To develop a good striker, like most positions, they need to meet certain requirements, and if these requirements are developed at a younger age, the chances of them being good players at a later date are higher. These attributes include:
Physical: Speed Mental: Anticipation Technical: Finishing
Agility Vision Touch
Strength Awareness Hold up and Link up play
Movement Passion Pressure defenders
Note: This post does not encourage coaches to allocate specific positions to youth players, all players should be coached to play a variety of positions for stronger development.
The following are sessions aiming to develop the standard of strikers.
- Movement off the ball, where does the player move in relation to the ball, defenders and space?
- Use of the body to hold up the ball and keep possession (long and thin shielding)
- Anticipate crosses, passes and following up on other shots
- Players must WANT the ball, get to the ball before all over players
- Finishing from different areas all over the pitch
- Being able to finish on a different amount of touches
- Spatial awareness of what is around the player, where the player is in relation to the ball, defenders and space
- Using speed, agility and strength to benefit the player
- Good first touch
- Using a variety of techniques to shoot (Lace it or Place it)
Session 1 (Channel Finishing)
Explanation: This session aims to develop the ability for a striker to receive the ball and finish, creating channels allow the players to work in groups to provide more opportunity. In the channels players are provided with different options that strikers would experience during a game.
1. Receiving the ball on the back foot, beating a defender (Cone or Player) and finishing.
2. Player dribbles out takes on the defender and finishes.
3. Player receives the ball from the defender, defender then applies pressure on the player from behind.
Session 2 ('Y' Receiving and Shooting Facing The Goal)
Explanation: Two 'Y' shapes made up of cones and mannequins are mirrored across the pitch with two goals along one line. The pass is player into the central mannequin before turning and passing to one of the wide mannequins to the player who will approach the goal and finish. Players must follow their pass, once the right hand side has been worked, the next receiving player will then play to the left and keep taking it in turns between each side, this allows the session to flow more and create more opportunities.
Work on the players movements off the mannequin:
1. Running around the blindside of the mannequin
2. Running across the path of the mannequin
Progression 1 ('Y' Receiving and Shooting With Back To Goal)
Explanation: Players set up in a similar design, however this time players are receiving the ball with their back to the goals. Again, movements can differ related to realistic in game movements.
1. Player peels off and makes movement from the blindside of the mannequin with the pass played behind the mannequin.
2. Player pulls away from the mannequin receiving the ball to feet and takes a touch into the space behind the defender.
3. Player drops off into space, receives the ball to allow a dribbling approach towards the defender before taking on the mannequin and taking a shot.
Session 3 (Shooting and Crossing)
Explanation: Players are split into three lines and complete their shot or cross and then move round in an anti clockwise direction.
1. Player dribbles up to the cone takes a touch around the cone and shoots.
2. Player takes one touch out of their feet and shoots
3. Players 1 and 2 make run around the cone and Player 3 crosses the ball into the box for the two players to attack
There are a variety of progressions that can be included using this set up. Be creative but make it realistic.
Session 4 (Crossing and Finishing From Different Areas)
Session 5 (Playing through the back line)
Explanation: 4 players set up as a defensive back line on the edge of the area, inside the area created on the outside of the 18 yard box are the four attacking players, the coach or feeder passes the ball into an attacking player, on their first touch the defense then step into the area to win to ball back, the attacking team are to penetrate the back line and score in the goal, they can do this by dribbling or passing. If the defense win the ball they are to get the ball back to the coach or feeder for a point.
- Give every player an equal chance to play as an attacker, especially at younger ages
- All coaching points stated at the top are suitable for each of these drills
- Encourage success
All sessions are designed using the resources from www.AcademySoccerCoach.co.uk