10 Top Soccer Finishing Drills: [Printable Diagrams]

It’s a simple equation – outscore your opponents and you’ll win the game. But, in order for that to happen you’ll need to ensure your strikers can not only strike the ball properly but make the right decisions under pressure.

Usually (especially with younger age groups) players fall into one of 2 categories;

  • Over confident players that hold onto the ball too long and inevitably end up losing it before taking a shot
  • Player with not enough confidence who end up swinging at the ball with the hopes it’ll go somewhere near the goal

Developing shooting and finishing skills is as much about making the right decisions as it is about refining the individual techniques of a certain type of shot.

In this drills guide I have outlined 10 simple but highly effective soccer finishing drills that you can use, adapt and take ideas from for your training session.

Before we dive in though, there’s a few things to keep in mind…

Key Coaching Points

Soccer Finishing Key Coaching Points

Each drill will have it’s own unique coaching points to ensure it runs as smoothly as possible – that said however, you’ll want to stick as closely to these specific key points as much as possible;

Finishing Coaching Points:

  • Stay calm under pressure
  • Use your arms for balance
  • Strike the ball towards the corners
  • Hit the ball across the goalkeeper if you can
  • Learn to use all side of your feet to strike the ball
  • Laces for more power – side foot for more placement
  • Find a balance between accuracy and power ratio
  • Get the body in alignment for the right shot
  • Non-kicking foot placed firmly beside the ball
  • Keep your head still
  • Learn and understand the different ball contact points for each type of shot
    • EG: Straight through the center of ball with the laces
    • EG: Wrap your foot round the ball just off-center to curl it

Objectives

Again each drill can have it’s own unique objectives but general each drill will help improve and develop the following core areas;

  • Improve shooting accuracy
  • Develop good Power to Accuracy Ratio
  • Improve link up player around the box
  • Improve decision making under pressure

Important Points

  • Age Group Suitability: Most of the drills can be adapted to suit players of all ages. I’m always hesitant to list drills under age groups as it doesn’t always tell the full story. Of course, there’s an ideal developmental path your players will take as they get older but what one 8 year can do with ease might take a 15 year old months to learn. You job as a coach is to lay the foundations so your players can develop while adapting if need be along way.
  • Key Coaching Points: Again, I’ve gone into the bulk of the coaching points above but I have also listed some additional and the more important coaching points for each drill below the diagram.

Essential Equipment Needed

As this topic focuses on finishing it’s going to be pretty important that you have a soccer goal to work with. Now, there are times where you can completely do without a goal, but in general you’re going to want to have some sort of soccer goal to provide that all important instant feedback factor for your players. You’ll also need some cones to mark out any drills dimensions and player starting positions and finally I’d recommend having at least 1 soccer per players to easily identify teams.

Other than that, there are a few additional pieces of equipment needed for some drills – I have linked to, or listed these below each drill.

Here’s your essential equipment guide;

Net World Sports Forza Soccer...
Pro Disc Cones (Set of 50) -...
American Challenge Soccer...
SCOREMORE Soccer Training...
Net World Sports Forza Soccer...
Pro Disc Cones (Set of 50) -...
American Challenge Soccer...
SCOREMORE Soccer Training...
FORZA Soccer goals are durable, sturdy and are favorite among PSC readers
Simple semi-flat disc cones that can be used to define drill parameters and also be doubled up as targets
Again, pretty essential piece of equipment if you want to keep things clear, simple and easy to understand
While not essential - they'll really help develop finishing accuracy. They provide an instant audible 'snap' feedback sound and can fit nicely into most training bags
-
from $41.99
from $19.95
from $7.99
$64.99
Net World Sports Forza Soccer...
Net World Sports Forza Soccer...
FORZA Soccer goals are durable, sturdy and are favorite among PSC readers
-
from $41.99
Pro Disc Cones (Set of 50) -...
Pro Disc Cones (Set of 50) -...
Simple semi-flat disc cones that can be used to define drill parameters and also be doubled up as targets
from $19.95
American Challenge Soccer...
American Challenge Soccer...
Again, pretty essential piece of equipment if you want to keep things clear, simple and easy to understand
from $7.99
SCOREMORE Soccer Training...
SCOREMORE Soccer Training...
While not essential - they'll really help develop finishing accuracy. They provide an instant audible 'snap' feedback sound and can fit nicely into most training bags
$64.99

What Soccer Drill Software Am I Using?

Tactics Manager 3.0 logo

For the drills listed below I have used Soccer Tutors Tactics Manager 3.0. For the price, the ease of use and the ability to download full pdf drills and /or just the drill diagram itself it’s a no brainer. Most other coaching software on the market require long term monthly subscriptions or cost the earth – Tactics Manager however cost under $80 for a lifetime subscription. I’f you’re looking for piece of software to document all your soccer drills then I’d highly recommend you check it out…

Soccer Finishing Drills

Soccer Finishing Drill #1

2 Player Link Up[Finishing] 2 Player Link Up Finishing Soccer Drill

Coaching Points

  • Get the shot of quickly
  • Get back to player the 1-2 quickly
  • Aim low and for the corners
  • Can you hit the ball across the keeper?

Drill Details

Simple set up that only needs 2 players. You can however add a goalkeeper into the mix to make things more realistic and increase the challenge for your attackers. If you haven’t got any goalkeepers – use a goal with targets in each of the corners or grab yourself a set of ready-made soccer goal targets here.

Instructions

Player 1: Player 1 starts with the ball. They dribble forward and take a shot on goal. Once they have take their shot they immediately turn, sprint back to Player 2 to play a 1-2.

Player 1: Player 2 passes the ball into Player 1 who lays the ball off for Player 2 to take a shot on goal.

** Make sure you rotate the roles

Progressions

  • Progression 1: Again you can start without anyone in goal then progress to using your keepers.
  • Progression 2: Add additional equipment such as soccer mannequins and cones to mimic defenders
  • Progression 3: Finally progress to using real defenders. Be aware though this drill will now go from a 2 player drills to a 3+ player drill.

Soccer Finishing Drill #2

3 Progressive Attacking Drill

[Finishing] 3 Player Link Up Finishing Drill

Coaching Points

  • Hit the ball low and across the keeper
  • Player A: Turn quickly to try and win the ball from Player B
  • Player C: React quick to get the shot off before having the space closed down
  • Use disguise to get past the defender
  • **Ensure you rotate player roles

Drill Details

Again for this drill you’ll only need a few cones to mark each players starting position, a soccer goal to aim at and possibly a goalkeeper to make the drill more realistic. Again, you could use some soccer goal targets to develop player accuracy.

Player A: Dribbles forward and takes a shot on goal. Once the shot has been taken, Player A turns to defend the next player

Player B: Player B plays a 1v1 against Player A and also tries to get a shot on goal. Once the shot has been taken or the ball becomes dead. Both Player A & B turn to defend Player C

Player C: Plays 2v1 against the other players and tries to get a shot on target.

This is a great drill, that is simple to setup and allows for multiple progressions. Each step of the drill build upon the last and helps develop not only the finishing part of their game but their attacking skills as a whole.

Progressions

  • Progression 1: Progress to using 2 or 3 consistent defenders. Instead of the attackers switching to defenders they now link up with each player slowly building up to a a 2v3 / 3v3 by the time the last attacker comes in to the play.

Soccer Finishing Drill #3

2v1 Conditioned Game

[Finishing] 2 v 1 Conditioned Game

Coaching Points

  • Attackers should get a good chance on goal every time
  • Once you pass the ball get up to support your team mate quick

Drill Details

For this drill to work you’ll need to a normal pitch setup with 2 goalkeepers either end. Split your group into 4 separate groups and place 2 groups either side of the pitch near the goals and the other two groups opposite each other on the throw in line.

The drill starts with one of the teams near the goals (Player A) choosing a pass. They can pass two either side of the pitch. Whoever they pass the ball two will become the 2nd attacker. Once they’ve played the ball they sprint forward to support the attack while a player from the opposite side (Player C). runs to defend the attack.

Once the attack is over the drill starts again from the opposite side.

Progressions

  • Progression 1: Progress to 2v2  with a players from the opposite goal coming out to support the player who didn’t receive the pass
  • Progression 2: Add some sort of pressure by getting attacking players to get a shot on goal in a pre-determined time ie. 10 seconds to score a goal. once the 10 seconds are up the attack is finished.

Soccer Finishing Drill #4

3v3 Quick Transition

[Finishing] 3v3 Quick Transition

Coaching Points

  • Pass the ball round the ‘defenders’
  • Strike at goal
  • Quickly transition from attack to defense to stop the next 3 attackers

Drill Details

To set this drill up you’ll need to split your players into groups of three. Each team has a go at attacking the goal. The first team attack without any defenders. Once the attack is over ( a shot has been taken on goal) the team immediately transition to defenders to defend the next three players attacking. This continues until you stop the drill to coach you key points.

Progressions

  • Progression 1: Use mannequins as passive defenders
  • Progression 2: Progress to 4v4 / 5v5 using wingers and changing the style of attack

Soccer Finishing Drill #5

Close Range Finishing Drill

[Finishing] 5 Way Finish

Coaching Points

  • Play the ball in quickly
  • Control the ball and turn quickly and efficiently
  • Control the ball away from the defender
  • Use disguise to beat the defender

Drill Details

This is a great drill for not only working on your attacker ability to control and use the ball effectively in tight spaces around the goal area but also helps them develop the ability to control the ball coming in from different areas around the box.

You’ll need at least 4-5 players on the outside of the 18 yard box and one player in a boxed off area in the near the penalty spot.

Each player round the outside takes it in turns to play the ball in to the attacker in the box. The attacker in the box must control the ball away from the defender and take a shot on goal.

Each player on the outside can vary the heights, types and power of their passes to mimic a real game scenario.

Progressions

  • Progression 1: Progress from using a mannequin to using a real defender. Again, you can break this progression down to using an active and passive defender.
  • Progression 2: Load the box area with more players ie. 2v1 / 2v2 to mimic a realistic game situation

Soccer Finishing Drill #6

Attackers vs Defenders

[Finishing] Attacker vs Defenders4

Coaching Points

  • Keep your center of gravity low through the poles
  • Keep the ball close
  • Small touches
  • Once you get out of the poles, take a touch out of your body and strike the ball
  • Aim for the corners or across the keeper
  • Keep the intensity high
  • Stay calm under pressure

Drill Details

This is a functional drill that develops; technique, speed and agility of attack, dribbling and shooting. For the setup, split your group into 4 ‘teams’. 2 attacking teams and 2 defending team. Line 2 teams up either side of the 18 yard box with a set a off slalom poles or mannequins to use as the obstacles.

In this example, the blue players are the defenders while the whites are the attackers. Each side (left & right) take it in turns to attack and defend. Each attacker starts with a ball.

To start the attacker dribbles in a zig-zag shape through the slalom poles. Once the attacker passes the first blue pole the defender starts the sprint through the blue poles in the same zig-zag shape. The aim is for the attacker to get through the poles and take a shot on goal before the defender can get through the poles to stop them. Alternate side so the drill stays consistent and smooth.

Progressions

  • Progression 1: Use mannequins in the penalty area to increase the challenge

Soccer Finishing Drill #7

Box Play

[Finishing] Box Play

Coaching Points

  • Make the passes sharp and accurate
  • Communicate with each other
  • Strike the ball towards the corners of the goal
  • Keep the intensity high

Drill Details

The drills starts with using 3 players. You’ll also need some cones to mark out each players starting position but feel free to remove them when your players understand the drill.

To start, Player A plays a pass in to Player B. Player B takes one touch out of his body and starts to dribble across the top of the 18 yard box. Player C then starts to make a run, Player B plays the ball off and Player C takes a shot on goal.

Progressions

  • Progression 1: Use passive and active defenders to add more realism to the drill

Soccer Finishing Drill #8

The Diamond

[Finishing] Individual Shooting Drill

Coaching Points

  • Keep the ball close to your feet
  • Keep the intensity high
  • Keep your center of gravity low

Drill Details

This drill can be used as a stand alone drills for 1 player or used as part of bigger group drill as long as you have enough space. The drill involves using basic equipment such as; cones, mannequins and you could add in other pieces of equipment such as rebounders and slalom poles if you wanted to.

To start the player dribbles through the cones. Once they reach the box, they’ll dribble to each cone using a series of movements; drag backs, side shuffles, toe taps. The pattern they run is entirely up to you as the coach. Once they complete the box pattern, they break out and take a shot on goal.

Progressions

  • Progression 1: Use an active defender to close down the shot after they come out of the box

Soccer Finishing Drill #9

You Choose

[Finishing] You Choose

Coaching Points

  • Get up to support the attacking player as quickly as possible
  • Use disguise to beat the defender
  • Keep the ball close to your feet

Drill Details

For this drill, split your group into 3 ‘teams’. Then situate them outside the box; left, center and right of the 18 yard line. The team in the middle gets to choose who they play the ball too. Whatever side they play the ball too becomes the player they support in attack. The player that doesn’t receive the ball becomes the defender and needs to get across quickly to close down the shot on goal.

Progressions

  • Progression 1: Create a 2v2 situation where two defender from the team that didn’t receive the ball sprint to close down the shot.

Soccer Finishing Drill #10

Solo Quick Feet Drill

[Finishing] Solo Quick Feet Drill

Coaching Points

  • Get through the obstacles quickly
  • Keep the intensity high
  • Let the ball roll across your body
  • Practice striking with both feet

Drill Details

The drill is great for solo work. It’s a simple drill that requires a few pieces of conditioning equipment and a soccer rebounder to play the 1-2. Again, you don’t need to follow the exact outline I have above but, make sure you get enough ‘stations’ to make the drill as realistic as possible.

Progressions

  • Progression 1: Experiment and use other types of equipment

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