5 Important Attributes the Best Strikers Need
Everyone loves scoring goals and there’s no position that is focussed more on scoring goals than a striker. However, there’s a lot that goes into scoring goals and there’s a whole lot more to being a striker than finding the back of the net.
Here are five things you need to focus on to become the best striker you can be.
Starting with the obvious, all good strikers need to be able to finish. Finishing encompasses a lot of different skills from technique to timing and composure. Unsurprisingly, the best way to develop finishing is through practise.
There are an endless amount of drills that can help develop a striker’s finishing ability. When practising shooting, it’s worth considering what type of situation you’re practising for.
Here are a few examples:
- Counter attacks
- Crowded box
- Direct free-kicks
- Corners and indirect free-kicks
Within these situations, strikers will have an array of different types of finishes to choose from. Picking the most appropriate for a given situation is a skill and will develop with exposure.
Here are some examples of finishes:
- Laces shot
- Toe poke
- Curved shot
- Outside foot
- Chipped shot
- Power header
- Glancing header
- Looped header
- Bicycle kick
- Scorpion kick
- Scissor kick
2. First Touch
Perhaps not as obvious as finishing ability, but arguably just as important to a striker is a solid first touch. Without a strong first touch, the opportunity to shoot may be taken away from you before it has even arrived.
A good first touch allows strikers to execute shots well. It can give you time, space, and most crucially, options. A first touch can be developed through a series of drills designed to mimic game situations.
The ball will rarely arrive nicely at your feet so it’s important to become accustomed to controlling the ball in the air, positioning yourself to receive a pass, and learning when and when not to take a heavy touch.
3. Link-up Play
Today’s modern formation often operates with just one striker up top, but this doesn’t make link-up play any less important. Being able to bring your teammates into play with clever passing and movement will make a striker that much better.
Passing may not be the most important attribute to a striker but being able to consistently and accurately play short five-yard passes makes a world of difference. A striker who cannot execute basic passes risks breaking down attacking moves and costing their team possession and momentum.
The best way to improve link-up play is through practise with teammates and effective communication.
4. Spatial Awareness
Easily overlooked, yet absolutely vital for the best strikers is a strong sense of spatial awareness. Movement off the ball can be just as crucial as movement with the ball and this all comes down to understanding space.
A good sense of spatial awareness is best developed through experience but can be furthered by watching football. It all boils down to understanding where to be on the pitch and where others are in relation to you.
The intangible quality that separates the best from the rest. Confidence can make or break a striker and is often the missing ingredient for misfiring stars.
Confidence has to come from within but there are things you can do to help improve yours. Determination and self-belief will go a long way to producing confidence. Even if you’re not scoring, or even playing well, remembering that you are good and not giving up will eventually turn your luck around.
Once you’re scoring consistently and playing well, confidence is a given.
The Bottom Line
Being a striker naturally comes with ups and downs, even for the best. Employing some of the tips above will help you become a better striker with effort and practise.
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FAQs About Strikers
Are all strikers the same?
Definitely not. Perhaps more than any other position, strikers come in a variety of shapes and sizes and sometimes play very different roles.
How to improve shooting in footballl?
For more information on how to improve your shooting, read here.
How do you stop a striker in football?
If you’re a defender looking to stop a striker from scoring, this article offers great tips on how to tackle effectively.