February 26, 2024

A Quick Finishing Drill for Attacking Players

Mike Semenza


Welcome back, everyone! Today’s session by Blayze professional soccer Coach Mike Semenza is for all you attacking players. We will continue on our series of at-home skill drills. Working on your skills at home is a wonderful way to increase your effectiveness on the field and make you a more standout player.


In this session, we are going to work on an excellent drill for all types of attacking players. Attacking midfielders, wingers, strikers – anyone. What we are working on here is becoming more dangerous and more effective in and around the 18-yard box.


Set-Up for the Finishing Drill


The set-up for this drill is super simple. All you need is a goal. I have two cones, but to be completely honest, you could do without the cones if need be. Or feel free to use other objects for visual cues – like water bottles, shin guards, rocks, and so on. This is completely up to you.


This is a visual target for you as you dribble forward and cut to the right side of the cones.


Running the Finishing Drill


We are going to use a quick touch forward and a dribble. A quick touch to the side and a snapshot back across the frame to the front post. That’s all this drill will contain.


After I finish one run-through, I am going to walk back, grab my next ball and go again. I am going to go for repetition and consistency. Placing the ball into the same spot on the far post every single time I shoot.




Our objectives for this attacking players’ drill are that we are looking to become dangerous and more effective inside the 18-yard box. We want to develop quick reflexes and the ability to take quick set-up touches to fool defenders or to fool the goalkeeper. We want to give ourselves a high chance with our shot selection of scoring goals or creating dangerous opportunities.


Technique of the Finishing Drill


So once again, this is a simple drill. I will walk you through it at full speed with one repetition. Then we will break it down and talk about the little details I want you to focus on at home.


Start with your right foot. Use quick touches forward toward the cones (or whatever you are using as markers) and then make a quick snap to the side with the outside of your right foot. You want to bait the defenders and bait the goalkeeper. We are trying to finish in the left side area of the goal or the far post.


Every single time, I want it to be a repetition so that you are doing this over and over again. This will help it turn into muscle memory. This way, when you find yourself in the games, you will limit the number of mistakes you make in these situations.


Running the Attacker’s Finishing Drill


I want you to run this drill with intensity. Fast. Focused. Repetitive.


As soon as I am back on my starting spot, I immediately go. It’s quick. Everything has to be rapid about this drill. We are trying to improve our efficiency. Improve our ability to get the ball off our foot, inside the box, as an attacking player.


You need to run this drill fast, because in a real-game scenario, you are not going to have a lot of time inside the 18-yard box. Defenders will close down on you if you take too much time. So go fast, run this drill over and over and focus on your technique.


Right after I take the touch, I don’t need to look up and find the goal. I don’t need to look up and find the defenders. I’m relying on my ability to fool them with the set-up touch.


Notice how my plant foot is pointing to the spot I want to deliver the ball. That allows my hips to wrap all the way around the ball and get it into the exact spot I want it to go.


Strike the ball more toward the middle – not too low! Keep your head down. Then rotate your body into that spot you want to place the ball.


Run the drill several times on your right foot, then switch and run it on your left foot. Using both feet will make you a stronger and more dangerous attacking player.


You can play around with this drill. Maybe you try a scissor before the touch to the side? There are many ways you can manipulate this drill at home.


Learning From Our Mistakes


Mistakes are a part of the game. Remember that. We all make mistakes, even the professionals. Let’s look at the miss on goal I have and analyze what may have gone wrong. We can always learn from our mistakes.


I take a touch forward to bait the defender. Then make my touch to the side to force the defender to move his body. Now let’s look at my technique with my strike and where I went wrong.


As I take a step and my plant foot gets into position, you can see my eyes lift up a little bit too early from the ball. You can see I actually strike the ball too low. When I hit it too low, it causes the ball to lift all the way over the goal.


It’s okay. Mistakes happen; that’s why we are here, to work on them and to learn from them.


Learn More With Blaze!

Blayze professional coaches know what it is like to work hard to achieve their dreams. They help youth athletes identify areas of improvement and develop a realistic plan on how to accomplish goals. Our athletes are learning more than skill development. They are learning life lessons of perseverance, overcoming hurdles, and the responsibility of managing their success.
Blayze coaches are current professional athletes. They know what the best in the world do because they are the best in the world.
Through training or game film analysis, our coaches can hone your gameplay skills. They customize coaching that drives performance where you need it most, in games.
With weekly custom training plans, Blayze coaches give you the individual drills you need to improve the skills you’re working on. These are drills that the pro players do themselves in and out of the season.
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Mike Semenza

Coach For L.A. Galaxy Development Team


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