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GOALSCORING- INSTINCT OR TAUGHT?


Football games are most often than not decided by goals. A goal is scored when the ball passes completely over a goal line at each end of the field of play. The law makes no mention of attributing goals to individual players. Nonetheless, the player to have provided the final action causing the goal to be scored is attributed with the goal. At the end of football competitions, the top scorer is usually rewarded.
Jubilant Lius Ronaldo after finding the back of the net 
On the field of play, the striker is the player most burdened with the responsibility to provide goals despite it being a team responsibility. The striker’s position on the field of play calls for this task. Strikers are employed to be match winners, thrive under the pressure of deciding games but the art of goal scoring usually eludes most players.


Romelu Lukaku reveals that there is no bigger thrill on the football pitch than finding the back of the net. Unfortunately, most strikers’ fate has been downed by timely goalkeeper fingertip saves, last minute challenges from opponents and offside flags.  Is the art of goal scoring thus instinctive or taught?
Opoku Afriyie
“Our ability to convert many of our chances stemmed from the fact that we learnt the art of goal scoring”, former skipper of Kumasi Asante Kotoko and 2 time AFCON winner, Opoku Afriyie disclosed this in an interview with Daily Graphic in 2017. The words of the retired striker suggests that players, if they learn, can make use of most the opportunities that come their way.
Thierry Henry also explains; “I had speed and the smell for goal, but at first I was hitting the fans, the crossbar, the goalkeeper was saving it. I started taking a ball and mannequins out on to the training pitch after the main session every day and then suddenly I was scoring more often than missing”. Henry’s words are in line with the earlier suggestion of Opoku Afriyie, the art of goal scoring is taught.
Le Tissier celebrates a goal scored
“I think natural goal scorers are born,” says Matt Le Tissier. “They’ve got an instinct which I think comes very naturally to them. It’s very difficult to pass on the skill of scoring goals to someone who just doesn’t get it” according to him. This contrary view upholds the art to be instinctive, a 6th sense for where the ball might be at any point in time and not taught.

Kevin Phillips is of the view that you can certainly drill players in making the right kind of runs, running along the line, staying onside, timing runs and trying to get in the right areas, but I often found myself in positions and I didn’t really know how I got there. I just ended up there. I think that’s something you are born with.”


In effect, goal scoring though a simple art in theory is complex in practice. Taught or born with, the skill must be used to the benefit of one’s team.



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