Scoring goals could be considered the most important part of the game. At the end of the game it’s the results on the scoresheet that count. No matter what position you play, chipping in with goals increases your value in any team tenfold.
Whether you are a forward or midfielder, you should at some point look to adding more goals to your game. Midfielders who chip in goals are highly valuable and help to seal wins even if the strikers are off form during a match.
Timing & Positioning
It is very difficult to score from the sidelines or far outside of the box. Having more chances to score means you have at the very least be in scoring positions when you have or receive the ball. The positions you take up should also favour your stronger foot. You also need to account for time needed to evade nearby defenders looking to close you down. Often you will need to remain outside of the dangerous spaces then pop in them, preferably undetected, when play begins to unfold.
Movement & Runs
Part of being in the right place at the right time is timing. If you stand in advantageous positions, the defending team will try to keep track of you and adjust positionally. Planning your movement depending on how you are reading the game is a trusty skill to possess when looking to convert more. Sometimes you will need to do a decoy run to open up space for your teammates. Many times the attention of your teammate give you the added stealth needed to appear at the end of the move with the winning goal.
Putting it together
Effectively scoring means combining a number of key moves.
“Receiving, Repositioning and Finishing.”
You need to be able to receive and trap the ball, with your first touch setting up space for the shot or dribble. Then, to able to set your feet and body position for shooting, then the actual shooting movement with accuracy and sufficient power.
Training each of these areas separately will strengthen your ability to do these things on a whole.
Accuracy & placement
Once you have mastered making contact with the ball, ultimately where you decide to place the ball will greatly effect whether you beat the keeper. If the keeper has an idea where you are looking to direct your shots, they already have a few milliseconds more in their favour when saving your shot. A good shot is accurate and hard to save. A great shot is one that keeper doesn’t expect. A world class shot is one that the keeper expects but can do nothing about.
Many times a super powerful shot isn’t necessary, and a well placed accurate shot is more than enough to outwit the keeper. Hitting the ball low into the corners has been the advice of many coaches, and can also master shooting in to other areas such as side netting and the roof of the net.
Pro Tip: To bolster your knowledge on placement, study great penalty takers and see where the best tend to shoot the in the goal.
Shot power and types
To be an effective scorer, especially outside the six yard box, you will need to be able to put a decent amount of power on your shots. 50% of shot power is knowing the science behind striking the ball knowing what areas add that extra zip. You will need to decide whether to use the in-step, laces or inside foot.
The other 50% is your physical structure. Training your legs for raw power and your ankles for balance needed to execute will help you to shoot more powerfully.
To keep it simple, confidence is about believing you will score before you take the shot. If you can picture scoring in your mind and really believe in yourself, you can score at will.
Tricks and dummies
Knowing how to dummy and get defender and keepers to react will confuse you opponents and open up seconds to shoot at stunned defenders. Learning and mastering at least 2 tricks will bring you goals time and time again.
Many players don’t tend to train this area of attack as it’s considered more ‘up in the air’ in terms of chances. But headed goals build up over a season and have helped europe’s elite scorers top up their goal tally season by season.