By Alex Trukan
Shooting combination practice involves working on starting speed around the penalty box. This is important for players in order to gain advantage near the goal and be able to get to the ball before the defender. This in turn will help players to get into more goal scoring situations and eventually, score more goals. In this practice, the conditioning element is therefore linked to technical content of finishing as well as combination play in the final third.
Set up and directions
Organise two goals opposite to each other, 30 yards apart. Set up a cone next to the goal which will be starting point of the exercise. Organise further two cones (one on the angle to the left from the starting point and one on the angle to the right). There should be minimum 8-10 yards distance between the cones Set up a gate using two poles as shown on the diagram below. Divide the players into two groups. Set one player each on the cones in the middle and the rest of the players with one ball each on the starting cone. Goalkeepers should be set and ready in goals.
The practice starts with first player with the ball passing it to the player positioned on the cones to his left. The ball is then returned back on the angle using one touch. Both groups start at the same time.
The player that started the practice passes the ball to the player positioned on the cone to his right. This pass is crucial for next sequence of the pattern and therefore should be played with high quality (allowing the receiver to play off one touch).
Following that, the receiver sets the ball on the angle. At the same time, the second player in a sequence makes a quick and sharp movement through the gate to then sprint onto the ball and finish in goal. This should be done on maximal speed. Players rotate clockwise (‘starting’ player-‘shooting’ player-‘setting’ player). As soon as one pattern finishes, the next one should start immediately to ensure appropriate work to rest ratios and flow of the practice.
Each player should make 8-10 repetitions as a ‘shooting’ player. This should be done in 2-4 series with 30 second rest (working as a ‘starting’ or ‘setting’ player) between repetitions and 4 minutes between series.
By Alex Trukan, Development Coach, Nottingham Forest