11 Shooting Drills for Soccer

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Shooting drills are a fundamental part of soccer training. They can help players improve their accuracy and speed in shooting and develop their footwork.

Shooting drills for soccer can be used to boost your shooting skills and help you become more accurate. Shooting drills are also a great way to improve your footwork and develop other skills to help you perform better on the field.

​Shooting Drills for Soccer Players and Teams

This article provides a few soccer shooting drills to help improve your shooting. It also provides some tips on how to improve your soccer shooting skills. To make this tutorial more organized, I’ve broken my drills into several categories:

  • ​Individual vs Team Drills
  • ​Beginner vs Intermediate vs Advanced Drills
  • ​Age Range
A group of kids in jerseys holding a soccer ball with their feet

​Individual Soccer Shooting Drills

Team exercises for shooting are great because you can simulate game situations and perform more robust drills. However, there is a limited time in team practice, and only so much can be accomplished.

Individual shooting practice, though, can be done on your own time. You can go at your own pace, practicing the drills without feeling any social pressures of success. You can also slow the process down, ensuring that you carefully and meticulously refine skill sets.

​Beginner Individual Shooting Drills: Ages 4-6 (U4-U6)

​“Shooting Frenzy”: Works on shooting and letting kids get in their “kicks”!

  1. Set three to five balls before a small goal in a line.
  2. When you say “go,” the child runs to each ball individually and kicks or dribbles it in the net.
  3. Once they’ve gone through five times, you can switch feet.

This helps to encourage little children to do when they see the soccer ball on the field while also working on their kicking abilities. In the process, they have a target and are working on their shooting skills.

​Beginner Individual Shooting Drills: Ages 7-11 (U7-U11)

​“Move and Shoot”: This drill works on various shooting techniques

  1. Have the players line up outside the 18-yard box, with just you inside. Each player should have access to a ball.
  2. One by one, have the players pass you a good soccer ball for practice.
  3. Then, pass it back to them, and they will take a touch. After their touch, they should shoot toward the goal.
Kids lined up with a soccer ball on their feet

This drill can be done with just one person or many on the field at once. You can also add a goalkeeper to the drill, making the shooting more fun and difficult.

​Beginner Individual Shooting Drills: Ages 12+ (U12+)

“Turn and Shoot”: Works on turning and shooting quickly and on various turns.

  1. Have the players line up behind or beside you with their backs toward the goal.
  2. Feed them the ball, and have them take 1-2 touches while turning and squaring towards the goal, with the final act to be a shot.
  3. After teaching them various turns and techniques, you can add complexity by telling them which specific turn or technique to use or allowing them to choose freely. You can also add difficulty by dictating the number of touches they get before hitting a goal.
  4. Play the ball in, they will turn and head to the goal. Either have a goalkeeper or have targets in goal.

“Penalty Practice”: Works on shooting penalties.

  1. Find the penalty mark or make one yourself with a cone. While the penalty spot from the mid-goal line is 12 yards (36 feet) out from the goal line, it is usually 8-10 yards in this age group.
  2. Have your players practice shooting penalty kicks.
  3. You can also add two cones, placing them one-two foot away from the posts, so they have a target area to aim for.

While penalty kicks rarely happen in a game, practicing helps to teach good shooting technique from a reasonable distance away from the goal.

“Through Ball Shooting”: Works on running onto a through ball and finishing.

  1. You will be positioned at the top of the 18-yard box, with the individual player lined up 10-15 feet outside the box.
  2. Pass the ball into open space, either to the side of you at the edge of the box or even further in (closer to the goal).
A group of kids lined up with their own balls for soccer practice

You can add complexity to this drill by introducing a goalkeeper or a defender. Making the player take the shot with their first touch is also a good addition.

​Team Soccer Shooting Drills

One person can only get so far, and team shooting drills can mimic game-time situations much better. In addition, team drills in planned-out positions can combine several skill sets into one, allowing players to work on multiple facets simultaneously.

​Beginner Team Shooting Drills: Ages 7-11 (U7-U11)

“Team Trains Keeper (Part One)”: Works on shooting and goalkeeper training.

  1. Set your team around the outer edge of the 18-yard box in a huge arc.
  2. Have the team shoot at the goal from various angles while the keeper has to block the shots. Make sure the goalkeeper is wearing proper safety equipment, such as gloves.

Many teams use this drill as part of their warm-up routine for practice and in preparation ​for games. You can use this drill well past age 11.

​Beginner Team Shooting Drills: Ages 12+ (U12+)

“Chip and Finish”: Work on trapping, shooting, and chipping.

  1. Divide the team into four groups, one on each post.
  2. Opposing groups facing one another should have the balls. For example, the group on the right side of the goal should have balls with them. The group diagonally from them at the other goal should NOT have balls.
  3. One player will play the ball diagonally to their teammate.
  4. The receiving player will then emerge from the post, trap the ball and shoot at the goal. The target goal will be where the pass initially came from.
  5. After they shoot, they go to the passing line.

You can also play the ball in the air as a progression. Count the number of goals for competition and then switch sides.

​Intermediate Team Shooting Drills: Ages 7-11 (U7-U11)

“Shooter Becomes Keeper”: Works on shooting and is fun.

  1. Start with the regular goalkeeper in goal and the players in a line about 20 yards out just outside the 18-yard box.
  2. Each player has one chance of taking a touch and shoot.
  3. If the player misses, they become the keeper, and the prior keeper runs to the end of the line.
  4. If they make the shot, the prior keeper runs to the end of the line.
  5. The next player in line has to sprint to become the keeper before the following player takes a shot.
Soccer players playing with a soccer ball

​Intermediate Team Shooting Drills: Ages 12+ (U12+)

“Team Trains Keeper Part Two”: Works on shooting, crossing, and goalkeeper training.

  1. Set your team around the outer edge of the 18-yard box in a vast arc.
  2. Each player should have a ball.
  3. Two players will be set apart from the group.
  4. The remaining balls will be at the center of the top of the box with them. Also, have four players in the middle, two on each team.
  5. One by one, have the players in the arc cross the ball into the players into the box.
  6. They will compete against one another to score. Once a ball is scored or goes out, you yell, “Shot.”
  7. One of the two designated players at the center of the top of the box will take a touch and shoot at the goal.

​Advanced Team Shooting Drills: Ages 12+ (U12+)

​“1v1 to Goal”: Works on 1v1 situations directly to goal and conditioning.

  1. Using a goalkeeper in goal, divide the team into two groups, placing each on opposite sides of the goal on the posts and keeping them off the field. Set two cones in front of each line about 20 yards away.
  2. Each player begins starting with a hand on the post.
  3. The coach plays the ball from the side, and the players have to run around their cone and meet in the middle, playing 1v1 to goal.
A group of soccer players doing drills 1v1 style

It is usually easier to designate one of the lines as the “striker” and the other line as the “defender” equipped with the appropriate soccer cleats.

​Keeping it Simple

​While there are a lot of fancy drills that help improve shooting skills for a forward and midfielder position, there are also so many drills that don’t take any other people or equipment. We’ll outline perhaps the most basic of soccer shooting drills:

  1. Find a wall, create a target, and start kicking at it to practice your accuracy. Your target on the wall could be as simple as a marking or scuff mark. Practice kicking with both feet, alternating between your left and right.
  2. Next, turn your body away from the wall, facing the other way. Have your first touch be left or right, with your second touch being your shot on goal. Alternate back and forth between left and right foot.
  3. Finally, set up obstacles that you need to dribble through before shooting. Practice taking several dribbles, weaving between the obstacles, before taking a shot.

While it isn’t fancy, this simple soccer shooting drill is incredibly easy to implement now.

Pros and Cons of Practicing Simple Drills

ProsCons
Accessible at any timeNo coach
FreeNo tools
Improves personal skillsDoesn’t train teamwork
Improves creativityDoesn’t train set plays
Goalkeeper diving for the ball

​Related Questions

Here are some related questions about shooting drills for soccer.

How Do You Practice Shooting a Soccer Ball at Home?

To practice shooting at home, you’ll need a ball and plenty of space. You can set targets and try to hit them there. You can also use a wall in your house.

As previously mentioned, you can practice your technique without any difficulty there.

How Long Should Soccer Drills Be?

A soccer drill should not last more than 90 minutes (unless you are doing special training). This will allow you to practice enough to evolve day by day.

How Many Days a Week Should a Soccer Player Train?

A professional (or aspiring professional) should practice five to six weekly times. It should be noted, however, that not all training sessions are intense.

Some are less intense than others in order to protect the integrity of the player.

Wrapping it Up

​It doesn’t matter how good or long you’ve been playing. You can always improve your skills—especially shooting. As one of the most essential skills in a player’s bank (you can’t score if you don’t shoot), you’ll need to be the best shooter you can be.

Tim Frechette is an avid athlete, having played sports like soccer and basketball his entire life. He brings a wealth of athletic knowledge to his writing.