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With 142 goals...

Euro 2020 provided plenty of net-rippling action. And while successful teams are more than just a sparkling finish, there's no denying that goals win games.  

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Do you practice finishing enough? 

It can be pretty hard to work on scoring. For example, you may only have access to part of a pitch. Or you might be concerned about your session getting messy – with footballs flying everywhere.  

It sometimes feels safer to deliver a less hectic session, like one that focuses on keeping the ball. But this limits your players. They miss out on the chance to practise finishing, and you can reduce their enjoyment too. After all, kids love to score goals.  

 

Back to the tournament  

Overall, there were 97 goals from open-play. Of these, only 18% were scored from outside the box. This demonstrates the relevance of working on finishing inside the penalty area.  

Euro 2020 infographic

Notably, of the 82% of goals scored from inside the box, a massive 44% were finished inside the 'second six-yard box'. In other words, from 6-12 yards out.  

To focus your team on this area, try offering an incentive. For example, you could award an additional goal when a team scores from the second six-yard box. Alternatively, simply give small-sided formats ago. The reduction in pitch size means that attempts on goal with naturally occur around 6-12 yards out.  

Wondering what finish to work on?  

In Euro 2020, open-play goals were most commonly scored using the inside of the foot (39%). In addition to this, 81% of goals were assisted – demonstrating the importance of teamwork.  

Euro 2020 infographic

2v2 practices are a great way to introduce the idea of combining with your teammate to score – or even trying to go it alone. This format provides a nice balance between the desire to dribble and be creative, and understanding when to share.  

Ultimately, having a world-class finisher in your team will give you a competitive advantage. So why not try to develop these as early as we can? After all, the primary school phase is the perfect place for helping players develop these predator-like finishing skills. But it'll only happen if you provide lots of opportunities to practice. 

 

Article image courtesy of Michael Regan/UEFA via Getty Images.