Having played “striker/forward” during most of my younger years on the field, I’m very confident to share with you the top skills and tips about the Soccer Striker Position. Some top natural strikers are Luis Suarez, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Gonzalo Higuain.
A “striker” is typically used during formations with one forward such as 5 – 4 – 1 or 4 – 2 – 3 – 1. However, many coaches, players, and fans use this term for attacking players on the final third.
Some areas that I will go over include: defending, attacking, finishing, communication, and movement. Ready? Take mental notes and apply this on your next game! (come back here and let me know how it went)
You are the FIRST defender!
- Be Always behind the line of the ball. You can’t just watch the game.
- Bring your teammates up to keep a high pressure on the opponent’s side.
- Don’t over commit when defending. You may run out of energy.
Attacking and Finishing – That’s your JOB!
- You are there to score, so get hungry in the box!
- Let your teammates know where you want the ball. Talk and use your hands.
- At times, be selfish but ALSO know what’s best for the team.
- No goalkeeper is good enough to stop all your shots – try to score as much as you can!
- Check in to your midfielders
- Stay more in the middle of the field so that the wingers can run down the line.
- Create open space for your teammates
- Change speed and direction when running into the space
Time for some secret stuff…
Latino players say that they learn a lot from “la calle” (the street). What I’m about to share is “secret stuff”. Things that will make you a better and smarter striker. By the way, I’m not promoting “the opposite of good sportsmanship”. However, I want you to know what other players know out there so that you can have a fair chance to compete.
- Always make sure you know where the defender is. Extend your arm to make sure he is right behind you.
- Don’t let defenders restart the game too quick. BE CAREFUL, don’t get a yellow card.
- A little push when checking in can help you. Nothing to obvious because it can be called a foul.
- Shield the ball when you are going against 2+ defenders. See if you can get a free kick.
- Stay with their last man and put pressure on him. Don’t let him kick the ball.
- Shoot to score with some power the first 2 times. Then, on the next one-on-one, fake it. You will see the goalkeeper going down and then you may have a better chance to score.
- ALWAYS expect the mistake! Ask yourself: Where is the ball going if he misses it? GO THERE!
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Last but not Least… Learn from the Pros
Try to watch soccer games and analyze the strikers. See what they do with and without the ball. Remember that there is only one soccer ball and 22 players on the field. That means that 21 players are “standing or moving” without the ball. If you can master what to do without the ball AND you work on your skills, you can be the best striker you can be!
Now, why did I give you this information? Well, once, a kid that started to play for me (striker) told me: ” coach, he is pulling my shirt when I’m running”. He wasn’t aware of how to address that on the spot. I showed him what to do and then he learned. Little things that will make a difference. Believe me, you will see the differences!
Leave your comments and suggestions. Thank you!