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.

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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.