Are you a striker on your soccer team? Are you getting frustrated with the way you are playing? If so, take a step back and breath. Strikers are often blamed for a lack of goals and can be seen as the reason why their team is losing. But, there’s more to it!
In this article, I will discuss the 5 most common mistakes I see strikers make. I hope you understand and learn from them so you can succeed in your position!
5 Mistakes Made By Strikers
As a striker, your primary responsibility is to create more scoring opportunities. A team with a great striker will put the defense on their heels. For this reason, it’s important to understand what mistakes you may be making and what to do about it. Let’s dig into each.
Ignoring the Space on the Field
One of the biggest mistakes that strikers make is neglecting their spatial awareness. This means that they don’t pay enough attention to their surroundings, including the position of their teammates and opponents. As a result, they may miss opportunities to make runs or receive passes.
To avoid this mistake, you need to constantly be aware of your surroundings. This means checking your shoulder frequently to see where your teammates and opponents are. You should also communicate with your teammates to ensure you are all on the same page.
One of the most frustrating things for a team is when the striker is constantly offsides. By being aware of the last defender, you can time your runs and help your team score.
Misjudging Timing of Runs
Another common mistake that strikers make is misjudging the timing of their runs. This means that they either make their runs too early or too late, which can result in missed opportunities.
To avoid this mistake, you need to stay patient and make sure you are in sync with your teammates. This means anticipating when your teammate is going to pass the ball and making your run at the right moment.
As a striker, what you do on the ball and off the ball are oftentimes equally as important. You’ll have many more opportunities to score if you just understand this simple concept.
Inaccurate Shooting Technique
For a striker, their shooting technique is a key component to the result (goals versus missing the net). To improve your accuracy, focus on the following:
- Keep your head down and your eyes on the ball.
- Use the inside of your foot to shoot for greater accuracy.
- Aim for the corners of the goal rather than the center.
- In most cases, go for accuracy over power.
Here’s a great video on how to shoot the ball properly.
Poor Ball Control
Poor ball control is another common mistake made by strikers. To improve your ball control, focus on the following:
- Keep your body between the ball and your opponent.
- Use the inside and outside of your feet to control the ball.
- Practice dribbling and passing drills to improve your touch.
In youth soccer, a strong touch is often their kryptonite for strikers. For example, a central midfielder will make a beautiful pass leading the striker but then the first touch is strong so the ball sails further than they want it to. This allows the defender or the goalkeeper to catch up with the ball.
Weak or Slow Decision Making
Weak decision making can greatly hinder your ability to score goals. To improve your decision making, focus on the following:
- Anticipate the movements of your teammates and opponents.
- Look for open spaces on the field.
- Make quick decisions and be confident in your choices.
- Make more decision in the real world.
What It Takes to Be a Great Striker
If you want to transition from a mediocre to a great striker, you need to have a combination of technical skills, physical strength, and mental toughness.
Honestly, playing striker isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes a special player to find success in this position. If you are a striker on your team, you should feel a sense of responsibility to your team. The coach put you in this position for a reason so take advantage of it!
To wrap up, here are some things that will help you become a better striker:
- Constantly scan the field for open space. Get there and demand the ball.
- Time your runs so you aren’t offsides or the ball doesn’t get behind you.
- Work on your shooting technique during the season and offseason.
- Work on your ball control. More specifically, get a softer touch.
- Make quicker decisions on the field.
I hope these tips help you succeed as a striker this season!