Soccer 18-yard box finishing drill

Soccer Shooting Drill: 18-Yard Box Finishing

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

Soccer 18-yard box finishing drill set-up

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

Soccer 18-yard box finishing drill execution

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

Soccer 18-yard box finishing drill variation