This is a guide on how you can become a top striker. As a striker, you will arguably have the most responsibility on your team. Here you can learn how to ease the pressure off you and find out how to score as many goals as possible in this short guide.
As a striker, you have got to be capable of many different techniques to reach the very top level. Here are my best tips to how you can become the top striker you want to be.
- Your touch
Even the best players in the world work on their touch day in day out. This is essential if you want to pursue the job of a striker. To have a ‘good touch’ you must be able to control the ball quickly.
To improve this simple but effective skill you could find a wall and practise kicking the ball off the wall with one foot and controlling it with the other. It is important that you use both feet because in a competitive game you will have to be comfortable using both of your feet to control the ball. To start off, kick the ball softly off the wall. As you get better increase the power of your pass to test your ability. I assure you, if you practise this everyday your touch will improve massively.
Shooting is absolute key for a striker. As a striker, this is the number one skill you will have to have if you want to be a successful striker. If you don’t shoot you don’t score.
When shooting, you must have your body over the ball. If you lean back, the ball will fly over the bar into the sky. It’s all good hitting screamers into the top corners of the ball but we are honest you are more likely to beat the keeper from a low, powerful shot.
To practice this essential skill, you should find a goal. Stand about 20 yards away from the goal and practice striking the ball with power aiming for the bottom corners. As you get better dribble with the ball and follow up with a good low, powerful strike. Also, ask one of your friends to go in goal and use him as a goalkeeper. This will make it more like a real game.
- Comfortable on the ball (hold up play)
As a striker, being comfortable on the ball will determine of you can play at the very top. If you are comfortable on the ball this means you will rarely lose possession for your team and you can also ease the pressure off the rest of the team if you can keep the ball comfortably.
Hold up play means you will come short for the ball dragging the defenders out of positon. This will hopefully create space in behind. This will most likely trigger your team mates to explore the space and run into it. This will hopefully create a goal scoring opportunity. A team that enforces this is Chelsea. If you watch their team, Diego Costa (Striker) will come short and receive the ball to his feet. This always creates space behind the defence for players like Eden Hazard (Wide Midfielder) to exploit. As you hold the ball up top, you must have good support upfront with you to perfect this sort of move.
A good tip is to always be in front of the defender so he doesn’t nip the ball off you. You also have got to be aware of your surroundings, make sure you know who is around you weather it’s a defender or a team mate.
Heading is also important skill of you want to be a good striker. All of the best strikers can score with their head. You are likely to get a couple of good crosses from your wide midfielders in a competitive game and if you cannot head there are some golden opportunities wasted.
You can practise this by getting three friends together. You should find a goal and set up this drill. One person should occupy the job of the goalkeeper and the other as the ‘thrower’. The thrower will stand next to the goal and they will throw you the ball head height and you will have to head the ball past the goalkeeper. Once you have got good at this, the thrower will turn into the crosser. They will cross a ball into your head for you to head it into the goal. If you practice this often your heading ability will increase quickly.
You have got to have good movement as a striker. The best example of this is Sergio Agüero. He has fantastic movement. He runs the opposing defender’s crazy with his movement, he always seems to get in behind.
If you make, positive runs forward this could result into a goal if your midfielder can find the correct pass. Be intelligent with your runs. Make sure you stay onside. A tip is to run along the defensive line until the pass is played. You could also make intelligent runs into the attacking midfield positon to disrupt opponents defence and formation. Take players away from their positon will create space in behind the defenders.
Finishing is a little different to shooting. Finishing requires more technique and composure. Too many striker try to ‘smash’ the ball into the net instead of the simple option of slotting the ball past the goalkeeper.
There are not many ways to practise this. Game time is essential for this important skill. However, a good, solid touch is important. Another thing which is important is decision making. The decision of chipping the keeper, slotting and placing the ball into the goal or smashing the ball past the keeper is important.
This is a bonus as you can still be a successful striker without being skilful. If you are as skilful player this can get you out of the sticky situations you could find yourself in. For example, if you find yourself surrounded by defenders you could solve the situation by a simple ‘Cruyff turn’.
To perfect your skills, you should be doing the soccer 20 skills every day.
In a game, you could find yourself alone with a striker with lots of space in front of you. You should be looking to beat the player. Dribble the ball to penetrate the defence to create a goal scoring opportunity.
Having the ability to dribble past opponents is certainly attractive and a person who is a perfect example is of course Lionel Messi. He glides past players easily and this is mainly because of his class dribbling ability. The best forwards when dribbling use small touches, slowly nudging it forward. This allows you to keep the ball in close control, reducing the risk of getting tackled. As the ball is under close control it gives you the ability to cut or turn if necessary.
When practising move the ball around in all directions keeping the ball close to your foot. Start of slowly and increase the speed once you feel comfortable. You could set out some cones and dribble around them changing direction often.
For the advanced player............add these to your game
Excellent receiving skills
Ability to turn and run with the ball
Effective in 1v1
Ability to protect the ball
Ability to link play and bring players into the game
Can play one or two touch
Key areas- Tactical
Awareness to exploit spaces and timing of runs
Creating space for self or team mates
Movement into goal scoring positions
Defends from the front to compact defenders in defending third
TEAM PLAY Move the ball quickly and with purpose.
Be brave, trust yourself and each other.
Look to switch the play often (QUICKLY).
Quality of the final ball in the attacking third.
Increase strikes at goal – do not refuse crosses or shots.
Attacking set plays – do your jobs.
REMEMBER – “A good hockey player plays where the puck is…. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” Wayne Gretsky
Out of Possession
TEAM PLAY Defend as a team front to back.
Recover the ball quickly.
Narrow and compact team shape.
Deny them space to play through us.
FINAL THIRD Stand up, Track runners, NO crosses, NO shots, NO goals
Defending at set plays, do your jobs.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hpVNwlgvGY&t=101s – The heading drill
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRwQd8VBIPM&t=108s - The dribbling drill
Created by S20 member aged 16years old
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