If you’re asking yourself the question of how to be like Haaland.
Well, I can completely understand why.
Not only is this guy a superstar in world football.
Despite being only 22.
But he is a goalscoring machine, that excels in almost every area of the game.
His rise to fame has been a quick one.
With him showcasing his exceptional skills, physicality and clinical nature in front of goal.
So if you have watched him playing.
Thinking to yourself wow.
I would love to play like him, and have a playing style where you bully the opposing defence.
As well as a goalkeeper.
Then you will want to copy a lot of the traits that Haaland has into your own game.
So in this post, we will be focusing on everything that has attributed to the Nordic striker’s success.
While giving you the plan to get out there and replicate it for yourself.
Table of Contents
Who is Haaland?
Now unless you have been living under a rock you will probably be familiar of this new sensation, Erling Haaland.
He is essentially the new young prodigy, who made his mark just a few years ago for Red Bull Salzburg.
Taking him to right now where he is now, a treble-winner with Manchester City.
Let’s delve a little deeper into the story of Haaland.
Early Life and Background
Erling Haaland had an interesting upbringing.
That is because he was in fact born in England, leeds specifically.
To a legend called Alf-Inge Haaland, who was playing for Leeds United at the time.
So you can kind of see why Haaland has taken the direction he has.
With his father also being a top striker in the Premier League too.
However while he may have come into this world in England.
He started his journey at Bryne FK a team in the second division of Norway’s footballing pyramid.
It was at this site, that from the age of 5 he was developed until he made his professional debut ten years later aged just 15.
After just 16 appearances and despite not scoring a single goal for the first team.
He had impressed fellow Norwegian side Molde who signed him where he started to make his mark.
It’s safe to say Haaland’s career took of when he joined Molde.
A team in which he scored 14 goals in 39 appearances.
Which at the young age of 19, got all the scouts and clubs around Europe talking.
This led to his move with RB Salzburg where he started to show his huge potential.
Under manager Jesse March who funnily enough was recently coach of Leeds.
Haaland netted at least a goal a game, scoring 17 in 16 games.
This goalscoring form and impact made it hard for the Austrians to keep hold of him.
So when a club of Borussia Dortmund’s statue came in showing interest.
It’s probably no surprise that he only lasted 6 months in Austria.
Now for those who thought that this goal record was a fluke.
Whether that be because they think the Austrian top division is a farmers league.
Would be proved wrong, as Haaland went on to score an impressive 62 goals in 67 appearances.
Across two seasons.
Before finding himself securing him a blockbuster move to Manchester City.
What Makes Haaland Stand Out?
There are plenty of great goalscorers in today’s game.
However what exactly makes Haaland stand out from all of them.
After all you wont see too many rises to the top like what this Norweigan has shown.
Well firstly you have his goal record.
This shows that if you put him on the pitch for any club he will net.
Its almost guaranteed at this point.
Which must scare the day light out of defenders he comes across.
But how exactly is he scoring all these goals.
In what is game after game.
Well lets delve in to the finer details of Haalands game.
Exceptional Physical Attributes
One thing I have noticed both from studying how he plays.
But also from watching interviews from players who have faced against him.
Is his physical attributes.
In many ways you could say he is a freak of nature.
Because normally there is some kind of trade-off.
In the sense that some players will be extremely physical.
But lack the speed.
Or have all the pace in the world.
But could be pushed off the ball so easy.
What this means is there is always an area of a strikers game, in which a defender can potentially expose.
But as you can see from the table for Haaland’s physical attributes is that this may not be the case for him:
|Haaland is very quick of his feet, allowing him to sprint away from defenders or latch on to through balls from teammates to score goals.
|Haaland has immense strength that allows him to hold defenders off but also brush them over, instead of it being vise versa.
|For someone of the physical stature of Haaland he has agility that makes him unique. This means he can quick pull away from his defender or create space to make goalscoring opportunities for himself.
|One of the reasons for Haaland’s goal record is the power in his strikes. He can hit the ball in the net with both feet aswell as his head, this makes him so difficult to defend has he is unpredictable.
|Giving him that advantage in the air, as if he needed one, he is 6 feet 4 inches (193 cm), making it easy for him with his strength to win duals.
Now while Haaland is built exceptionally well to excel at each area.
Its clear that the Nordic striker has put in the work to become the player he is.
If you look at photos of him as a youngster he was more weedy.
But through strength and conditioning training, he has been able to help improve each aspect of his game.
So if you want to be physically dominant in the final third just like him.
You will want to look at each area and devise a plan to improve them.
Work on your speed and agility so you can leave defenders in your footsteps.
While working on areas such as your shot power by doing shooting training to make sure that goalkeepers have no chance of saving your shots.
Once you have built time to take them off.
Ultimately though while Haaland success may seem overnight.
It likely wasn’t and is a credit to the work ethic and strong mentality he has.
So you must also replicate this yourself.
The reason why goalscoring is so easy for Haaland.
Is because his skills are at such a high level that he doesn’t need a ton of opportunities to score.
So even in games where he touches the ball a few times.
With the defenders somehow finding a way to keep him quiet.
He may still score from lapse of concentration.
This is important.
Because if your a striker playing even locally, and you find yourself with one or two chances a game.
That is what will ultimately count.
Now if you want to improve your conversion rate to the standard of Haaland, you need to work on every aspect.
So that you can adapt to any chance that comes your way:
- Accuracy: One thing you will notice with the best strikers is there clinical nature and Haaland is no different. He will know exactly where the corners are and find them emphatically. So the first step is working on your accuracy so your putting the ball in areas in which the keeper has no chance of saving.
- Power: Accuracy in most cases can be enough to beat a keeper, especially if you put it low in the bottom corner. However power has shown by Haaland is also key, so if you can combine the two it will give the keeper very little time to react.
- Positioning: If you are new to playing as a striker can be a awkward process knowing where to position yourself, but this is crucial in scoring goals. One of the reasons Haaland scores lots of goals, is due to his knack of knowing where to be. All top strikers have it. So as a result you will want to be finding those pockets and gaps to place yourself, so you can get the ball at the perfect time.
- Instinct: Instinct is quite hard to teach, has it comes with experience playing. However if you can learn how to read situations and know when the best times are to score and pass are it will make you a more successful striker long term.
- Timing: Timing in football is so key, especially when making runs for receiving the ball. If you get it just right you will score more goals, get it off and you will lose goals that should of stood.
- Aerial threat: Now I will be honest unless you are a giant like Haaland it will be hard to dominate in the air. While you can work on your jumping, which I do recommend as it helps. Being somewhat tall at least high 5ft/low 6ft will help you dominate in the air just like Haaland.
These are all the traits in which Haaland has that allow him to play football with full freedom and score for fun.
However, because he can do that.
Shows how much work he has put in.
As for many strikers, they just don’t get the success he does.
So if you want these results you want to be consistently working on these aspects and striving to become better.
Speed and Agility
Haaland is one of the most unorthodox running styles.
Which has led to him being a memed footballer.
However, he has a lot of speed and agility in abundance:
Now if you want to develop these to the level of Haaland you could implement the following training practices::
- Sprint Training: First you can start by doing sprint sessions. These can be done on a treadmill or even around your local area. This is all about short bursts of intense running. This gets you into the practice of running high speed and stopping over and over again within a game.
- Plyometric Exercises: In order to improve your running you can incorporate plyometric exercises into your training routine, these can be anything from explosive jumps to tuck jumps.
- Change of Direction Drills: If you have seen Haaland play you will notice how he changes direction a lot. Now to do this effectively which will also help your agility, you want to do drills that help you do this. One I have done for years since taking football seriously is shuttle runs, as these get you used to running and changing direction.
- Interval Training: Interval training will also help you with your speed and endurance, as this will consist of you running hard for a short period getting some reset then going again. This gets used to the match conditions of a real match.
- Flexibility and Mobility Training: Becoming agile doesn’t come without having a good stretching routine. For this, you can do Yoga imitating Haaland’s favourite pose as you can see below.
Now for these, you can implement them yourself.
However like Haaland has you may want a coach or personal trainer to help you with a program that suits you.
What makes Haaland hard to defend is his ball skills too.
Having watched him carefully, you will see that his passes after holding the ball off, are often very precise.
His touches when the ball is fired into him is also great too.
Whether that is to roll the defender or to keep it away from the centre halfs feet.
So this again is another area in which you not only need to be at a good level to be a footballer anyway.
But if you want to be like Haaland.
Here are some key areas to focus on:
- Improving your ball control and dribbling will easily make you a better player. Doing so will make you harder to defend against since your defenders will have to work harder to take the ball off you. To go about this you can do drills where you move around the pitch while having the ball close to your body.
- Develop passing technique, whether this is back to a attacking midfielder or spraying a ball out long to a winger to then try and get into a box for a cross.
- Work on first touch, everyone knows in football including Haaland that first touch is crucial, as a bad one can make creating goal scoring opportunities impossible. So ensuring quick and accurate ball control is vital in becoming a top footballer. Refer to this guide where I go through in-depth on how to get a better first touch.
To enhance your technical skills further, consider the following suggestions:
- Dedicate time each day to practice. Haaland is training almost every day. Because he needs to. If you want to get better with technical skills you will want to do them often to improve that muscle memory.
- Study professional players like Haaland. With a ton of clips on YouTube and of course Haaland playing each week for Manchester City, you can analyze clips of him along with other players to learn how he moves once he is on the ball.
- Seek guidance from knowledgeable coaches or professional footballers who can provide tailored training programs. Here is one I have used and recommend if you need further support.
By focusing on these areas and incorporating regular practice and coaching, you can enhance your technical skills and strive to reach the level of players like Haaland.
How to Develop Physical Attributes like Haaland?
One thing seems the case with Haaland.
And that is his physical presence has increased with every team he has played at.
Maybe that is because with every game that goes by he adds to his career goal tally.
Making him even more of a threat.
Now alot of this is likely due to the development of his physical attributes.
So lets delve into these and what you can do to replicate them.
Strength and Conditioning Training
Strength is a massive part of Haaland’s game.
He uses it in every dual he’s involved in.
So if you want to develop these like Haaland, then you may want to consider doing the following things:
- Vary workouts: While it can be easy to pick one workout. Its always best to have a variety of workouts to switch between that can target different areas of your body. From focusing on arms and shoulders to improving your speed with outdoor runs.
- Focus on compound exercises: Too add to variant workouts you can also compound exercises together
- Use progressive overload: Now if your starting from scratch you may not be copy the intenseness of someone like Haaland. So as you get used to doing strength exercises you can slowly increase the intensity in which you perform it at.
Just by incorporating these principles, will get you one step closers to being on Haalands level.
Speed and Agility Training
Haaland runs with such speed that its frightening.
However having worked on my speed for years.
Mainly due to doing athletics as a child.
I know first hand that reaching the speed of Erling Haaland is more than doable.
Now to start with, and its actually an exercise I recommend to everyone looking to improve speed.
Is sprint intervals.
Its perfect for football.
As you will be performing maximum-effort sprints for about 10-20 seconds.
Before having a rest.
You can complete this 8-10 times.
With you deciding how many sprints to do.
There is also the additional option to add an incline.
So if you are outside you can do this uphill or downhill, to make it harder or easier.
Other exercises you can do that will help you play like Haaland to work on the agility side, is doing ladder hops, lateral runs and high knees.
These will help take your coordination and agility to the next level.
Which is needed if you want to run but also with the freedom like Haaland.
How to Improve Goal-Scoring Abilities like Haaland?
So maybe you’re a striker already.
You look at Haaland and your thinking how can I finish off more chances like him.
Well, this comes down to two things.
Practice as well as experience.
By combining the two you will build your attacking skills and master how to position correctly.
And from there how to score more goals.
Practising Shooting Techniques
Haaland has a wide repertoire of shots.
From finess, chip shots to thunderous strikes, he can do it all.
However, all of that starts from the basic fundamentals.
1. Focus on body positioning. Firstly you want to position yourself in a position in which you can receive the ball and strike the ball towards the goal.
2. Keep your eyes on the ball. Maintain eye contact throughout the entire shooting process.
3. Lock your ankle. Make sure your ankle is firm as you strike the ball, this will allow for more power and control of the shot.
4. Generate power from your striking leg. Just like Haaland does you want to swing your leg back and exhale as you strike the ball with the laces of your shoelaces.
5. Follow through with your leg. Unless you are performing a knuckleball shot, after making contact with the ball, you should allow your leg to naturally follow through in the direction of the target.
6. Diversify your shooting techniques. Lastly, as I alluded to earlier, Haaland has mastered every shot in the book. This is why if you want to be a threat you will need to practice volleys, one-touch shots, and curling shots to improve your versatility in front of the goal.
By consistently practising shooting techniques, you can elevate your goal-scoring abilities and become a more effective soccer player, just like Haaland.
To develop skills like Haaland, it is important to focus on specific areas and dedicate time and effort to improve. Here are some key steps to follow:
1. Practice regularly: Consistent practice is crucial in honing your skills. Set aside dedicated time each day to focus on developing specific skills, such as shooting techniques or ball control.
2. Seek guidance: It is beneficial to work with coaches or trainers who are experts in developing skills. They can provide valuable feedback and create customized training programs for you.
3. Train with purpose: Make each training session purposeful by setting specific goals and objectives. Break down complex skills into smaller components and work on each one individually.
4. Analyze and learn: Take the time to watch videos of Haaland and other skilled players. Study their techniques and movements, and analyze their positioning, decision-making, and execution of skills. Learn from their approach and incorporate those elements into your own training.
5. Challenge yourself: Step outside of your comfort zone and take on challenging drills or exercises. This will help you improve your skills and develop resilience and adaptability.
Always remember that developing skills takes time and dedication. Stay focused, be patient, and continue to work hard to improve your abilities.
Learning from Haaland’s Mentality and Work Ethic
As you may have learned today or before finding yourself here, Haaland is a unique footballer.
That is because he has a very high skill level in every aspect needed to be an elite striker.
He also has a fantastic mentality and work ethic that helps him to perform consistently at the highest level in the game.
Now has we have gone over in this post if you want to know how to be like Haaland, well you basically have to work on every area of your game.
Getting each one to a good level, which in turn will make you very hard to defend against.
So if you can incorporate Haaland’s mentality and work ethic into your own life.
Putting these to all the areas of the game that we touched upon in this post
Then as a result you will significantly enhance your chances of reaching your goals in football and becoming the footballer you want to be.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I improve my shooting skills like Erling Haaland?
To improve your shooting skills like Erling Haaland, you can practice shooting from different angles and distances, work on accuracy, and refine your technique. By regularly practicing these aspects of shooting, you can develop the same exceptional shooting ability that Haaland possesses.
What are some important positioning skills I can learn from Erling Haaland?
Erling Haaland has excellent positioning skills, and youth players can learn three key skills from him. Creating holes on the opposite defensive line by moving from the centre zone to one side, thereby creating space for teammates to find numerical superiority. Waiting for the perfect moment to stay onside, controlling positioning to avoid being caught offside and gain an advantage over defenders. Using tricky moves inside the penalty area to deceive defenders and create scoring opportunities.
How can I develop mental toughness like Erling Haaland?
To develop mental toughness like Erling Haaland, you can try visualization techniques, improve your breathing and relaxation skills, and learn how to stay calm and focused in high-pressure situations. These practices can help you maintain focus and perform at your best, just like Haaland does on the football field.