !!!!)

3v3? Good. But after a few successful passes, shoot on goal.

Juggling? Good. But after a series of 10, shoot on goal.

Scoring goals is the essence of soccer/football. If you'll pardon the joke, the goal of soccer/football is to................. score goals !!!

As I said, continuing the provocation, we should practice for hours on shooting. And this means, develop the shooting technique, not just kick whatever toward the goal !!! When, finally, the players reach an acceptable level of scoring, I would focus on the Ďassistí; which is the magic last pass that puts a forward in the condition for scoring!

After that, Iíd work on passing to create a situation that permits a player to give an Ďassistí, that consequently leads to scoring. I hope that what Iím trying to explain is clear. Iím working backwards and in doing that, Iíll get to where the action begins.

There are 4 situations in which OUR action begins:

* When the opponents make a wrong pass and we get the ball back.
* We win the ball back in pressing.
* We start from our keeper.
* After a free kick for us.

There are no other beginnings so, I strongly suggest working BACKWARD otherwise, when we finally get close to the opponentís keeper, we donít know how to score because weíve NEVER done it in practice!

I donít know if youíve ever noticed that, when a big area is restored or a big new complex is built, the first thing taken care of is the landscaping. Trees are planted, irrigation for big grassy areas are put in place, the electrical implants for the outside lighting are installed and in the mean time the big complex is beginning to take shape. When the construction is finished the whole area is ready to come alive as if it were always there.

If you do the opposite, when youíre finished with the construction, youíve just built in the middle of nowhere and it takes a year to make the area functional and welcoming, with the result of loosing a year of business.

So, going back to soccer, take care of the finalization of the job that the whole team has done, otherwise, when your players grow up they will still shoot out or, much worst, shoot at the keepers. And this time, the keepers will not let the ball go through the legs or the hands but instead will get the ball and start a powerful counter attack while your team is totally out of balance forward.

This way, your players, instead of giving Ďassistsí to a team mate, gives an assist to.....the opponents !!!


Posted on 01 Apr 2011 by coachgianni
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