Scoring Goals Just Doesn’t Happen.

The most difficult thing to do in a soccer game is to score a goal. That’s why goals are moments for celebration.

Goals don’t just happen. First the opportunity to score must be created. That in itself requires a lot of hard work.

Then they must be finished. We have often seen players expend a tremendous amount of effort to get the ball down the field and in front of the opposing goal, only to see the opportunity wasted.

Shots over the top and wide of goal are wasted opportunities. Even worse is the shot struck directly into the hands of the opposing goalkeeper. It is as foolish an effort as blowing it over the goal and into the parking lot!
Scoring goals is a talent. Perhaps you have heard about a high-scoring player that “he/she isn’t that talented, but seems to always been in the right place at the right place.” Those are often called “garbage players”, there to knock in the rebounds and loose balls.

Well, that is a skill in itself. That is the gift of a “special player.”
Goalscorers must be intelligent in the way the final third of the game is played, and they must have an “attitude.” They must truly want to score goals.

Understanding angles is also important in being at the right place at the right time. It is more than a “guess” that a player is often in the right place at the right time.

Goalscorers are also aware that they must be on the end of balls that are played across the front of the goal, and they must be there before the opposing defender. Awareness of where the defenders are is very important. Drawing a defender with a run often leaves space open for a teammate.

Soccer at a high level is a game of limited scoring opportunities. When you hear about a 1-0 game in which one team has 40 or more shots on goal, the one thing you can be sure of is that at least one of those teams is pretty weak!

The proper attitude in scoring goals, and skill in finishing, are developed in repetitive exercises that offer shooting opportunities with defensive pressure. Beat the goalkeeper with the shot! Sometimes all that is required is “passing the ball into the goal past the goalkeeper.”

Look at the boxscores. There is nothing there that says the goal was a “rocket”. They all count one regardless of how they are scored.

Make it difficult for the goalkeeper. What a shame to lose the chance to score by shooting the ball right at the goalkeeper. Have some courage and be willing to shoot the ball wide and into the corners. (October 15 , 2004)

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