March 16, 2022

Top Individual Drill for Midfielders and Attackers

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Mike Semenza

soccer

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Today, Blayze Coach Mike Semenza wants to walk you all through one of his favorite drills for midfielders and attackers. This drill helps to focus on finishing, striking ability, the technique of your strike, placement of your shots, timing to meet the ball, and so many more things.

Working Individually at Home

We all know that showing up to team practice weekly is vital to the success of your team. But training on your own, independent of your team, can help you develop your individual skills that a team training may not give you.

To grow yourself, you need to practice and focus on your own. How are you supposed to differentiate yourself from other midfielders and attackers if you train on the same things they train on?

Training by yourself is not an easy task. It takes focus and patience. And sometimes it can be hard to understand what skills you should focus on. In this session, I want to give you a simple drill that you can repeatedly practice, and it will improve your in-game performance without a doubt.

The Objective of the Drill

The objective of this drill is to work on your passing ability, the weight of your pass, the timing of your movement to get around a cone, and the ability to have a great technique of your strike – an instep strike – to place the ball across the frame of the goal.

Another aspect I love about this drill is it requires you to adjust to all these different types of passes that you play out to the cone. When your touch is too soft, you must sprint faster to get to the ball. In a game, you will have defenders and goalkeepers closing you down and there is more for you to focus on, so speed to the ball is critical.

Running the Drill

First, this is a very simple set-up. I have a goal here, but if you do not, do not worry. You can use a fence, or a wall, or any kind of target you would like for this. Just visualize the goal as you use the alternate ideas for a target.

Set-up

I have a stack of balls on the left side of the post. You only need one ball, it’s okay if you do not have eight balls as I do. You can grab the ball and repeat this drill hundreds of times.

All you need is your ball and a cone – or some other marker – that is 8-10 yards away from the post you are standing near.

Execution of the Drill

My only objective here is to play a firm pass that gets somewhere past the cone and somewhere in the general vicinity of the open space around the 18-yard box. I want to place it so that when I get around the cone, I am required to strike it with my instep into the top right corner of the goal. Or top right “pocket” as some players like to call it.

To me, this target area of the goal is where no goalie can save it, when you put the right angle and weight on your shot.

Watch me run the drill a few times in the video. I pass the ball and immediately on a sprint, go around the cone to meet the ball. My touches and passes get better and better as I practice this drill with repetition.

Recap of Drill

The steps of this drill again are to pass, sprint, meet the ball, and without taking too much time and looking up to see where the goalie is or where the goal is, strike the ball. You should know exactly where you are on the field and be able to strike the ball without wasting time.

You will want to repeat this drill over and over again to develop consistency in your striking ability and technique.

Details That Matter in This Drill

When running this drill, it is important to reflect on a few certain key items. As you get around the cone:

  • What are you doing with your body?
  • What are you doing with your footwork?

These reminders help to put ourselves in a good position to have a successful strike to the opposite side of the goal. Everything matters in this drill. Your movement, where your hips are, how you approach the ball. It is all going to determine whether you have a clean strike or not.

As you sprint around the cone, control your body. Slow yourself down and get your body tall as you approach the ball. Plant your foot right next to the ball. Even though your body is pointed completely sideways, so long as you know exactly where you need to put the ball, you can.

To place the ball in the top of the goal requires you to hit it with your instep and put a little bit of a curl on it to keep it away from the goalie as it travels into the far post.

Focus On Your Technique

You need to have a solid plant foot. Wrap your hips all the way around the ball and keep your head down as you strike the ball. This helps the ball travel into the side netting.

Remember the weight of your pass to put it into the correct area so that you are not chasing after the ball to try and get a shot off on goal. Putting it into this area repeatedly, so you can wrap around the cone and get your feet set, get your hips set, get your eyes down on the ball, and have a good clean technical strike.

Practice! Practice! Practice!

For all of you midfielders and attackers looking to become stronger on the field, this drill will help improve the weight of your pass, the timing of your movement, the technical ability on approaching the ball. It is not just a finishing drill. You can approach the ball like this throughout the game.

As you are receiving passes, you are not always going to get them right to your foot. You are going to be required to receive the ball on the move and not always in a stagnate position. You need to be able to play a good firm pass, shot, cross, or even gathering the ball and dribbling after that.

Experiment with your touches and running speed. I promise you will use this in a game. You will score so many more goals if you can consistently deliver that ball into that far post.

Learn More With Blaze!

The secret to mastering any skill is practice! Are you looking to become a stronger player? Could you use direct feedback from a professional coach on how to improve your passing skills, communication, or vision on the field?

At Blayze we give you a personalized coaching session from the very best coaches in the world. For a truly unique and personalized feedback experience, submit your performance video to one of Blayze’s highly qualified coaches. The custom-developed coaching session can help you improve your on-field skills, so you are performing at your very best in every game. One easy click here will take you to more details on our coaching sessions.

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About the coach

Blayze Coach Mike Semenza

Mike Semenza

6+ years of professional coaching with LA Galaxy, EXOS and COPA STC

Soccer

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