GOAL MAP – Specific training.

This post continues on the theme of Individual development.

Now, we are going to look in-depth at how you can work with your players in order to build a training programme that is “specific” to them and their needs.

The term “needs” =  (1) what the game demands from them (2) what strengths they must continue to improve, (3) what action areas/points they need to improve on.

As an example – I am going to use a striker for this process and I’m going to show that with a simple analysis, you can identify the exact type of goals they score (and miss) in games. This information can then be used to build a “specific” training programme.

This type of work can be done for all positions in the team. Once up and running, the players can also take OWNERSHIP of the analysis (The forward making his/her personal “goal map” as the season progresses etc…)”

Harry Kane

Harry Kane is everything that is good about English football and is a role model to young players dreaming of making the Premier League. He is the current PL top goalscorer and during the 2016/17, he scored 35 goals in all competitions for Tottenham Hotspurs FC. He ended the season as England’s captain.

Personally it must have been a fantastic season for him.


Below is a breakdown of Harry Kane’s goals in the form of a “GOAL MAP“.

Each football represents a goal scored and the exact position of the ball before Kane shoots.

The white balls = The 24 goals scored with his right foot

The blue balls = The 8 goals scored with his left foot

The red balls = The 3 goals scored with his head.

Harry Kane’s 35 goals in the 2016/17 season

Now, we have this “GOAL MAP” we can go into each of the goals and see exactly how they were scored.

We can do this by looking at three keys things

  1. Type of finish (right, head, left)
  2. Distance from goal when finishing
  3. Touches on the ball (including the shot).

I have deliberately kept this analysis simple, and in a basic form that all coaches can use for there players.

(You can be more detailed if you wish – on the exact type of finish – position the ball enters the goal – covering defenders – or situation in the game etc).

See below for a breakdown of each goal.

Goals 3, 5, 6, 7, 16, 27 were penalties and goal 22 was a direct free kick.

Breaking down Harry Kane’s GOAL MAP we can see that he has scored 6 penalties and 1 free kick. We can also see that he has scored 25 goals with a 1 touch finish and a further 7 goals with a 2 touch finish. This will have implications for his further training and his awareness of the type of goal he scores.

The distance from goal when scoring is also important, especially for young strikers that are not always arriving into the box and are maybe – not on the move enough or finishing there movement in the correct areas.

Kane’s goals can be broken down as follows

0-6yd = 8 goals

6-12yd = 15 goals

12-18yd = 7 goals

18yd+ = 5 goals

From the information gathered, The feedback is clear and based on the facts of previous performances. Looking at the exact positions that goals are scored on the players “GOAL MAP” you can see which areas of the box they are most likely (and most unlikely) to score.

Harry Kane is clearly a focused and determined young man and therefore, I am sure that he is getting this type of information and working specific on the areas he wants to develop in his game. He recently spoke about his aims and goals for the future and it is clear the he will strive to improve.

“When top players make an interview about training or development, Listen closely to the words used (This type of obsession with improvement is often clear) and grab as many examples as you can, to show your developing players”.

Developing your player

Ok – so with a simple analysis and some video footage, you can develop your strikers awareness of number of goals scored, types of goals scored and identify some trends in there individual play.

You can also watch any chances missed and then identify any trends that might come from this informaton too.

From this – you can build a very specific training programme that can be developed on a daily basis. The training will now become extremely focused and personal to this players development.

This type of “project” will also get buy in from the player and also inspire them to “own” the training and take ownership to develop these areas when possible.

Your player will also have the awareness that you are thinking of them personally. This will have a big impact on your relationship with the player and also help to structure your communication with them.

This is so important to maintaining a players focus on improving there IDENTITY as a player.

“For some positions, you may want to add physical statistics that coincide with the players strongest performances in the season etc..  You can make it as specific as you need or want too. My only advice would be – the simpler the better – in terms of using the information to build a training programme that is aimed to improve the players ability, awareness and focus”.

Role Models

For any young player, using a role model and analysing this elite players GOAL MAP or specific actions in a game, can also be a strong influence on a young player.

This can also help to “guide” a young players training and improvement.

TIP – Getting into the box

Encourage your forwards to take the extra touch and go into the penalty box. By going into the box, you create more options to use a variety of finishing techniques.

  • Placed
  • Curled
  • Power
  • Chip or “Dink”
  • Going around the goalkeeper

Also when the ball is in the penalty area, defenders will naturally panic more!!.

This will often lead to the defenders lunging in (to block/tackle) and therefore, giving you the opportunity to fake and bring the ball in another direction or possibly lead to a foul/penalty.

When looking at different finishing techniques,

Ask your player – What techniques do they already have at an elite standard? and which ones do they need to develop more?

Add to the list above with:

Headers, Volleys, Half-volleys etc.. and go specific into each one (headers from the left, from the right etc).

Team Development

You can also use the above for team development – both in regards to goals scored and goals conceded. The process is the same and by giving yourself a detailed “simple” analysis you can add greater focus to your training and communication.

Catch up soon.

New BOOK – 60 Training Games for elite player development – Available now 


1 Comment

  1. Thank you for everything. Its very sad to see a man who thinks about football on the next level leaving, cuz its exactly what we need (not just sp, but br teams in general).
    I understand the enormous sacrifice you made, trading your home country for this “adventure” and for that, i wanna say thanks again.
    Most of the fans are passionate but some of us like to look to the sport as a scientist and with you in the team we could see a lot of improvement in that area.
    Wish you the best in life! Dont forget us!


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