How do I set up this drill?
The striker stands between two defenders in the D of the 18-yard box. Two team-mates start in possession centrally outside the area, with a winger on either side of them.
More after the break
How do I do this drill?
The forward pass from midfield is triggered by the striker’s movement – and not before. Either he comes short and returns the pass so the midfielders can work the ball wide for a cross, or he finds space away from the defenders so the midfielders can set him up for a direct shooting opportunity. Either way, the forward pass does not come until the striker makes a move.
What are the key coaching points?
It’s up to the striker to decide how the team can best attack, so you have to consider the defenders’ movements as well as your own. If you can find enough space to get a shot away, that’s a good option, but only if you’re in a prime position to hit the target. If you’re not, relax and be patient – and above all, look to create space for yourself.
How will this drill help?
The drill recreates a game situation and forces you as a striker to choose the best route to goal. Practising this increases your awareness of other players’ positions and helps to improve your decision-making at speed. It also hones your ability to find space as well as finish.
Charlie Austin’s pro tips
You have to make the decision. When the ball comes into your feet, sometimes you can turn the defender and get a shot off, but sometimes you can come short and bring a defender with you to create space in behind, so that with a nice, weighted pass you can finish early doors.
If you come short, keep the ball, and when the ball goes out wide and is then crossed in, attack the space away from the two defenders. Don’t get in there too early – time your run. Learn it in training, then do it in a game.
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