Striker is one of the most important positions on the field.
It carries so much responsibility and needs a player with a certain attitude and mentality.
The objective of the game is to score more goals than the opponent.
So, having a striker that scores consistently is a significant advantage for a team.
So, what traits make a great striker? What should a young player work on to be a great striker?
Who's a player any young player should look up to?
The man pictured above to the right is what every player should look up to. Arguably the greatest player of all time Cristiano Ronaldo has been playing at the highest level for nearly 20 years.
He is one of the most consistent and clutch players ever. Scoring 780 goals for club and country shows that. If there was any player to sit down and watch it should be him. He is 36 years of age now and is still one of the highest-scoring players in Europe.
WHY? Because of his soccer/football intelligence. He might not have the speed or athleticism that he used to have 10 years ago, but he has the IQ and experience.
I would suggest watching his movement and how he times his runs. He always seems to be in the perfect goal-scoring position, which is why he is the highest international goal scorer in the history of the game.
Now let's get into these traits...
"If you don't believe you are the best then you will never achieve all that you are capable of" -Cristiano Ronaldo
Confidence and self-belief are so significant for strikers. Every striker should have the mentality that he/she will be the one to change the game for their teams. Whether it is scoring a goal or getting assists.
I once had a teammate who used to tell me before every game he was going to score. He wasn't a cocky or arrogant guy. He just set a target and had high belief in himself. More times than not he would score and he finished the season with almost 20 goals.
Self-belief goes a long way and it can be the difference.
How do you build confidence?
There are many ways to build confidence. Most importantly it comes from practicing over and over. Let's say a player spent a month during the summer working on shooting with the left foot. After all that time it becomes comfortable, and therefore it is easier for that player to be confident with the left foot.
I've previously written a blog on How To Build Confidence and it contains more tips/useful information so make sure to check it out!
Good First Touch
Being able to control the ball is important for every player on the field, but for a striker, it can be the difference between losing the ball or having an opportunity to score.
A good first touch is developed over time through practice. There are so many ways to get a good first touch it's not just with your feet.
Here's a list of first touches that need to be developed.
Inside Of The Foot
Outside Of the Foot
Passes to strikers are given all over the place so having a good first touch with all of these body parts is a significant advantage.
The first touch like anything muscle memory-related is lost if you don't do it consistently. Improvement can come from different approaches. Touch can be improved from just playing pick-up games/scrimmages. It can even come at home or other simple places from bouncing the ball against the wall.
Knowing where to be on the field and having an awareness of space is critical for strikers. Making runs is a striker's best-attacking weapon. Center-Backs don't like to track runners into space they would much rather the striker stay in front of them.
Making these runs behind the defenders can create chances from just a simple ball over the top or even a through ball. If the striker doesn't get the ball it still helps the team because the defender can't be as aggressive anymore.
Constantly moving between the defenders, moving between the lines, and operating in the channels can switch defenders off and confuse them as to who is supposed to be marking who. Once confusion happens a striker is licking their chops waiting for the ball so they can score.
Something that can help improve positioning is to watch a player's movement. Before I mentioned Ronaldo, but it can be any striker like Lewandowski, Kane, or Haaland. They all have elite positioning which is why they score so many goals.
Shooting ability is a combination of technique and consistent practice. The striker needs to be able to strike the ball with power using both feet. Not only is power important but power with placement is the key.
Not only is shooting with the feet important, but headers are very important as well. Strikers score a lot of their goals from headers so this is a skill that should be worked on.
Weekly training with 30 - 50 shots on the goal helps build shot accuracy and will 100% lead to success. On our youtube channel, we have multiple videos with drills to work on shooting. I'm going to link one down below make sure to check it out!
Coach Parsa and I spent a couple of months working on shooting. I was never the best finisher but after a couple of months, I got really comfortable shooting the ball. I would highly recommend any player to use some of these drills the results will definitely show!
Before we end this blog do we have any fellow Manchester United fans reading :)? I'm sure everybody has heard the news but if you haven't Cristiano will be back playing at Old Trafford!
It's going to be super exciting to see this legend back in the Premier League after leaving for Real Madrid in 2009.
I'm sure he is going to score a lot of goals and prove the doubters wrong as he has done everywhere throughout his career.
Let's see if he can push Manchester United back into title contention since they haven't won the league since 2012-2013.
I sure hope we can win it it has been a while but my prediction is that Manchester United will win the 2021-2022 Premier League Title.
I would love to hear what you guys think in the comments, will Manchester United win the league? If not who will it be?
How We Can Help:
At FuturElitez Soccer Training we train our strikers to improve in all attributes. Shooting with both feet, heading, and first touch are all attributes we try to improve in every session!
We challenge our soccer players in not only individual training but group training as well to help them become a Future Elite!
So, if you're a Northern Virginia local and are looking for elite and effective private soccer training, look no further, and contact us here to get you started with our programs! If you are not in the area it's okay! We have plenty of content here on our blogs. We also have content on our Youtube and Instagram so make sure to check those out to help become a Future Elite!