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The striker position is often misunderstood due to the “pre-madonnas of soccer in Europe. Strikers must work as hard, if not harder, than all other players on the field to give themselves chances to score and help their team come out with a good result.
Ask yourself, “where do I want to the ball in order to score?” the answer should be “close to the goal.” So, why not work hard to win the ball back on the offensive side of the field? Strikers are the first defenders when the ball is dispossessed on the opponents side of the field.
Strikers should be fast, composed, cool under pressure, un-selfish, and ready to deal with the ball as it comes to them at all times. There is no room in the game to miss a scoring opportunity off a deflection, strange bounce, or mishit by a defender.
Speed is essential at the high school level, so train hard ALL year!
Using BOTH feet will result in more goals – develop your weak foot during practice and in the off-season.
Be comfortable using your head! Hit the ball along the hairline (if you have one!) and use neck movements to add force or direct the ball.
BELOW: Speed is critical. If you’re in decent shape and want to shave a few fractions of a second off your sprints, consider training as shown below to develop critical muscles in the legs, abdomens, and even arms to improve. A half step may be the difference between a goal and a defender closing in on you!
BELOW: Team speed will win games. Hard work will pay off on the pitch. Here’s a drill to run at any time to develop team speed at all positions.
BELOW: Ground skills take discipline and time to develop. Practice makes perfect. Be willing to make mistakes, look like a fool in practice, and watch this video several times. Set up a cone to use as a defender space to beat. Then make people look silly on the field.
BELOW: Top-spin dip shot. Unless you are naturally gifted, don’t expect this to happen in a day, week, or even a month. Those that have “perfected” this shot have worked months on end to find their perfect follow through.
Before training, ensure you are STRONG! Ankle, leg, abdomen, and foot strength is critical to prevent injury – and make sure you’re stretched. There’s a reason so few can do this. Once mastered, expect to create havoc for the opposing goalie on free kicks! This is only for those who have sound fundamentals as those skills will win more matches than this shot.
BELOW: ANYONE can do it with practice, dedication, and patience.
On a side note, don’t be a bully and a ________. Love the sport. Love its fans. Love its players and its message.