Goals decide the outcome of the game, so it is assumed that scoring goals is the desired end result when we have the ball! Build-up play to this point (Possession, Elimination) will have an effect on creating good quality goalscoring opportunities, but this topic is separated because goalscoring is such a critical part of the game.
GOALSCORING BOX: The majority of goals are scored from within an area we will call the goalscoring box. (See white space in diagram). This is an area from just outside each post towards the top of the circle. It is good to use this as a reference with goalscoring drills - to encourage players to shoot from inside this area for the highest chance of success.
YELLOW ZONE (FAR-POST ZONE): The yellow zones in the diagram represent an area where players can shoot if they don’t have an open option in the Goalscoring Box. In the yellow zone, player should shoot for the far post. This will give the option of a deflection goal (player in position on the post). It will also create a better chance of a a rebound from the goalkeeper if a save is made.
RED ZONE (NO-SHOT ZONE): In the red zone, players should look either to pass to an open player in a better goalscoring position, or try to win a penalty corner.
KEYS TO SUCCESS - GOALSCORING:
Vision: Scanning the circle and goalscoring area to see the goal, goalkeeper, teammates and defenders.
Positioning: Positioning yourself accordingly with the
Decision-Making: Once you have all the positional information, the next step is making the best skill choice. Hit? Flick? Pass to an open player in a better position? Try to win a Penalty Corner? There is usually little time to make this decision, so teaching good decision-making at an early stage will help the process to be more automatic later on. Teaching consistent patterns of circle play in the Canadian development system will also play an important role in this.
Execution: A quality shot based on good decision-making will give you the best chance of scoring (see skill areas for detail).
Attitude: A fearless, aggressive mentality to dive, swing, do whatever it takes to get the ball in the goal. Some young players naturally have more of a “goalscoring instinct”, but good training can help to develop a player’s willingness and comfort level with being aggressive in this critical area of the field.
Goalscoring skills for LTHD Stages of Development:
LEARNING TO TRAIN:
Skills: Push, Hit, Sweep, Reverse Stick Hit/Sweep, Introduce Flick, 1 on 1 with GK
TRAINING TO TRAIN:
Skills: Develop LTT Skills, Receiving in Tight Space, Hit on the Move, Hit off Right Foot, Flick on the Move, 3-D Shooting Skills, Chip, First-Time Shooting, Increase Use/Variety of Rev Stick Skills
TRAINING TO COMPETE:
Skills: Refine LTT and TTT Skills, Receiving/Shooting Under Pressure, Hit off the Back Foot, Off-Balance Shooting
TRAINING TO WIN:
Skills: Perfect all skills to date.