Want to try this with your team? Download the session plan and give it a go.
Set up an area suitable for the age and ability of your players. Then, place a goal at each end.
Separate players into two teams (including goalkeepers). Our example is 6v6, but you can adapt the session to suit your numbers.
Finally, place a whiteboard and a pen at the side of the pitch. Write five different ways to score a goal down the side of the whiteboard. Examples include left foot, right foot, header, volley and nutmeg. Then draw a line down the middle of the board to give both teams a column. Players get to write their name next to the matching finish when they score.
How to play
Let your team play the match. The winners are the first side to score using all five finishes.
When a player scores using one of the five techniques, they run to note it down on the whiteboard. However, only one goal type can be ticked off at once. So, if a left-footed volley is scored, it can only be marked down as left-footed or a volley – not both.
Alternatively, instead of having to tick all five methods off, you could create a points system. Allocate points to each finish and challenge players to score as many as possible. Set a time limit: once the clock's ticked down, the team with the most points wins.
This activity is a great way to help players practice various finishing techniques. It also improves teamwork and communication skills – as players work together to discover ways to score each type of goal.
If your players master this game – or find it too hard – try adding a progression.
To make the game more manageable, you could play without goalkeepers. This would increase the number of goals scored. Alternatively, you could make the pitch bigger to give players more time on the ball. Or, you could create zones where players can cross unopposed.
To make the game more difficult, you could choose finishes that challenge your players' technical ability. For example, scoring with the outside of their foot or from outside the box. You could even introduce a rule that all goals must be from a first-time finish.
But remember, learning takes time. So don't alter your activity too quickly or too much. To help, try using the STEP framework (Youth Sports Trust, 2002). This is a great way to keep things fun, engaging and appropriate.
If you use this session with your team, let us know how you get on by posting in the England Football Community.