The Goal.

Maximizing Finishing Opportunities
in and around the Penalty Area

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This soccer coaching clinic was given by Rudy Zeller - LASCA, National Staff Coach. The coaching clinic was reported and illustrated by Gene Pitstick.

Warm-up #1 – 2 lines facing each other 15-20 yards apart. With one touch player with the ball uses a , instep drive to pass to opposite line. Opposite line player walls the ball back to the beginning passer. The beginning passer returns the ball to the wall player, who passes back to the inside of foot of the beginning passer. The beginning passer then takes a shot on keeper who is beside start of wall line. Shooter and wall players switch lines.

  • Coaching Point: Emphasized accuracy of both shots
  • Warm-up #2 – Moved to using outside of foot bender for the first shot (toe down) and a toe poke finish on keeper.

  • Coaching Point: Emphasized in close to keeper using toe poke or short chop with inside of foot so the keeper doesn’t have time to read what you are doing.
  • Warm-up #3 – Moved to outside bend on first shot and a chip over a keeper going down on second

  • Coaching Points: When using inside of foot to bend have toe up and for the chip over keeper, he emphasized for the shooter to jab it.
  • Warm-up #4 – Moved to player using what ever you think will work


    Drill #1 - lines of three on each goal post with two goals facing each other. Keeper in each goal. One post feeds a ball to a player coming forward from the other post for a shot. Start from both ends for rotation, let the keeper recover before next pair of players start.
  • Coaching Points: Emphasized player attacking at penalty spot so can shoot to either side of keeper. Emphasized playing ball low to either side of keeper or bender. Lots of goals occur from penetration
  • Coaching Point: Stutter step before hitting ball with your feet close
  • Drill #2 – Changed to working on finishing overlaps. The first passer over laps and get ball back from 2nd receiver. The over lapping player takes the ball to the corner. The 2nd receiver sets up far post and comes to near post to finish ball.


    Drill #3 - Moved to a passing combo. The two players take a couple of passes, then play the ball into corner and back into far post for finish.
  • Coaching Point: Strike the ball with feet close together and your shoulder and hips facing the goal.
  • Drill #4 – Use a instep shot , inside bender or outside bender for the shot. He used 3 passes and a longer shot on goal.


    Drill #5 - Next pass across and then follow the receiver. The receiver dribbles at the goal and stops the ball on the 14 and follower takes a shot.

    Drill #6 – The striker comes out from diagonal post on the other end looking back for defender. The ball is played forward from the diagonal post. The striker receives the ball and turns and shoots. The passer moves to join the striker supply line and vice versa.


    Drill #7 - Added a defender that starts on post with the striker

    Drill #8 - Added the first passer dribbling at striker w defender – striker clears to side, passer reads and either finishes or slots to striker for finish

  • Coaching Point: Try asking players what they need to do to solve a problem – i.e. if defender doesn’t move with striker you must get close before slotting the ball to the striker.
  • Drill #9 - Moved to the starting passer giving pass to striker. The striker holds ball. The striker can turn if the defender is not tight or pass back to starting passer and roll away for a return pass behind the defender.

  • Coaching Point: Encouraged the striker to lay off well in front of the starting passer.
  • Drill #10 - 3v1 to goal: He started with the striker and defender in front of each goal, Two players come from opposite end. Start with a ball passed to the striker.

    Drill #11 – The keeper starts by distributing a ball in back to one of 3 in a 3v1 in back zone. After some inter-passing among the 3, 2 move to other end zone and play the ball to their striker on the other end. The striker holds, passes, or turns and finishes

  • Coaching Point: He likes to do this in a 4v2 on each end.
  • Drill #12 - Moved to 4v2 on each end. When the ball is put into play with to the 4 of a 4v2 on one end, the opposite end changes to 2 strikers vs 2 defenders. You play to goal as before. The 2 from 4 in the zone away from goal being attacked move forward when the ball is played into offensive to create a 4 v2 for finishing.

    Drill #13 - Moved to the first 4v2 to take long shot and then strikers would work for the rebound

  • Coaching Points: The ideal distance from goal to goal would be 40-45 yards. He emphasized the players should use a stutter step into their shot.
  • Drill #14 - Had the 4’s on each end playing together so they could pass a 4 player on other end who lays back in to long zone for a shot.

    Drill #15 – He positioned a player near each post on the end line and made it 4v4 on field. The players near posts on the end can help the four on offense in their end as walls. The end players rotated with a group of 4 that were on the field after a score.

    Drill #16 – Same as previous except the players must shoot on the next touch when the coach says "shot." If the player fails to take shot they must drop and do 3 push ups.

    Drill #17 - Finished with a 6v6 game that he organized into a 3-2-1 alignment.