How To Improve Shooting Accuracy

Goals win soccer matches. That’s why it’s goal-scoring strikers who often attract the most exorbitant transfer fees and routinely pick up the major individual awards such as the Ballon D’Or. 

To put it simply, there’s little point having 80% possession of the ball and putting together beautiful, flowing moves if you don’t have a player who can put the ball in the back of the net when it matters most.

Scoring goals is the most important skill in soccer, and often the hardest to perfect. 

While the likes of Suarez, Lewandowski, Ageuro, and other elite strikers make it look easy on a weekly basis, I can assure you that it isn’t.

Whether you’re taking a penalty, approaching a goalkeeper in a one-on-one, or trying to find the top corner from the edge of the box, shooting accurately requires practice, and a fair bit of it. 

This guide will take an in-depth look at how to improve your shooting accuracy, including the correct technique to use and some of the most important coaching tips to keep in mind. 


Perhaps the most important consideration when it comes to improving shooting accuracy in soccer, is the development of correct technique. If you can master the proper technique, you’ll find your shooting ability will improve exponentially over time. 

Below, I’ve taken a closer look at four key characteristics of a good shooting technique. 

  • Flexible frame – for the majority of shooting situations, you’ll need to use your entire body to deliver a clinical and accurate strike on goal. Not only will you be using your legs, you’ll also need to use your arms and upper body for balance. This whole movement, if performed correctly, requires high levels of flexibility and strength, so it’s worth working on these components of fitness both on the training pitch and in the gym. 
  • Solid planted foot – it’s recommended to place your standing foot roughly 18 inches from the ball, alongside it. Keep it planted flat on the floor, and bend your knee as your kicking foot comes down to strike the ball. A sturdy and well-positioned standing foot is essential to shooting in soccer.  
  • Correct body position – the correct body position depends on the type of strike you’re trying to produce. For a powerful, driven shot, you’ll be best served getting your body over the ball. Whereas, for a swerved, finesse effort on goal, you’ll usually need to lean a little further back. It’s worth noting, however, that you shouldn’t lean too far back when shooting – this will result in the ball ballooning over the crossbar. 
  • Smooth follow-through – for every type of shot in soccer, a sufficient follow-through is crucial. Rather than simply looking to kick the ball, think of “kicking through” it. Therefore, to ensure a smooth, controlled and accurate shot, the kicking motion must continue after the ball has been struck. An efficient follow-through technique will improve all aspects of your shooting – including accuracy. 

Useful Shooting Tips

In addition to adopting a good shooting technique, there are several other factors you can take into account which have the potential to improve the accuracy and efficiency of your shooting. I’ll now look to explain five of these considerations in greater detail. 

It’s worth noting that putting the following tips into practice won’t only improve your shooting accuracy, the benefits will overlap into many other aspects of your game. 

1). Draw on your varied practice

As the saying goes, “practice makes perfect”, and this is very much the case when it comes to improving your shooting accuracy. The more frequently you practice each type of shot and test yourself in different positions, the easier it’ll be in a match-scenario to produce accurate and efficient shots. 

Don’t just train one-on-ones or shots from the edge of the box, look to practice your shooting from a range of different angles and distances.

Get your training partner to feed the ball to your left foot, to your right foot, drilled into your chest, lofted in the air, and so on. The more situations you practice, the better prepared you’ll be when it comes to game day. 

2). Observe the keeper’s position

This may sound obvious, but all too often the goalkeeper will leave slightly more space to one side of their goal than the other. This will often be the best chance you have of scoring past them, so look to exploit it.

For example, they may look to overcompensate covering the far side of the goal, and subsequently leave an opening at their near post.

The same applies when the keeper’s off their line. If you spot the opportunity to lob them, don’t hesitate to try it. Taking note of the keeper’s position will improve the accuracy of your shooting, and more importantly, boost your goal return. 

3). Hit the target 

Again, this may sound blatantly obvious, but the bare minimum you should do with your shot, is test the keeper. If you do this, you never know what can happen.

It may take a deflection, the keeper could parry it into the path of another player. Sometimes, they may even spill it into their own goal. All too often, players fail to register their shot on target, and the opportunity is completely wasted. 

In terms of shot location, aiming low will make it harder for the keeper to reach the ball as they’ll have to travel down further to save it. Shooting across the keeper is also good practice.

Not only is it tougher for them to hold onto these types of shots, even if they do save it there’s always the possibility of them diverting the ball back into the path of another attacker. 

4). Composure & temperament

Maintaining your composure and keeping a cool temperament when positioned in front of goal is essential for accurate shooting. The best way to develop this is through constant practice and training yourself to remain calm when placed in the situation. 

Some of the world’s best finishers are often described as “ice cold”, referring to the lack of emotion they display when in front of goal. There’s no panic, they simply hone their focus on the matter at hand, and ignore any other external cues or distractions. 

5). Learn from the best 

By watching a lot of professional soccer, you can learn a considerable amount. For improved shooting accuracy, focus on a few of your favorite strikers.

Closely watch how they get themselves into shooting positions, how they manipulate the ball into space, and how they strike the ball. The more you watch them play, the better you’ll be able to pick up and copy some of their patterns of play. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Which part of the foot should you use to kick a soccer ball? 

This completely depends on the shot or pass you’re trying to execute. If you’re looking to drill the ball, more often than not you’ll want to use your laces.

However, if you want to prioritize accuracy or apply some curve to the ball, using the inside of your foot may be the best option. Some situations also call for either the outside of the foot or a traditional toe-punt. 

Where should you look when shooting a soccer ball? 

Before going to strike the ball, look up and focus as much as possible on where you want the ball to end up. Note where the defenders are and where the goalkeeper is positioned. You can then use this information to make any late adjustments. 

Quite often, you’ll see some of the world’s best strikers shooting without looking up. This ability is built through in-game experience and developing a strong sense of their positioning on the field at all times. 

As you strike the ball, keep your eye on the ball and keep looking at it right up until you make contact. Maintaining this focus will lead to stronger, more accurate shots. 

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