As I have identified shooting as one of my strengths I will need a practise that will help me maintain this skill. For this, I would suggest 2 practises. One to warm up and get use to striking the ball, and the other to help maintain the skill. To begin with, I would start with a drill called “shooting cones.” To do this you need to set up a line of cones 2 metres apart. Do the same on the other side about 10 metres away. Pair up players and put one player on each side facing the other player. Players should start close to the cones at first, striking the ball between the cones. The partner, who receives the ball, passes it back through the cones.
Each player has 10 shots and 2 minutes to take them. The one with the most on target wins. This first drill will help you with your accuracy when shooting as well as getting used to shooting in games under pressure due to the time limit. After this, I suggest a drill called “penalty box shooter.” In this practise, the game starts with the keeper from one team throwing the ball to a team-mate. This is like a real match however it’s played in the penalty box. The game is decided by the first goal scored. The team that scores stays on the field and the losing team are replaced by a new team. You can progress this by putting a time limit and if the score is still level after a certain time, both teams go off and are replaced. This puts both teams under more pressure and it means they try to shoot more often.
The key to this is taking every opportunity possible to shoot. The “first goal wins” rule encourages players to shoot as only one goal is needed to win while playing in the penalty box reflects a real match as only a small amount of room is available to manoeuvre. This will help maintain my shooting because during these practises I am practising my shooting all the time and shooting is an open skill just like the practise. An open skill is a skill that is affected by many factors like the opposition and the environment. This means the skill is never performed in exactly the same way due to the factors affecting what you need to perform, so the skill needs to be adjusted to these factors in order for it to be successful.
Heading is another one of my strengths and I will need a practise to maintain this skill as well. For this, I would use a training practise called “Over and under.” Two players stand about 5 metres away from each other. One stands with their legs apart, holding the ball ready to throw it to the other. This player then shouts over or under and throws the ball to the opposite player. In order to get points, the player heading has to head wherever he is told to.
When the player throwing shouts over, the person heading has to head the ball over the first player’s head. When under is shouted, then the player must head the ball through the other’s legs. This will help maintain this skill because you are using two different techniques that you would use in a match situations. The “over” header focuses more on the defensive side of heading as the player needs to get height and distance in order to score. The “under” header focuses on the attacking side as the headers need to be accurate and controlled in order to score by keeping the low, as far away from the goal keeper as possible.
To improve weaknesses I will need to think of practises which contain progression so I can develop these and improve. As I identified, crossing is one of my weaknesses which I need to develop and improve. To do this I suggest a drill called “box in.” Four players are needed for the practise. The first and second player both stand outside the area while the third acts as an attacker and the fourth goes in goal. The first player plays a one two with the second. Once he has received the ball from the second, he then crosses the ball into the box trying to pick out the attacker. The player crossing has to look up to see where the attacker is as well as seeing the position of the keeper.
He also has to think about the type of cross he will play in order for the ball to reach the attacker. This will help to develop the skill because you are doing exactly what is needed in a match, as in a match it is important to look where players are as well as crossing the ball accurately. Once the player has mastered this, a defender or two can be added to encourage progression. This would improve the skill further as the defenders aim to intercept the cross meaning the cross has to be even more accurate than before in order for it to reach its target. It will need to clear the defenders head and drop onto the attacker, so the accuracy and type of cross has to be thought about before the ball is played. The player needs to think about whether to drive a cross if the area is congested and is looking for a lucky deflection or if he is specifically aiming the cross for one player, in which that case a lofted cross is needed.