A couple weeks ago we ran some sessions about creating and finishing scoring chances with our 07 boys. We talked a lot about where we want to take shots from and where we would rather take shots from and that not all shots are created equal. The bottom line was that if you have a wide open chance and feel you should score then you should go for it, but if your chance is not clear cut and you have the possibility to create a better chance with a higher probability of scoring then maybe you should.
The research shows that in today's game an overwhelmingly high amount of goals are scored between the 6 and the penalty box (sometimes called the "second six"), and in an area no wider than the 6 yard box. The further away from this zone and the goal you get, the lower your chance of scoring becomes. Shots from this money area are simply more likely to go in. As the kids get older and goalkeepers get better, fields get bigger, and defenders get smarter and faster to name a few factors, shots from crazy angles and from very far out become less advantageous. Since we are developing players for the future, it's good to get them thinking this way now. "I like that you are looking to score and take that shot, but could you have created a better chance that was more likely to score?"
Check out these stats from the most recent premier league season that back this up. Also interestingly, 77% of goals were from open play, while only 13% of goals came from set pieces and only 2% from a direct kick. A different piece I saw recently said that only 3% of corner kicks taken were scored. That's a crazy low percentage! Think: you only score one corner out of about every 33. Gets you thinking about where you should be trying to score from and how teams should be playing and what they should spend their time working on. Happy reading!