The rule of five
“The first five yards of any move you’re involved in are among the most important you can make as a striker. Forwards like me act on instinct. There’s no better feeling than getting in front of a defender to make a difference for your team. They’re the difference between scoring a goal or not, or helping your team-mates find the space to score a goal themselves. In close games, such moments can turn a draw into a victory.”
Get on the training pitch
“You can develop how you recognise goalscoring situations by working with wingers in training and sprinting forward to meet their crosses. Jostle with a defender and look to get beyond them as you approach the box. Your intensity in training is crucial to improving. It trains your body for what to expect in a game. Part of the art of being a striker is anticipating what’s going to happen next. You have to out-think a defender to get the better of them.”
“Being able to shoot with both feet is such an important weapon for a striker to have. Being able to surprise them is crucial. I like to mix up what side I go when I come up against a defender in a one-against-one situation. Part of the skill is mental. Convince yourself that you can play with both feet and, with practice, you can improve. In every session, train yourself to take touches and play passes with either foot and then you’ll build up confidence to shooting that way too.”
Radamel Falcao wears the PUMA evoSPEED Tricks boot. For more information visitpuma.com/football
Pounce like a natural born killer
Replicate Falcao in the box with this drill from movement training specialist Alan Pearson
This simple drill has been designed to develop explosive power in the sideways and backwards movements used to confuse defenders. This exercise will also work the darting movement a striker uses to attack a cross.
The striker puts on a Viper belt with two flexi-cords attached to the front and back. Place two markers seven yards apart on the edge of the 18-yard box (A and B on image, right). Use five cones to mark out a crescent shape inside the penalty area.
Player 2 holds the flexi-cord that is attached to the front of Player 1. Player 3 holds the flexi-cord that is attached to the back. The coach stands on the edge of the six-yard box with a supply of balls. Player 1 stands on the edge of the 18-yard box in line with cone 3. Players 2 and 3 stand on markers A and B. On the coach’s command, Player 1 explodes two yards to a nominated cone where the coach feeds a ball for the player to strike at goal. After their shot, Player 1 walks back to the start position and repeats. Do this eight times.
• Work off the balls of the feet
• Keep steps short, precise and explosive
• Use your arms to propel you forward
• Feet should be kept shoulder-width apart
SAQ International are the established leaders in Speed, Agility and Quickness training. For more information visitwww.saqinternational.com
For more football tips see:
Thierry Henry: Finishing at speed
Wayne Rooney's shooting drill
Olivier Giroud: How to create and conquer
Rooney: Big match preparation
Ibrahimovic: How to play as a targetman
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Andrew Murray is a freelance journalist, who regularly contributes to both the FourFourTwo magazine and website. Formerly a senior staff writer at FFT and a fluent Spanish speaker, he has interviewed major names such as Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah, Sergio Aguero and Xavi. He was also named PPA New Consumer Journalist of the Year 2015.