Soccer Shooting Drill: 18-Yard Box Finishing

Soccer Coach Theory Team

Equipment Needed:

  • 1 full size or age appropriate goal
  • Approximately 20 soccer balls (or as many as possible)

Shooting Drill Set Up:

  • Spread between 1 and 8 ‘feeder’ players around the edge of the 18-yard area, each with at least 2 soccer balls at their feet (if you only have one feeder, they should move around the 18-yard area varying their position for each play)
  • Goalkeeper starts in the goal
  • 2 strikers and 2 defenders all start inside the 18 yard area

Shooting Drill Execution:

  • The feeder players take it in turn to play the ball into the playing area (the 18 yard area) to one of the attacking players
  • The attacking players must try to score a goal. They can play the ball between themselves but they should try to get their shot away quickly to emulate a real game situation
  • Once the ball is dead (either because a goal is scored, or the ball leaves the 18 yard area) the next feeder plays a ball into the area
  • Feeder players can play the ball into the area in any way, e.g., lofted crosses, passes along the floor or rolling the ball in to open space. This will encourage a variety of different types of shots, including headers, volleys etc.
  • Defenders try to prevent attackers from shooting at goal

Coaching Tips:

  • This drill is all about the decision making of the attackers; when to shoot, when to try a trick to create a yard of space in order to shoot, when to try a quick combination with the other attackers and the type of shot selection
  • All the above should be instinctive for most players, so try to give any coaching in-between rounds rather than stopping midway through a round and slowing the tempo down
  • Encourage players to get their shot away quickly where possible to keep the intensity high
  • Encourage players to aim for the corners of the goal when finishing
  • Ensure feeder players play the balls in as soon as the previous play is dead to maintain a high, game-like tempo
  • Feeder players can play the balls in to the area in a random sequence to keep all players on their toes and to make play less predictable


  • Limit attacking players to 1 or 2 touches each
  • Have a time limit of 10 seconds to get a shot away


  • 1 vs 1, 3 vs 3, 4 vs 4 or more
  • An extra attacking player is placed outside the box, and is unopposed by any defenders. Attackers can, if needed, use this player to support them to create space to shoot