One of the most frustrating things to watch in a soccer match is a team executing great ball movement down the field and setting up a great opportunity to score… only to miss an easy goal.
The best way to avoid this as a coach is to develop players who can score past any goalkeeper, by implementing the best soccer shooting drills during practice.
Below you’ll find shooting drills designed for your players to practice all aspects of finishing around the goal.
Please note that any measurements for cone placing etc, can be adjusted depending on the players’ age and skill level.
Any extra goalkeepers should stand off to the side of the goal during drills and switch into the activity every 3-5 repetitions.
11 Soccer Shooting Drills to Always Score
1. 1-on-1 Shootout
- Divide players into pairs and give each pair a soccer ball.
- For each pair, set up two gates using cones placed 8-12 years away from each other. Each gate should be 5-7 yards wide and should be facing the other gate.
- Each pair will be positioned inside the two gates, and each player should be between a cone gate directly across from their partner. One player starts with the ball at their feet.
- First, the player with the ball in each group takes a shot on their opponent’s cone gate while their opponent attempts to block the shot from crossing their cone gate.
- Once the player has scored or their shot has been blocked, their opponent will attempt a shot on their cone gate.
- Only shots below the opponent’s waist are allowed. Each time a player successfully shoots the ball past their opponent’s cone gate, and below their waist, the shooter is awarded one point.
- The winner is determined by who has scored the most points by the end of the round. At the end of each round switch partners and play each round for 2-4 minutes.
2. 1,2 Shoot
- Players form a line starting about 8-12 yards outside the penalty area with a ball at their feet.
- One player will be the passer. Position them on the edge of the penalty box facing the line of players. This player does not need a ball.
- Put a goalkeeper in the full-size goal, if available.
- The first player in line starts the drill with a pass to the player at the edge of the penalty area.
- The passer takes one or two touches and lays the ball to either side of them for the player to run onto and shoot.
- The shooting player immediately runs onto the ball and takes a shot at the goal.
- After the first player has had a turn, the next player in line can immediately take theirs. Players should retrieve their own shots before returning to the line.
- Every 8-10 repetitions switch the designated passer and continue this process for 5-10 minutes, or until the ball needs to be collected and the goalkeepers need a break.
3. Cross and Finish Competition
- Set up one, full-size goal on one end of the field.
- One goalkeeper is needed for this drill.
- Set up one cone on each side of the penalty area 2-5 yards outside the penalty box and 5-10 years from the end line. Adjust the cone distance and angle to the goal as needed.
- Set up two cones at the top of the penalty box about 10 yards apart. These should be 2-3 yards outside the penalty box.
- Divide the players into two, evenly numbered teams and assign each team to a jersey color.
- Assign each team a cone at the top of the box and have them form a line behind their cone.
- Have each team send 3-5 players to the outside cone that is the furthest away from them. These players will form a line behind their cone and be the crossers for the round.
- There should be an even number of soccer balls between two crossing cones.
- Each crosser in the line should have a ball at their feet, and you can decide which team will go first.
- The first crosser in line from the first team takes a touch toward the end line and then crosses the ball into the box.
- Two players from the crosser’s team at the top of the box will also run into scoring positions inside the box. One player should run to the front post, while the other should run to the back post.
- The two players running into the box will attempt to score off their teammate’s cross.
- The second team will then take their turn. The second team crosser on the opposite side of the box from the first team crosser takes a touch towards the end line and then crosses their ball into their teammates who have run into scoring positions.
- After each turn, the crosser goes to the back of their team’s crossing line while the shooters retrieve their shot and pass it towards the crossers.
- The two teams alternate crossing and finishing for the remainder of the round. The team with the most goals scored at the end of the round wins.
- After each round switch team crossers and have teams switch sides so that they can cross and finish from both sides.
4. Diagonal Shooting
- Use four cones to mark a square grid about 25-30 yards wide.
- Place a full-size goal in the middle of each end line.
- Assign at least one goalkeeper to each goal. If you have extra goalkeepers, have them stand off to the side and rotate every few repetitions.
- Divide the players into two evenly numbered groups, forming a line at the corner cones of the square diagonal from each other. Divide all the soccer balls evenly between the two lines.
- Only one player at the front of the two lines should have a soccer ball at their feet.
- The player without the soccer ball at the front of the line begins to run diagonally across the square.
- The player at the front of the opposite line with the soccer balls passes the ball to the player who is running towards them.
- The player on the run receives the pass and takes one or two touches before finishing on the goal they are heading towards.
- The player retrieves the ball after they shoot and go to the back of the opposite line they started from. The player who passed the ball to the runner then runs diagonally across the grid towards the opposite goal.
- The player in the opposite line of the runner passes the ball to the player running and the process continues for the rest of the round.
- Continue for about 2-3 minutes. After each round, the players should rest and switch corner cones so that they can attack from the other angle.
5. Cross Control
- Use cones to mark two boxes around the edge of the penalty area, approximately 3-4 yards wide.
- Designate two players as the crossers and position them outside the penalty area along the end line.
- Divide all the balls evenly between the two crossers.
- Divide the rest of the players evenly and have them form two lines above the marked boxes.
- One player from each line steps into the box and prepares to receive the cross.
- If a goalkeeper is available, place them in front of the full-size goal.
- One designated crosser serves the ball in the air and diagonally across from the penalty area to the player in the box furthest away from them.
- The player inside the box receives the ball out of their air and attempts to score a goal in the least amount of touches.
- The second crosser can then serve the next ball to the other player in the opposite box and repeat the process.
- Players receiving the crosses must start inside the box. Depending on the accuracy of the cross, they are free to move outside of the box to meet the ball and complete their turn.
- Receiving players can use their feet, thighs, chest, or head to control the ball out-of-the-air and score as quickly as possible.
- After players shoot, they retrieve the ball and pass it in the direction of the closest crosser and go to the back of the opposite line they just shot from.
- You can rotate the crossers after 2-4 minutes and collect any extra balls that are not near the two crossers.
6. Gate Shooting
- One full-size goal is needed, and at least one goalkeeper.
- Set up a gate about 7-10 yards wide using two cones just inside the penalty box, or 12-16 yards out from the goal.
- Place one cone on each side of the goal along the end line. Each cone should be 15-25 yards away from the goal.
- Divide the players evenly between the two cones positioned along the end line and have the players form a line behind each cone. Divide all the soccer balls evenly.
- One player from the front of a line starts the drill by crossing the ball to the front of the goal for the goalkeeper to catch.
- Once the player crosses the ball they begin running towards the cone gate while the goalkeeper catches the ball and rolls it on the ground towards the cone gate.
- The player runs around and through the gate to receive the ball and shoot.
- As soon as the player has finished their turn and the goalkeeper is ready, the player from the opposite crossing line can begin their turn.
- After each player shoots, they need to retrieve their ball and go to the back of the opposite line they came from.
- Continue for 3-5 minutes.
7. Moving Goal
- Decide on a playing area depending on the number of players and the skill level. For example, a half-field is suitable for 20-28 players.
- Select two players who still start the drill as the moving goal. Give the two players a rope to hold in their hands to form the goal. The space between the two players and below the rope is the goal area.
- Divide the rest of the team into two, evenly numbered teams and assign each team to a jersey color.
- Each team needs one soccer ball.
- The two players acting as the moving goal begin jogging around the field. The two players must communicate and stay together to maintain the distance between themselves.
- The two teams pass and dribble the ball to set themselves up for the best chance of scoring in the moving goal.
- As soon as the ball successfully goes through the two players and below the rope, the team continues to pass and move, attempting to score again.
- Each goal is worth one point. Teams must keep track of their own points. The team with the most points after 1-3 minutes is the winner.
- Take a short break after each round and switch the players acting as the moving goal.
8. Power and Finesse
- Set up a full-size goal at one end of the field with one goalkeeper.
- Two players start as passers and position themselves on each side of the goal, about 3-5 yards off each goal post. One passer should be a mid-range passer and the other a short-range passer.
- Set up a cone about 5-8 yards outside of the penalty box. The rest of the players form a line behind the cone set up outside of the penalty box.
- There should be an even number of soccer balls between the player line and the two passers.
- The first player in line starts with a ball at their feet. They then take a touch towards the goal and shoot the ball from outside the penalty area.
- The mid-ranger passer then completes a pass to the penalty area for the shooter to run on to and finish in one touch.
- After the second shot, the short-range passer completes a pass to the six-yard box for the shooter to run on to and finish in one touch.
- Once the shooter has completed all three shots, the shooter retrieves any soccer balls that went behind the goal while the goalkeeper retrieves any balls that are in the goal.
- Once the goalkeeper is set the next player can take their turn.
- Once each player has gone through twice, rotate the designated passers.
9. Quick Finish Competition
- Two full-size goals are needed with one goalkeeper to each goal. Set up the goals to face each other with about 30-35 yards of space between them.
- Set up a box of four cones in the center of the two goals. The box should be less than 10 yards from each goal and 12-18 yards wide.
- Form two cone gates on two opposite sides of the corner box. Set up the gates on the two box sidelines that do not have a goal behind them.
- Divide the players into two, evenly numbered teams.
- Have each team form a line behind the cone gates set up across from each other. There should only be one team on each cone gate.
- One team will be the defensive team. Place all the soccer balls behind their cone gate.
- The first player in each line steps up into their gate. The player in the defensive team line passes the ball directly across the square to the first player in the offensive team line.
- They then run across the square to try and win the ball from the offensive player receiving the pass.
- The offensive player receiving the pass must take their touch to the left or right, away from the approaching defender, and score on the goal that they take their touch towards. They must shoot inside the square and score to receive a point for their team.
- If the defender blocks the ball or steals it from the offensive player, then the offensive player’s turn is over and the next two players compete.
- Offensive players can score on either goal. They must stay within the box and can use however many touches they want to score. They should try to score in two or three touches to keep the activity moving.
- After each player on the offensive team has shot twice then the soccer balls are collected and the team switches roles.
- The team that scored the most points after each team has been on offense is the winner.
10. First to Finish
- Place two full-size goals on one end line of the field, about 10-15 yards apart from each other.
- Place one goalkeeper in each goal. However, if there are no goalkeepers available replace the full-size goals with mini-goals.
- Place one cone about 18-20 yards away from each goal, and place one cone along the end line about 5-8 yards outside of each goal. There should be cones along the end line between the goals.
- Divide the players into two teams and have them form a line behind the cones set up outside of the goals.
- Each player should have a ball. If you do not have enough soccer balls for each player, just make sure the players at the front of the line do.
- The first player in the line dribbles as fast as possible towards their cone in front of the goal.
- The players dribble around their cones and then shoot on goal, attempting to score before their opponent.
- Players are free to shoot whenever they want after dribbling around their cones. For an easier finish, they can shoot from a distance or dribble closer to the goal.
- Whichever player scores first is awarded two points for their team. If a player scores after their opponent they are awarded one point.
- After the first two players complete their turn they collect their soccer balls and return to their team lines.
- After each player has completed one routine, you can tally up the score and declare a winner for the round.
11. Final Pass and Finish
- Set up one full-sized goal on the end line.
- Position one goalkeeper in goal.
- Set up four mannequins about 5-7 yards outside of the penalty area, parallel to the top of the penalty area line. There should be 5-7 yards of space between them. You can use sticks or cones if mannequins are not available.
- Two cones should be placed 15-18 yards in front of the two center mannequins, and the other two cones placed 6-8 yards in front and just to the outside of the wide mannequins.
- Divide the players evenly between the four cones and form lines behind each cone.
- Place all the balls between the two center cones at the top of the drill. Each player starts with a ball at their feet.
- The first players in each of the right two lines go first, facing the goal. The player at the top cone starts with a pass to the wide player to their right.
- The wide player receives the pass and lays the ball back to the top player who passed it to them.
- When the wide player lays the ball off, they run towards the mannequins while the top player approaches the lay-off.
- The wide player makes sure to stay onside before the top player passes the ball through the mannequins and into the wider player’s running path.
- The wide player receives the ball behind the mannequins and tries to finish on goal.
- Once the right side has completed their turn the left side-lines begin their turn, following the same pattern.
- The player who made the final pass goes to the back of the wide player line while the shooter retrieves their shot and goes to the back of the line at the top cone on their side.
- The wide players can run behind any of the mannequins on their side of the field. The runner and the passer need to communicate the run and where the final pass should be played.
- Continue for 5-8 minutes before resting and collecting any lost soccer balls. Have the players switch sides so they can work all sides of the field.