Soccer Player Shooting A Ball

The Complete Striker Checklist – For Players and Coaches

When I concentrate on evaluating an attack, I look at both wide players and strikers. During a game, there are certain key things to look for with these players. One note of caution, however, is to also pay attention to the build up from the midfield or defense, as no striker will truly shine (unless they’re Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo) if the service from those areas is of poor quality. Here is a list of the nine main areas I look at when evaluating their quality.

  • How strikers receive and turn the ball when they’re under pressure
  • How they dribble the ball to penetrate the opposition and gain possession
  • First touch of the ball and general control
  • How they work with team mates and carry out set pieces
  • Shooting from various distances with both feet
  • How they cross the ball
  • Headers as a form of attacking play
  • Denying the opposition space and shutting down opposition build-up through proper positioning
  • Tackles

When evaluating and coaching a strong attacking player, proper coaching is one of the most important aspects to growth. By looking to improve on weak areas and creating training that prioritizes growth of the weakest areas, you’ll be able to create a versatile player that is able to succeed on any team they decide to play on. Even with a strong forward, however, it is always important to look at the team as a whole and the chemistry between the defense and midfield with the offense. Follow the checklist below to see important team aspects that need to be considered for any offense to succeed.

Attacking Play – Strikers

  • Moving to make space
  • Going forward ahead of the ball
  • Moving to disturb the defense
  • How the team carries out set pieces and supports the player with the ball
  • Knowing when to attack and at what angle
  • Crossing the ball and completing a play (including heading)
  • Communicating with the team

Attacking Play – Wide Players

  • Extending the play and creating width
  • How they dribble to ball to penetrate the opposition and gain possession
  • Moving to make space where it’s needed
  • Unbalancing the line of defense
  • Getting past a member of the other team before making a cross
  • Getting a cross over the first man
  • Getting a shot across the goal
  • Finishing with both feet
  • Supporting the rest of the team

Defensive Play – Strikers And Wide Players

  • Getting behind the ball
  • Making sure the opposition sees the strength of our team
  • Moving play up the field if necessary or
  • Falling back to the half way line and pressing forward when needed
  • Supporting other players
  • Providing backup for the first defender
  • Restricting passing chances for the opposition

Leave a Comment