This finishing small sided game is a great practice for your players, it allows them hundreds of touches and dozens of finishing opportunities in a session. Your players will love this game because everybody gets the chance to fill their boots.
Mark out a 40m x 40m square field. Position a full-size goal or the equivalent size that you use on matchdays (but no smaller) in the middle of each sideline. If you do not have goals available you can use poles or large cones instead. Place a few footballs alongside each goal.
If you have exactly twelve players then split the group into three teams of four. One team will be goalkeepers and the other two teams will play 4v4.
If you have more or fewer players then nominate four goalkeepers and split the remaining players into two teams.
How To Play
Any player can score in any of the four goals as soon as the ball is in play. You can roll the ball in yourself or allow a goalkeeper to throw the ball in to start the game.
After a team scores the goalkeeper on that side rolls another ball to the scoring team and they continue the game.
If a shot is caught by a keeper or the ball goes out of play then the goalkeeper on that side gives the ball to the other team and they play on.
Play for a set time or first to a set number of goals and then rotate the goalkeeping team (or keep teams and change the goalkeeping players).
What To Coach
Let the teams play. Through this game players will learn the importance of taking on opportunities early.
Each player will have plenty of chances to finish from different angles and distances. You might speak to individual players about technique and look for suitable times to talk about;
- Following up shots / looking for rebounds.
- Playing into space early and switching play.
- Overloading and 2v1 attacking principles.
- 1v1 defending and blocking shots.
Modifications & Progressions
The game can be modified quite easily to assist players who are finding the practice difficult. You can overload the sides and play 5v3 or remove a goalkeeper from one of the goals and play 5v4.
To increase the challenge for more capable players you might restrict the goals that they can score in. Allow only two opposite sides to emphasize turning and shooting, allow two adjacent goals to better mimic the directional movement required in a match.
You can also ask better players to score with different techniques, different parts of the foot, on the volley or with headers. Rather than restricting them to these moves, offer double points or another incentive to try them out – if a ball can be tapped in for a goal it should still be tapped in for a goal!
If you want to emphasise accuracy over power then change the game so that if a player has a shot saved or shoots wide or over then that player’s team immediately go in goal and the goalkeeping team become attackers.