Author Archive: Jennifer Allen

Improving Your Football Shooting Skills

Akron's Reinaldo Brenes (right) chips a shot over Creighton goalie Jeff Gal to give the Zips a 1-0 first half lead during their 5-4 penalty kick loss to the Bluejays in their third round match in the NCAA men's soccer tournament at FirstEnergy Field at the University of Akron on Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012, in Akron, Ohio. (Ed Suba Jr./Akron Beacon Journal)

In order to become a better football player, obviously one must know how to put the ball into the goal. For every player getting into football for the first time, it seems like a simple task. However in reality, scoring in football is an artform in itself. It requires months, sometimes years, of practice to perfect. Add in the pressure of game-time situations and the art of scoring becomes even harder. For the reason that it is a main offensive skill, football shooting is one of the skills that coaches and trainers spend most of their time on. And because they put so much importance on football shooting, they have given players some invaluable tips and tricks to help them improve their shooting skills.

If you would like to see a demonstration of some drills, check out YouTube. In particular, you can watch this video which has some information on it that is worth taking note of.

Goalkeeper PositionAnders-Lindegaard-set-position-209x300

One of the most important skills to learn in football shooting is to know the position of the goalkeeper. It seems simple at first. But, in a live game, players can only observe the goalkeeper’s position for a few seconds before they shoot or before the ball is taken away by the opposing team. A player needs to have an eye-body coordination that is lightning-quick. They have to observe the goalkeeper’s position as well as see if there are any gaps that they can take advantage of. After that, they need to shoot the ball, with the right technique, into one of those gaps. This whole process must be done in a couple of seconds. This skill, as one can see, can only be perfected with time and hard work.

Using the Appropriate Technique

England goalkeeper Fraser Forster catches ball from Joe Hart during warm up session at St George's Park, Burton.

The next important skill to learn is to know what shooting technique is most appropriate in a particular game situation. There are two kinds of shooting techniques. The first technique is known as the sidefoot shot. This makes the football shot more accurate. The second technique is known as the instep shot. This may not be as accurate as the sidefoot shot, but it is definitely more powerful. More often than not, players use the sidefoot shot if they are closer to the goal, and they use the instep shot if they are farther away from the goal. But, in the end, it all comes down to which technique a player is most comfortable in using. Most of the time, this will enable players to keep their composure when they are shooting the ball.

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The last football shooting skill players ought to learn is to aim the ball at the right places. Statistically speaking, there are areas in the goal that are more favorable to the striker. For instance, players have a very low chance of scoring if they aim the ball high. They also have a slightly better chance if they aim the ball in the middle. However, they have a 62% chance of scoring if they aim low and a 67% chance if they aim at the corners. These are areas that are hard to reach for the goalkeeper, which is why players must discipline themselves to shoot the ball in these areas at all times. Putting time in practicing these skills will inevitably improve the skill-set of a football player.

How to be a Good Striker in Football

4 Tips to Remember


There are several roles that any play can take in a football match. One of the most important, and constantly glorified, positions would have to be the striker. If you aspire to be a good striker, it would be important to remember that all eyes would be on you when the ball is yours. Assuming that you already mastered the basics of football, below are several tips to let you fine-tune your striking skills and become a premier striker in your team.


1. Improve Your Movementmaxresdefault

A striker needs to be on his toes throughout the entire game. This means that you must improve on your agility, strength and speed. It is critical that strikers keep on the move throughout the game. If you are any slower, defenders can quickly read you and prevent you from scoring a point.

To make mobility your advantage, try mastering how to circle around defenders before making a break for it once you’re clear. When your movement has improved, you can easily get past through the toughest defenses in a game.

2. Master “The Touch”r0_72_1772_1068_w1200_h678_fmax

The “Touch” is simply your ability to feel the ball and control it. As a striker, it is a must that you have creative ball control skills so you can work around even the most aggressive defenders out there. To improve your control over a ball, try kicking one repeatedly on a wall. This will give you an idea of how the ball feels on your feel and can make you understand how to control it best. With practice, you can quickly dictate the flow of the game with a few touches.

3. Aim and FireGettyImages-511752_2704095a

Shooting is a striker’s number one skill and the act of shooting a ball through the goal will take practice. You would be surprised how many strikers out there tend to lose their control over the ball when the time has come for them to shoot it. Learn the proper shooting positions to maintain your balance and use the inside parts of your feet to control the ball’s trajectory.

If you are near the goal, learn how to keep the knees of your kicking leg bent over the ball and not lean back to avoid shooting the ball over the goal. Keep your eyes at the ball to properly aim it. Also, do not focus only on flashy kicking techniques. Curling free kicks and top corner shots may look attractive but experienced strikers know that delivering a powerful, low-drive kick will have better chances of hitting the goal.

4. Work with Your Team

Keep in mind that Football is never a solitary affair. Neglecting the strengths and weaknesses of the defenders and midfielders has caused many strikers a chance to get through the opposing team’s defenses and earn a point. Learn where your teammates are good at and have your skills complement theirs. With proper team dynamics, they can open a space for you to go through the opposing team, strike through and win the game.

Drills for Passing the Football


As everyone knows, football is a team sport. Passing the ball among the team members is one of the fundamental features of this beloved game. Football players can never be successful if they do not know how to pass the ball. At first glance, this skill seems simple, but in reality it is something like an art. Knowing where one’s teammates are and landing the ball at a desired position is tricky and requires tons of practice to perfect. And this is why most football trainers and coaches have created fun games and drills that will help improve the passing skills of football players. The BBC are always updating their website with new skills, tips and tricks from managers and coaches around the world so check that site out regularly in order to learn new techniques using football drills.

Keep Your Yard Cleangrass-cutting-1024x516

The first game that helps improve a player’s passing skills is known as “Keep Your Yard Clean.” This drill teaches players to pass the ball as quickly as possible. The game is set up by creating two 40×40 “yards” in which two opposing teams, of whatever number, are positioned. The primary goal for the two teams is to pass the footballs into the opposing team’s “yard.” However, the passes are dictated by the coach. So if the coach only allows passes made with the left foot, then the teams must follow suit. In the end, the team with the least amount of footballs in their “yard” wins.

Tug of Wartug-of-war-team

The next drill is known as “Tug of War.” This game was created in order to test the football player’s accuracy and power. Cones are positioned on opposite sides of the field, designating the areas of the opposing teams. In the middle of the field is a colored football. The goal of the game is to push the colored football to the opposing team’s area by striking their given football to hit the colored one. The catch is that one can only direct their football through the positioned cones. This game helps players learn the push pass, one of the most fundamental and important passing skills in the game.

Chip Pass to Target Playerusa-today-8260227.0

The “Chip Pass to Target Player” drill is a little bit more difficult than the other games. This drill was made in order teach players the fundamentals of the chip pass, a very tricky passing skill. Two teams place one of their players inside a 10×10 box on opposite sides of the field. The other players battle for the ball in the hopes of achieving the goal of the game, which is to make a successful chip pass to their teammate inside the box. YouTube is a great way to learn these games so do a search on there to see if you can find them and others.

The Bank GameP1190038

“The Bank Game” is a drill that enables players to improve their passing skills while under pressure. In a small area, a team of four players has to make four successful passes to each other while a defender tries to disrupt their passes. It’s a good incentive to put some cash into the drills. If they are able to make four successful passes, then they “earn” $100. The game progresses as the area becomes smaller for the team and more defenders are thrown at them. They can then “bank” their earnings by changing sides with the opposing team. This drill, like the others, not only builds the football skills of players, but it is also a great way to have fun.

Sports That Help Improve Your Mood And Fight Depression


Most people, on realizing they are suffering from anxiety, seek medical aid from therapists. They often try to find , without looking for a more natural way to combat this affliction. Others try to regulate on diet so as to cut back on fatty foods that may cause obesity and anxiety. In the long run, alcohol intake, yogurt and drinks that contain acids so as not to interfere with the body’s alkaline environment and magnesium and finally reduce caffeine intake without at any time thinking ofsport as a perfect remedy for anxiety, mood and depression.

As you can probably tell by the opening paragraph, today’s post is going to be about how football and sport an help to alleviate bad feelings of depression and improve one’s mood.

Compared to medication, sporting is more powerful as it also improves the overall health of the body and is cheaper since the only expense to incur is of the sporting gear. Daily exercising guarantees you improved mood and reduced depression. According to research, it leads to desired free life in the long run.

Inactivity vs. mood and depression

Research has for a long time now linked lack of physical activity to depression, though not distinctly clear, the following tries to explain the reason behind this.

  • High level of stress hormones; when stress and depression creeps in, the body responds 69e62e80-443c-4a75-8ee6-f0b87130b919by production of stress hormones called cortisol. Research indicates that body movement is essential in depleting cortisol bringing it down to required level thus improving on mood and depression
  • More unused energy; bodies were created to move. If you deny your body movement, the accumulated unused energy creates physical tension and ultimately mental tension thus affecting your mood.
  • Poor immune system; sporting is essential for maintaining body hormonal balance resulting to an improved immune system. imbalance of hormones due to inactivity can cause mood swings and at times depression

Sporting vs. mood and depressiongrant_a_paille_sl_64011

It is important to note that, not being physically active doesn’t not result to depression and mood changes to everyone. Sometimes it is because of life uncertainties and hopelessness. Sporting only helps in managing it as below

  • Relaxation neurotransmitters; sporting has similar effects to medication in depression management. It triggers the release of natural pain killers-endorphin in the brain so as to prevent pain from exercising but they also play a big role in the regulation of mood and mind relaxation
  • Breakdown of cortisol; cortisol is a stress hormone produced when one is stressed or depressed. Sporting activities have been found to break down cortisol preventing further depression symptoms.
  • Reduced inactivity; inactive bodies have more build up energy that causes tension. Sporting protects the body from both physical and mental tension. It also reduces the fact that inactivity related depression affects you.
  • Healthy way of life; sporting is a healthy way to spend free time as it improves on overall health apart from prevention of depression.
  • Improved sleep; people suffering from depression hardly sleep. Sporting tires one’s body making it easier to fall asleep. Sleep is essential in depression management and therefore completely valuable for sporting to improve sleep.

Apart from the above, sporting also improves on confidence and makes the body to be more efficient.

Breaking into sportingScreen-Shot-2016-02-22-at-193919

When starting, you need to introduce your body slowly by simply getting out and moving. The body needs to get used to exertion and breathing for a few days as you make those gradual improvements.
Consider the following simple exercises

  • Stretching; essential in ensuring the muscles do not freeze hence no physical or mental tension build up responsible for mood and depression
  • Biking; quite relaxing and one of the best forms of exercising. Instead of using your car for that short distance, try biking experience
  • Walking; walking is a simple yet a good form of exercising since it enables body movements and occupies the mind
  • Playing relaxed sport; examples include; badminton, bowling, baseball and even dancing among others. They are all essential for improved blood flow and reduced depression symptoms.

When your body is ready and is used to exertion, employ a bit more intensive sporting as below

  • Swimming; a bit intense compared to walking due to water resistance that will work out muscles
  • Light jogging; improves on blood circulation and enables the body to get rid of wastes via sweat. it also leads to production of endorphin, hormones responsible for depression and mood control
  • Joining a team; it improves on morale and offers competition for a bit more intensive sportingquidditch-intermurals

The above were initial stages of preparation to intensive sporting. Before engaging on any intensive exercising programme, it is vital to talk to your doctor about it for guidance and advice. The following are some sports that will help in improving your mood and at the same time fight depression

  • Yoga; provides a good mix of mental and physical exercising. It is considered to be a natural way of fighting depression and a good way to calm the mind. The good thing is that, yoga doesn’t involve the use of expensive equipment, all you need is a mat and free you tube videos for guidance. Yoga trains one to focus and have a relaxed mind which is a vital ingredient in curing depressionBN-KK318_boxing_G_20150921153643
  • Boxing; with boxing, you only need a pair of gloves and contact pads. Sometimes a punching bag for practise is essential. These are all easily obtained hence only little amount of money is required. Basic boxing drills can be easily accessed in you tube. On mastering the basics, involve yourself in simple competitions to boost your confidence and improve on mood.
  • Kayaking; a good work out that leaves one with a happy and relaxed feeling. The natural water sounds are also soothing. When kayaking, try to synch your paddle strokes with your breath to for that additional exercising dimension. It is also vital for mind relaxation as it is likened to meditation.
  • Running; the only equipment needed here is a pair of sport shoes. Check in the internet for free training modes and try practising them. When running, it is essential to keep focus on your breath as this automatically calms the mind. Running also initiates the release of endorphins which is essential for the body.
  • Hiking; it places one in the middle of nature lifting the feelings of depression. With only mountaineering boots required, walking in a forest with sounds of chirping birds and enjoying mountain views and eventually relaxing by the riverside has never been so relaxing. It is a sport yet one of the best ways of outdoor relaxation.
  • Gym; the gym offers variety of exercises to indulge in that can manage mood and depression. A gym instructor guides through mild, moderate and finally intense workouts that improve the general health of the body.

Mood and depression management via sporting will only be a success if one is committed and follows a well prepared timetable of sporting activities to be involved in. cure depression by fighting inactivity.…