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Two young football players

Finishing session: finishing fun

The FA’s Ian Parkes shares a session that helps players work on their finishing skills.


Set up an area that is appropriate for your players’ age and developmental stage. For young players, half a 5v5 pitch would probably work well for this practice, and it might even be slightly narrower and shorter than usual to increase the chances to finish. Place a goal at each end of the half and a few balls in each goal. Where possible, make sure each team starts with the same number of balls. 

For this practice, we used ten players split into two teams of five. We had a goalkeeper and four players on one side of the pitch – and the same on the other side. You can adjust these numbers to suit your team.




If your players master your activity – or find it too hard – try adding a progression.

If this session is too easy, add an opposing player to the first activity to make it 1v1 plus the goalkeeper. You could also add another player to the second game to make it 2v2 plus the goalkeeper.

If the session is too hard, remove the defender from the second part of the practice. This means there's no opposition when the 2 attackers are trying to score past the goalkeeper.

If you have an uneven number of players or one goalkeeper, rotate the goalkeeper and ask someone to go more than once.

Whatever you do, remember that learning takes time. So, do not alter your activity too quickly – or too much. Try using the STEP framework (Youth Sports Trust, 2002). This helps keep things fun, engaging, and appropriate.  


Extra resources

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Once you've put this session into practice, share your experience on the England Football Community.