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·         Land on your shooting foot when shooting with power (Follow through).

·         Keep your knee and head over the ball.

·         Strike the center of the ball and strike through the ball.

·         Keep your toes pointed and your ankle locked.

·         Strike with power or place the ball into the corners.

·         Keep your hips square to your target.

·         Shoot often.  Follow your shot on goal – follow up all shots.  Many scoring opportunities are missed from uncontrolled balls by the goalie.

The Various ways to strike a ball

Instep - use the top surface area of your shoe just before the laces begin. Used to strike the ball with power.

Side of the foot - flat portion of your shoe (turn your body to the right or left depending up which foot you are kicking with. This is used more for accuracy and placement.  Pass the ball into the net.  Strike the ball low and to the corners.

Outside of the foot - used to bend the ball, strike through the ball, use the outer surface of the front part of your foot.  Three toes in Brazil, "tres dedos".

Inside of the foot - used to bend the ball, same as above except inner part of your shoe and the upper portion of your foot.  Try to wrap your foot around the ball by using the inner surface of your foot.

Placing the ball in the net

These are easy opportunities where you simply redirect a cross or pass into the goal with the inside of your foot. As with playing a simple pass, you don't need to hit the ball with much power.  Keep your ankle locked and almost re-direct the ball into the open space, low to the ground to the right or left of the keeper.  Make sure you follow through.  You don’t have to hit the ball with power but want to make it a crisp shot and not a flaccid, lazy strike.

There are always exceptions to the rule.  If you can pull it off and score, try new ways of shooting or putting the ball on goal. As a young player don't be afraid to take chances, although you should build up your basic foundation of skills and do the simple things perfectly before trying to make heel passes or bending the ball with the outside of your foot like Roberto Carlos.

Small Window

If there is any opening take a shot. Look for those small windows where you can bend the ball around the defender and into the corner of the net. You are using the defender as a shield, so that the goalie doesn’t get a good look at the ball and where it’s going.  You don't need to beat the defender to get a good shooting opportunity. Use the defender to your advantage to block the keeper's vision and take a quick shot.

Many times your shot will end up being deflected by the opposing team and break through the crowd and slip into the goal, or a teammate will get a touch on the shot and throw off the keeper, the ball going completely the other way – the keeper diving one way to save the shot and the deflection putting the ball into the opposite corner.

Also, you want the opposing team to be worried about whether you are going to take a shot or not.  If there is a small opportunity or half chance take it with confidence.  Whether it's a long range shot or a shot in amongst a crowd.  When the defense thinks you are going to shoot they will rush towards you allow you to make a pass to an open teammate.  You can also set them up for a fake shot.  If they’re so used to you shooting the simple impression that you’re gong to shot or a subtle cut of the ball will put them off.

Half chances

Follow your shots. You never know when the goalkeeper is going to drop the ball.  As a forward or attacking midfielder always be ready to follow up all shots and pounce on shots that the goalie drops.

As a forward try to read the game and take risks when the ball is punted by the opposing goalie.  See if you can read the play and see where the second ball will end up. Try to read where your teammate will redirect or flick the ball on to you. Often, the other team will miss hit or redirect the ball towards their own goal. Be ready to jump on those opportunities.

The Volley

This is striking the ball out of the air.  Keep your ankle locked and drive through the ball.  Although when striking the ball in the air make sure you are in a balanced position and you are not reaching out to far to meet the ball, otherwise the ball will not go straight and in the direction you want.  Try to have your hips square to the ball and follow through.

Half Volley

Meet the ball just after it bounces.  Just as it rises from the ground.  Meet the ball on the run and strike through the ball.

Bicycle Kick

Keep your back to the target and your eyes on the ball.  Bring the knee of your non-kicking leg toward your chest followed immediately with the same motion of your kicking leg. The movement of your legs will appear as if you're pedaling a bicycle backwards. Extend both arms and your palms facing the ground behind you to brace yourself when you land.

Quick Shooting drills

1)  Simply have a forward post up on the top of the box and form about twenty feet away of shooters, who then play the ball into the forward who lays the ball off to the right or left for his or her teammates to take a first time shot on goal.  Then have the line move to the side, so you're hitting the ball with the inside and outside of your feet- both right and left, so move the line accordingly.  So you're coming on to the ball from the side and the forward may just be laying the ball back to the on coming shooter.

2)  Another option is to have players line up along the side of the goal and then form another line at the top of the box.  The players along the side the goal play the ball with pace to the players at the top of the box, who then have three touches to get a shot off before the charging player closes them down.

3)  Play combinations at the top of the box - overlaps, give and goes, and crosses that all lead to shots.  Try to hit a moving ball and make the drills game like.  Much like with patterns, setup a few short combinations that lead to shots.

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