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Creating Realistic Shooting Practices (FREE PDF!)

Updated: Jan 18, 2023

Balancing repetition with realism can be a constant challenge for a coach when designing a shooting practice for their team. Of course, there is a time and place for repetitive practice, but when you are working with a full team who play in different positions and will therefore have see a range of different pictures throughout the game, it is perhaps better to move from shooting 'practice' to shooting 'exercises'. The objective of the exercises are to expose your attacking players to more variability with finishing techniques, more situations where they have to create a shot rather than being presented with one, and more awareness around the importance of relationships with different players and positions.

Below is an exercise that still quite common today, primarily because it's easy to organize and allows players a steady flow of shots. However, does it allow for scanning, decision making, reading cues from teammates, and movement to create space? And if not, then does it lack reality and effectiveness.

This week we have designed a set of ideas for coaches who are looking to create shooting exercises with that element of decision making and game realism involved. Below are an example of three of the games. Click here to get the FREE PDF of 5 MSC SHOOTING EXERCISES!

Exercise One:

Eighteen players are split into two teams of eight players, plus two goalkeepers, in a 20x30 yard pitch. Four players start on the inside for each team, with their teammates located around the attacking side of the pitch. Players on the inside are free to move anywhere while the perimeter players must stay in their zone. There is a two-touch limit on the inside and a one-touch limit on the outside. This is a competitive, high-tempo game with two minute games before players switch roles with their teammates. Play 6 games total and keep the score running. (See below)

Exercise Two

Ten players are split into two teams inside two 10x10 yard boxes. Each box contains a 4v1 situation. Play with a traditional rondo which lasts for only 90 seconds. If the possession team complete 3 passes, they can release one player to sprint and shoot on goal. The game is continually moving so when the player is shooting, a new 3v1 starts. After 90 seconds, the teams switch out their defender. Play ten games total and keep the score running throughout. (See below)

Exercise Three:

Eight players are split into a possession team of five players, and a defensive team of two pressing players and a goalkeeper. The exercise starts with four attackers in a 15x15 yard possession box and a supporting player 10 yards away on a mannequin. The exercise begins with a traditional 4v2 exercise. If the possession team complete 5 consecutive passes, they can play into the higher player and score (with a 8-second shot clock). Play for 90 seconds and then rotate defenders and target player. (See below)

Click here to get the FREE PDF of 5 MSC SHOOTING EXERCISES! You can also watch the YouTube breakdown below that we have recently posted, discussing this topic.

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