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August 19, 2019

[Tips & Tricks] Shooting with the Front

By
Michael Archer and Riley Johnson
Power Soccer Channel

Hi and welcome back to another power soccer training video. In this video, we’re going discuss shooting with the front of your guard as a far wing. I know, this seems very specific, but learning this skill translates well anywhere on the court.

Alright, so in many ways, shooting with the front of the guard is the equivalent of a header in able bodied soccer. You can really only redirect the ball. You can’t add much power to it like a kick can. Sometimes there are situations where you can’t kick the ball and your only option is to head it. That’s why this skill comes in handy. Instead of calling it “shooting with the front,” because that takes forever, I’m going to combine the words chair and header to get: ‘cheddar.’

Accuracy

What can you do with cheddars? The most obvious is you can be more accurate. It’s much easier to hit a small gap with a cheddar than a spin kick. Keeping track of the defense can be difficult when using a spin kick because you lose vision, even just for a split second. With a cheddar, your vision is conveniently where you’re shooting so reacting to the defense’s location is much easier.

Speed Control

One thing that may not be obvious to new players is that it’s often useful to take speed off a shot with a cheddar. This comes in handy when it’s too late to adjust to the defense’s positions. When you know scoring isn’t possible, the next best thing is maintaining offensive possession. It’s hard to maintain possession when you blast it right into the defense’s hand. If you’re not in a good position to take a shot on the right post, give your teammate something they have a chance with. If you need to do a cheddar and are looking for more speed, one trick is to use the close corner and turning into it. You’re adding speed by what is almost a spin kick with the front.

Rebounds

Another benefit to cheddars is that you’re readier for a rebound and are already heading the right direction to following it in. Unlike a spin kick, there’s no backswing to recover from with a cheddar.

So, when do you follow the ball in and when do you stay to cover an area? Here’s a great example of when you should follow it in [2:00].  Goal. Most of the time, you should follow it in. That is, don’t stop the instant you hit it. Train your eyes on the area of where the ball is going. Anticipate the angle that the ball is likely to bounce off the defender. Don’t strictly get tunnel vision of the ball itself. Don’t follow it in if a teammate is closer. There is no point. You’d just be covering a lot of the same area. Don’t chase the ball, trust that your teammate is still covering top of box to maintain possession.

Practice

Okay, so how can you practice cheddars? My go to is the three-gap drill. A gap on the left post, middle and right post. Make the gaps as small or large as you want. Give yourself the right amount of challenge. Better to be on the side of difficult, as you are given more precise feedback on your adjustments. Whenever I can, I have a teammate kick the ball in, as a person rolling the ball bounces off the guard differently. I also have someone call out a gap mid kick. This prevents me from cheating towards the harder gaps to hit. This drill trains you to shoot in a game, as defenses (at least smart ones) don’t leave the same gap open every time. More often than not, the gap is moving during the kick. Which is what this next drill trains you for.

Hitting a moving target.

Same setup but without the cones. Kicker kicks. Here’s where the twist is. Someone rolls a ball along the goal line when the kicker kicks. Shoot for the rolling ball. That’s it. One thing that’s important, is to roll the ball at different speeds and times, to simulate an unpredictable defense.

You’ll find after a while of practicing, there’s not a lot to think about with cheddars. There’s simply things you need to be aware of. Things such as where the defense is and where they’re facing, the direction of ball and the spin of the ball. That’s why there’s patterns on a ball. It’s almost never a solid color.

Cheddars aren’t the flashiest way to score goals, but I guarantee if you improve this skill, you’ll score more goals. And just because it’s not “flashy”, doesn’t mean you won’t end up on ESPN.

View more tips and tricks videos at The Power Soccer Channel

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