The 9 Best Soccer Shooting Drills To Improve Your Finishing (Designed By Professionals)
Finishing is one of the best skills to master for a soccer player. It also happens to be the most rewarding as well (of course, combined with an awesome celebration).
As a striker myself, I know that this skill can change the course of your games, and perhaps even your career.
This is why I have gathered these 9 drills that I have experienced in my career. These drills have improved my finishing and that of my teammates and all my training partners.
In other words, they work!
So grab your ball, lace your boots, find yourself a soccer net, and let’s crank up your shooting skills.
Best Individual Soccer Shooting Drills
For the following list of exercises, your standard soccer training equipment will animate these drills.
Finishing drills are important for attacking players such as wingers and strikers, although players from any soccer position can benefit from having a reliable shot.
To cover all types of soccer enthusiasts, I provided shooting drills for individual players, for paired players, and for soccer coaches to include in their next training.
1. Cut-inside, Finish
This drill is my favorite finishing drill to do alone.
It works on a sequence that every attacking player needs to have in their arsenal: Cutting inside and finishing with the inside of the foot with a curved shot.
This is a skill you always need, no matter if you play futsal or standard 11v11 soccer.
The reason you would use your inside is for precision, and the reason you cut inside is to set up that shot.
As an experienced striker, I understood that your setup touch is the most important step in a finishing shot.
If your setup is wrong, then you will be disoriented and out of balance, leaving you unable to finish afterward. This drill works both the setup and the shot brilliantly.
You will need a soccer ball, some cones, and a soccer net.
Start at point A and dribble forward towards point B.
At point B, cut inside sharply, but not too rushed. Do not overlook that step, concentrate on selling that move by dropping the shoulder.
Once inside, shoot the ball to the far post in the zone marked between the cone and the post. As soon as you get better, start shooting at the near post to add unpredictability to that move.
Note: Since I’m right-footed, I placed the drill on the left side (to cut to my right foot). I also do this drill on the other side, and I strongly suggest all players practice cutting inside on both feet!
2. Touch, Finish With a Rebounder
This soccer shooting drill is a great way to get comfortable with setting up your shots for better results and more consistent goals during games.
You receive a pass-back with an awkward trajectory from a soccer rebounder and try to control it and shoot at the net.
This exercise is game-realistic since we don’t always receive the pass we want in games, do we? Pressure is everywhere, and sometimes we must improvise to make the most of it. This drill makes you comfortable at improvising, which is why it’s brilliant.
You will need a soccer ball, a soccer rebounder, a soccer net and some cones.
Start at point A with a ball. Pass forward to the rebounder.
The rebounder will pass it back to you according to its angle. If it’s angled upwards, you will receive an aerial ball. Angle the rebounder as you wish.
Come forward and control the rebounder’s pass while setting up your shot. I suggest you put a touch limit to maximize efficiency (2 touches to control, and you can upgrade. Ideally, you want to set up your shot with 1 touch).
Shoot the ball in the corners (between the cone and the post, or if you have a keeper, try to beat him).
Note: You can set it anywhere in the box. I placed the setup in the center for you to easily understand, but you could set up that drill on the right or left side, far or near the goalkeeper’s position…however you like!
3. Slalom, Skill move, Finish
This finishing drill is great to mix your dribbling with your shooting skills. If you read the blog, then you know that the slalom drill (dribbling around cones) is one of the best drills to improve your dribbling.
Combined with a shot at the end, you can target two skills in one drill.
It also teaches you to naturally and smoothly transition between footwork and shooting, something that most players struggle with.
Things like slightly slowing your pace, setting up your shot, and orienting your body the right way are all things you can practice in this exercise.
You will need a soccer ball, a soccer net, and some cones.
(The visual representation is compressed. You can use 6 cones for the slalom drill at 2-3 feet apart)
Start at point A, and start your slalom (dribble around the cones).
Once you get to point B, dribble forward (2-3) steps.
Using a skill move of your choice, dribble past point C. Remember that your dribble puts you in the same direction as your shooting foot. If you wish to finish with your right, then make sure you dribble past the cone on the right-hand side.
Once past the cone, strike the ball. Ideally, you want to shoot across (If you’re on the left-hand side, you finish on the right side of the goal, etc.) Once you get comfortable, you can start shooting near-post.
Note: Like the previous drill, you can set up this exercise anywhere in the box to practice at different angles, or farther to also practice various distances.
Best Paired Soccer Shooting Drills
The next set of drills is designed for two players. With a player to assist you, you can practice shooting with different techniques.
There are many other drills you can find with soccer apps as well.
4. Through Ball, Tap-In
Tap-ins….When you watch them on TV, you think to yourself: ”That’s easy to do”. However, in the training ground, you quickly realize there’s more to it.
Tap-ins are a necessary skill for every attacking player that they need to master ASAP. This is because they are the most common types of opportunities you will get in a game, and therefore you need to set time to work on them.
For futsal players too, tap-ins are by far the most common type of goals scored.
This drill is designed to work both the finisher and the assist-man (I like that term :)).
You will need a soccer ball, a net, and a set of cones for this one.
(Obviously, you need to alternate sides).
The goal-scorer starts at point A with the ball. The other player begins at point B.
The goal-scorer plays a through ball in zone 1 for the other player. The other player, naturally, will run and chase the ball.
The goal-scorer then times his run into the box. Once the other player has the ball, he plays a ball in the box for the striker to finish.
The striker should never be stationary. Always sprinting, jogging, or on his toes.
The other player should aim for the penalty area.
Start easy, and then progress. The pass should be on the ground, and once the striker gets better the service ball can vary (in the air, bouncy, behind the striker).
Aim to get it on target first, then start placing the ball.
- Attack the ball aggressively. In game, you have to fight against defenders for the ball, so get used to it in practice.
Note: You can level up this drill with an aerial through ball instead of a grounded one. The service pass can also be alternated as I said with bouncy balls, aerial balls, etc.
5. Directional Touch, Finish
(This video is the closest visual representation I could find. Obviously, you will need to add the cones. See the instructions below).
Soccer ball control is a crucial aspect for a soccer player. An attacker needs to have his ball control on point since he is always the most pressured player.
In and around the goalkeeper’s box, directional touches are an amazing way to open space for your shot.
This drill works on that specific aspect for you to improve.
You will need a soccer ball, a soccer net, and some cones.
Start at point A and ask for the ball as you would in a real game.
Your teammate (point B) passes you a nice, grounded pass to you.
Take your first touch in the direction you want. Your touch should be strong enough to get past a defender (imagine you are in a real game), but not too much that you need to chase the ball.
Shoot an accurate shot in the corners of the goal.
Do not start flat-footed. Instead, start 1-2 steps behind the cone and come into the pass.
Your turn should be smooth and somewhat fast, but not rushed. Rushing in soccer will always kill your move.
Include scanning to build a crucial habit. Scan before making your touch, but make sure your scan does not get you out of balance.
6. ”Harry Kane” Drill
I remember when I saw this drill for the first time, I was amazed at two things: How effective that drill was, and how good Harry Kane’s finishing is.
This drill is an exceptional way to get yourself game-ready and experience match-realistic scoring opportunities.
Harry Kane does this drill to improve his directional touches, weight of touches, close ball control, and shooting….so if you wish to score goals like Harry Kane, do this drill.
You will need a ball, some cones, and a soccer net. (Optional: Extra soccer training equipment like training posts, a mannequin, and a goalkeeper).
Here is what the setup looks like:
Start at point A, and come between the inward cones.
Your teammate passes you a ball (grounded, bouncy, aerial).
You must control the ball, and bring it beyond the outward-facing cone (the direction is totally up to the finisher).
Once the last cone passed, finish in the corner of the net, or beat the keeper.
Key notes about the video:
Notice how Harry Kane takes his sweet time before shooting, sometimes taking 3 touches. I already said that rushing a play is the biggest enemy of a striker. Instead, wait until everything is right before you shoot.
Taking your time is okay in practice because you learn to right technique. In the game, this will be natural and you will becoeme fast and smooth.
Notice how Harry Kane walks back. It’s not a cardio drill, but a soccer shooting drill!
The Best Team Soccer Shooting Drills (For Coaches)
The next set of drills is for coaches who manage a large group of players and want their team to get better at finishing in general.
These are what I call fun soccer shooting drills, and they are designed for players of all ages, from young players to the more experienced ones.
7. 1-2 Shot
This drill is a classic for teams. Every team I played for used this drill, and that says everything you need to know about this exercise.
This is a great way to engage your keepers and the players. This drill can be used as a sole exercise during training, as well as a warmup exercise before a game, to get your players confident.
If you sense that the players aren’t successful, then you can place the striking zone closer to the goalkeeper.
All the players make a line with a ball each at point A. You (or a designated player), stand facing them at point B.
On your mark, the first player passes you the ball, and you lay it off on a side of your choice.
The player strikes the ball and goes to the back of the line to go again.
Make your player get the ball if he misses!!
Try to encourage laced shots. This is the best shooting technique from this central angle, and the least awkward (as opposed to inside foot where the player needs to readjust his whole body, wasting precious time).
Try to encourage using the appropriate foot. If you lay the ball on the left side of the player, he should strike with his left…
8. Team Goal Setup (Via Crossing)
This drill is a gem for coaches. You get to practice your formation, assign a role for each player, and tell him how you wish for him to play the ball.
A drill where the whole team is involved simultaneously is valuable for you, the coach. All the players are more engaged, and nobody wants to let the team down.
Of course, the formation and how you set up your players is up to you. However, the concept remains the same.
The first center back (A) starts with the ball. He passes to the midfielder (B), who then passes to the other center-back (C).
Center back (C) makes a long, accurate, aerial pass to the winger (D).
The winger (D) controls the ball and plays a one-two with the attacking midfielder (E).
Player E plays a through ball for the winger (D). He (E) then immediately sprints to the far post.
Striker (F) times his run and covers the first post. Midfield (B) runs to the edge of the box.
Winger (E) plays a centered ball in the box, and one of the three players in the center has to score.
Prioritize smooth and fast play, but never rushed play. Based on their levels and age, the speed should be appropriate.
I would not suggest adding a touch limit as it adds additional stress, but you could encourage and let them know that you prefer fast play (again, not rushed).
Encourage your players to call out the names of the person they are passing to. Communication is key. For example, player A should yell player B’s name before passing him. This drill is like a symphony, and it should sound nice.
You can add or remove some parts according to your players’ level. If your players are too young, you could remove the long pass from player C to D.
9. Finishing Circuit (Setup Player)
One of my favorite exercises I ever did in a team. This drill is specifically designed to improve your player’s finishing and overall soccer skills, as well as their conditioning at the same time.
One player is working and running all over the place, setting up his teammates for the shots.
This drill brilliantly mixes individuality and team effort, engaging the players more, and giving you valuable feedback as a coach.
Player A (Setup player) starts things off by dribbling around the cone in front of him and shooting.
Immediately after his shot, Player A goes in front of Player B to receive a one-two and lay off the ball. Player B then shoots.
Immediately after player B’s shot, player A rushes to make another one-two, this time with player C. He plays him through on the wing.
After playing player C through, player A rushes to the far post. At the same time, player B rushes to the near-post.
Player C crosses the ball and one of the two players in the box has to score.
The setup player cannot lose focus. Once he finishes one part of his task, encourage him to keep going.
The whole drill will crumble without timing. You need to keep your players alert by shouting instructions as they play for them to know when to go. With time, they will master it by themselves.
Always encourage fast (not rushed) play, and be very strict with your passing standards (of course, according to their age and level). The passes need to be on point, and your players can take the extra touch if they need to, as long as it does not ruin the momentum of the play!
Power Vs Accuracy?
Lots of players wonder when to shoot with accuracy or with more power. When it comes to scoring many goals in soccer, understanding the difference between shot power and accuracy is crucial.
Shot power involves striking the ball forcefully to overwhelm the goalkeeper. This technique is particularly effective in long-range shots or when there’s less time to aim.
Friendly reminder: The best technique for a power shot is with the laces, with a follow-through leg that aims at your target.
For an accurate shot, it’s the inside of the foot with a body posture that supports it (chest over the ball, ball not too close to your supporting foot, locked ankle).
Power Shot Situations
Long-Range shots: When you’re outside the penalty box, and there’s a clear path to the goal, a power shot can be your best bet. The distance makes it harder for the goalkeeper to react in time.
When You Don’t Have Other Options: When the defense locks you out and you need to shoot, then a powerful, on-target shot will usually be your best option. It might not go in, but the power will most probably result in a save where the ball will fall in the box.
In Wet Or Slippery Conditions: On a wet field, a powerful shot can skid off the surface unpredictably, making it harder for the goalkeeper to predict and save since the ball will slide everywhere.
Accurate Shot Situations
One-on-One with the Goalkeeper: When you find yourself close to the goal with just the goalkeeper to beat, accuracy is key. Placing the ball in the corners of the goal can outmaneuver the goalie.
Through Tight Defenses: A well-placed accurate shot can find its way through the small gaps in crowded penalty areas where defenders block much of the goal.
Penalty Kicks: During penalties, while power can be effective, precision and accuracy often prove more reliable. Placing the ball in the top or bottom corners leaves little chance for the goalkeeper.
When You Have Space And Time: If you ever find yourself with an abundance of space and time, then taking your sweet time to place a shot will rarely fail.
In both scenarios, the context of the game and your own skills will guide your decision.
Practicing both power and accuracy in various situations will make you more versatile, and without a doubt a better finisher.
What Do You Need To Improve Finishing?
As I mentioned multiple times in my blog, soccer training equipment is something that would be a great investment for any player taking soccer seriously.
Training equipment is not mandatory, however, it is proven to speed up results and maximize efficiency in training.
To develop finishing skills, here is what worked for me:
Soccer balls. I buy them in bulk to not have to go chasing the ball after every miss.
Some cones, mannequins, hurdles, or anything that could be used as an obstacle. Generally, cones are your best bet.
A soccer net. Most public parks have nets, but sometimes you might need smaller nets for more accurate demands.
I have always believed that shooting games for soccer are the best way to improve your finishing. Plain and simple. You only get better through practice.
And the key to making it all work? Repetition. Once you repeat something long enough, muscle memory will take over, and you won’t even have to worry about it in the game.
1. How can I improve my shooting aim in soccer?
To enhance your shooting aim, focus on practicing regularly, specifically targeting different areas of the goal. Work on your body positioning, ensuring your non-kicking foot points towards the target and maintaining a balanced stance. Also, follow through with your kicking leg in the direction of the shot for better control.
2. What is a shooting drill in soccer?
A shooting drill in soccer is a structured exercise designed to improve a player’s shooting skills. These drills often involve repetitive shooting from various distances and angles, sometimes under pressure or in game-like scenarios, to enhance accuracy, power, and decision-making in front of the goal.
3. What exercises increase shot power in soccer?
Exercises that build leg muscle strength and improve core stability can significantly increase shot power. Squats, lunges, and plyometric exercises like jump squats and box jumps are effective. Also, practicing shooting with a weighted ball can help in developing more powerful shots.
4. How should you practice your soccer shots?
Practicing soccer shots should involve a mix of techniques. Include drills that mimic game situations, practice shooting from different angles and distances, and work on both power and accuracy. It’s also beneficial to practice under pressure, such as during scrimmages or with a defender challenging you.