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Goals win games. In modern soccer, top forwards are the highest paid and most sought after players all because of their influence on the outcome of a match. The worth of a forward is gauged on their ability to score goals, and how many chances they need to do so. Modern soccer has evolved the demands of the traditional positions in soccer; players must now be much more physically and technically adept than ever before. The position and worth of a forward has not changed. True forwards don’t need to be influential for 90 minutes, or even be good for 90 minutes, they just to have to understand what their fundamental responsibility is: scoring goals. Consistently scoring goals is not a coincidence; it’s the product of a calculated understanding of where you’re supposed to be, and how to position yourself in such a way to be successful. There is no rule of thumb for what a forward should look like, rather, forwards are judged on their approach to the game, their sacrifice for the good of the team, work-rate and how lethal they can be in front of goal. Becoming a better forward and more accomplished goal-scorer is a serious commitment, and one that starts and ends with practice. SKLZ offers a line of products that empowers forwards everywhere with the tools necessary to stay sharp and keep themselves one step ahead of defenders.
Speed for a forward is often a misunderstood concept. Often, being fast is related directly to being an attacking threat, but that’s not necessarily the case. Speed is relative and must be used correctly in order to be effective. Being faster for a forward can mean lots of things, but the important speed for a forward is in the explosiveness of their first few steps, the sharpness of their movements and making quick decisions. A forward with a sharp acceleration will automatically keep defenders on edge with the threat of penetrating runs. Similarly, quick and precise movements in and around the box will always occupy and confuse defenders. Threatening a backline is a matter of preference and style for each forward, but an increase in physical and mental speed will always render positive results. In order to maximize explosiveness, SKLZ recommends the Speed Chute Pro. The Speed Chute and Speed Chute Pro offer a progressive resistance that will improve top speed and power.
Being quick, explosive and elusive is the doorway to finding space on a soccer field, a good first touch and technical proficiency are what allow forwards to finish chances. When it comes to creating goal-scoring chances, it’s essential to be technically clean in order to dictate the play with as much control as possible. A forward who can burst through defenders at will but is unable to control the ball will frustrate coaches and fans, and will be frustrated in turn. Equally, forwards must learn that their first touch sets up their shot, a quality first touch opens up more options. A forward is constantly looking for gaps to shoot or dribble into, so the ability to take your first touch out of pressure and find a quick pass or shot comfortably is invaluable. Dribbling is a skill that is learned at the youngest age but it is a skill that is often misused. Dribbling must have a purpose, it must be used as a method of removing a defender or creating space for a pass or shot. Efficient and effective dribbling comes from a high technical level that can be perfected with practice. A set of SKLZ Passing Arcs can be set up as obstacles to quickly dribble by, or as targets for a short pass out of pressure. The arcs can be set up to simulate defenders and placed according to the needs of the individual.
In order to score goals, you have to shoot. Shooting in soccer is not all about power; it is circumstantial, but is generally about the combination of power and precision. Precision is predicated on the ability to place the ball where you want, after analyzing the situation and picking a spot. Power is added or reduced based on need, however, the base need of a shot relies on it’s precision. A powerful shot that is nowhere near frame has far less merit than a soft shot on target. When the ball is shot on target, there’s always a chance. Shooting practice can be done anywhere, it doesn’t require the presence of a goalkeeper or teammates. SKLZ offers a line of portable goals in different sizes; from 4’ x 3’ goals to 12’ x 6’, depending on player age and ability. The Quickster 12’ x 6’ goal is a great tool for accurate shooting as the reduced size will challenge forwards to hit frame successfully and repetitively. Practicing on a smaller goal enables forwards to practice with a high level of difficulty that come game time will not be present.