How do I set this drill up?
Position a mannequin or passive defender just inside the D on the edge of the 18-yard-box. Have two servers, both with a supply of balls, feeding in passes from the left and the right of the penalty box around 30 yards from goal.
More after the break
How do I do this drill?
Start in front of the mannequin, then make a quick movement into space and demand the ball from one of the servers. Try to score within two touches of receiving their pass – using one to control and one to shoot.
What are the key coaching points?
Step off the mannequin as you would a defender in a game, creating space to receive the ball. This movement will take you out of the defender’s sight as they watch the player in possession. As the ball travels analyse the defender’s body position and the weight of the pass. Obviously, you can’t do this against a mannequin, but recreating the situation in training will prepare you for when it happens during a game. Evaluating the defender’s positioning and the weight of the pass will influence the direction of your first touch. You can either open up your body and let the ball run across the mannequin so you can cushion the pass into your path, or come on to it and use your first touch to take the ball across the front of the mannequin. Once you’re through on goal stay calm and select your finish.
How will this drill help?
During a game a defender will try and force you out of the penalty box so you have to use clever movement to break free of their tight marking. This drill replicates that scenario and trains you to create space for a quick-fire first touch and finish.
Charlie Austin’s pro tips
As you step off the defender look over your shoulder to check where the space is. When you receive the ball make sure you take a good first touch away from the defender to open up the space for a shot. Once you’re in a goalscoring position relax, pick your spot and commit to the finish.
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