7 tips to finish one v one

The infamous one v one situation - It’s inevitable as an attacking player. At some point, you will find yourself with no one left between you and the goal, but the opposing keeper. It may seem easy, but it is much more difficult than it may seem. You are expected to score so if you don’t, you will hear it from your coach. That alone is enough to make it mentally challenging. The solution is something you’ve heard many times - practice, practice, practice. With practice, finishing, goals, and celebrations will become second nature.

Here are 7 focus points to make finishing one v one-second nature:

1. Mentality: Expect to score. Don’t be thinking about what happens when you miss. Be confident that you can put the ball into the back of the net. Confidence builds after every successful finish. 

2. Don’t delay: Every second you delay, the margin for error decreases making it harder and harder to find the corners.

3. Keep your head up: You want to be able to see what the keeper is doing. The type of finish you use will greatly depend on the keeper’s positioning. If he stays on his line, the corners are much easier to hit. If he is charging toward you, the angles get tighter very quickly, but new opportunities arise. You can shoot quickly, but you also have the option to chip the ball over the keeper or simply take a touch past him and pass the ball into an empty net.

4. Create new angles: Goalkeepers are taught to adjust to the ball and never get beat near post. By shifting the ball to the left or right, you change the scoring angle opening up a large part of the goal at the far post allowing you to hit a curling finesse shot around the keeper.

5. Body language: Keepers are taught to read your body language. They are looking for you to pull your shooting leg back. Focus on making your finish short and snappy leaving the keeper unprepared. Fake shots can also be incorporated to get the keeper unbalanced.

6. Don’t rush: Stay composed. You have a lot more time than you think you do. A lot of players rush and hit the ball wide or off the post. Always focus on hitting the target over anything else. It’s much better to hit the target and create a possible rebound opportunity or corner kick than the ball going straight out of bounds.

7. Practice: Practice all the scenarios you can think of. Every time you see the ball in the back of the net, your confidence builds and finishing becomes second nature. When you find yourself in a one v one situation during the match, you will be confident knowing you have scored in that situation over and over during training.

Check out this video to improve your finishing techniques: