EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Basic crossing

Lots of goalscoring chances are created from dangerous crosses into the opponent’s penalty area, so it is important to teach your players the technique of how to deliver such crosses.

What this session is about

  1. Crossing on the run.
  2. Creating attacking chances.

What to think about

Crossers of the ball must:

  • Observe where team mates are.
  • Plant the non-kicking foot beside the ball.
  • Have the upper body facing the direction of cross.
  • Strike the centre of the moving ball (lower half for height).
  • Aim between the edge of the six-yard box and the penalty spot.
  • Consider the height/pace/swerve of the cross.
  • Time the cross with the attackers’ runs.
  • Cross early if possible.

Set-up

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes15 minutes15 minutes15 minutes5 minutes

What you get your players to do

Mark out several 20×5 yards areas for pairs of players and put a cone a couple of yards in from each end, as shown in the top picture.

Players stand at opposite ends. The first player starts at one corner, takes a touch to knock the ball past the cone two yards away and crosses to his team mate, who repeats the drill.

After a few attempts, change which corner players start from so they have to use their other foot.

Each player takes a touch and then crosses the ball to his partner.

Each player takes a touch and then crosses the ball to his partner.


Development

Set up an area with channels marked out on each wing and a goalkeeper in each goal.

Wingers start at either end of one of the channels while attackers are divided into two pairs in the other channel, starting at opposite ends.

The first winger dribbles the ball the length of the area and crosses the ball. The first pair of attackers set off just after he begins and try to get on the end of the cross and score.

Repeat the drill from the opposite direction with a different winger and attackers. Swap wingers and attackers so each plays in both roles.

A winger dribbles up the side of the pitch while attackers run to take positions to convert the cross into a goal.

A winger dribbles up the side of the pitch while attackers run to take positions to convert the cross into a goal.


Game situation

Now play a 5v5 (including keepers) in the same area. One player from the attacking team is allowed in the channel and can take as many touches as needed in that area before passing back inside or crossing.

After a few minutes, add the restriction that attackers can only keep the ball in the channel for a count of five.

Next, restrict wing play further by allowing wide players only two touches.

Then challenge their role again by allowing one defender to go in the channel to pressure the ball, as shown in the bottom picture.

Goals scored from a cross in the wide channels count double. The team that scores the most goals wins.

Impose restrictions on wingers, such as allowing a defender to try and win the ball in the marked channel.

Impose restrictions on wingers, such as allowing a defender to try and win the ball in the marked channel.


What to call out

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