The following exercise challenges forwards to finish with a variety of different techniques and angles. There is also a physical side to the exercise as the players must perform each action at maximum speed. Each forward worked for four sets before a break and recovery. We then worked on the left side with the same coaching points and set-up.
The set-up for the exercise is simple. The balls are positioned in three areas. When you change to work on the left side, the servers must move across to the other side also. (See Below)
First player dribbles up towards the mannequin, performs a feint/trick and shoots on goal. Players are encouraged to shoot towards the far post, unless they catch the keeper already moving in that direction. The reason for this is that the forward gives themselves a bigger area to hit and any rebounds would come into an area where a teammate should be following up. (See Below)
Immediately following the first shot, the forward must then make a diagonal run in front of the middle mannequin. As soon as the forward passes the mannequin, the server plays a ball for her to run onto at the other side. The angle and type of pass forces the forward to get her body around the ball. Again, we encourage the forward to shoot far post so that the goalkeeper has to work hard and any rebound should fall in our favor. (See Below)
The last part of the exercise focuses on the forward finishing from close range. They must sprint towards the near post and six yard box. The challenge here is almost completely physical – the quicker they attack the space, the more chance they have of a simple finish. Technically, the focus here is not on power but instead on making clean connection with the ball and guiding it into the goal. This may be the easiest finish of the three, but usually the one that causes most problems. (See Below)