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How do I improve my finishing in football?

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How do I improve my finishing in football?

Football Shooting Drills
File Photo Credit: Football OPOD

By Lim Weiyang

FOOTBALL TRAINING TIPS (2): SHOOTING

Shooting and the art of finishing in general is extremely important in football as no matter how good you are, goal scoring opportunities in many football games are limited. This is particularly true the higher the level you go. 

This further emphasizes the importance of being able to shoot well in order to take your chances when they are presented to you in a game, which ultimately decides the result of the game.

Before we begin always keep in mind that it does not matter if you score a goal with a shot that hits the back of the net at 140km/h or a simple tap in from inside the six yard box. So long as the ball crosses the goal line, it’s a goal for your team and that is all that matters. That being said, let’s explore shooting drills that can improve your technique.

The only way to get better in shooting is to well, shoot more. As this article focuses on individual drills, it will be good to bring along a few footballs if you are practising alone to reduce the amount of time taken to retrieve the ball yourself. 

1. 6-Yard box

Fox in the Box Finishing

Shooting Drill1

Work on your fundamentals of side-footing a shot. As football is a game that requires quick and instinctive reactions, improve your anticipation of where the ball ends up and adjust your choice for shooting accordingly.

If the goalkeepers dive too early, you can easily lob them. If the goalkeeper spreads his arms and legs wide to cover a big angle, you could possibly shoot the ball between his legs. Be creative but effective.

2. Sides of the boxes (12-18 yards from goal)

12-15 Yard Shooting

Football Shooting Drill 2

From this distance you can vary between lobbing, the instep drive shot or swerve shot techniques. Focus on using the right technique first instead of power, and try aiming for both the near and far posts. To motivate yourself to shoot with greater accuracy you could bring along cones and place them within the goal to make it a smaller target area for you to shoot at.  

Priority is to always get your shot on target first. Once you are able to do that with great consistency, try doing it with greater power.

3. Outside the penalty box (18 yards and further)

Shooting outside the box

Football Shooting Drill 3

This is what gets people excited and screaming. When players let rip a powerful shot that could possibly rocket to the back of the net. As they are shot from outside the box, these require a lot of power so goalkeepers will have little time to react. Use the instep drive or swerve shot for this distance, but do remember to have your muscles warmed up prior to engaging in such practice or you may suffer from muscular injuries. Practice aiming at the top or bottom corners of the goal posts to improve your chances of scoring.

With sufficient power put into the shot, many things can happen to benefit your team. As long as the ball is on target and you make the keeper work, you are doing something good. The keeper could be forced to divert ball out for a corner, deflect the ball into his own net or parry the ball into the path of your oncoming teammate to finish off an easy goal. 

More shooting tips

Similar to the ball control and passing drill, ensure your body position and swing of the foot is correct before every shot. Be conscious of which part of your foot makes contact with the ball. It is important to work on your foot's contact with the ball to get the kind of shots you want. 

Challenge yourself. Instead of the ball staying static, limit yourself to one or two touches before shooting. Try doing a one touch or volley shot the ball from a juggling/keepy uppy when it is still moving in mid air. This mixes up the variety of shots you are familiar with and allows you to react to different game scenarios. 

Learn the art of finishing from Singapore's very own football legend Fandi Ahmad in our Football 101 video here.


Fandi provides tips on how to take a proper penalty kick as well in our Football 101, something for you to add to your repertoire of shooting skills.



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Interested in football and want to hone your skills with the best? Or perhaps you are a parent wishing to expose your child to the beautiful game?

If your answer to either of the above is yes, then ActiveSG Football Academy is the place for you to be at. Led by former Singapore international Aleksandar Duric, and five head coaches with experience from the highest level of football in Singapore: Richard Bok, Robin Chitrakar, Hyrizan Jufri, Mohamad Hairil Amin, Isa Halim, and Steven Tan, ActiveSG Football Academy has a holistic football programme designed to build character and impart the right skills while encouraging trainees to pursue their sporting passion with the right attitude.

To find out more or sign up for the academy, visit this link here.