EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Crossing and finishing

With so many goals scored from crosses it is vital that your players have the ability to create and finish crossing opportunities.

What this session is about

  1. Getting the ball into wide areas and creating crossing opportunities.
  2. Getting players into the box in order to convert the chances created.

What to think about

By playing the ball into wide areas your team stretch the opposition’s defence. This often leads to space in central areas. Therefore it is vitally important that players – particularly midfielders – are willing to make runs into the box and score otherwise playing the ball wide is ineffective.

Set-up

  • 60×40 yard area.
Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes10 minutes15 minutes15 minutes10 minutes

What you get your players to do

The coach passes to two attackers who must combine and then pass out wide to the full back. The full back dribbles forward and passes down the line for the wide player to cross into the box, the two attackers must try to score.

In the next stage the attackers pass directly to the wide player who dribbles inside allowing the full back to overlap. The wide player makes a reverse pass for the full back to cross into the box for the two attackers to try to score.

The full back plays a through ball for the wide player to cross.

The full back plays a through ball for the wide player to cross.


Development

Now we have added defenders to the practice. The attackers have a choice of whether to pass to the full back or wide player. The full back and wide player must react according to the pass made.

The attackers must time their runs to arrive with the cross and get in front of the defenders to get to the ball.

The attackers play directly to the wide player and the full back must make an overlap to cross.

The attackers play directly to the wide player and the full back must make an overlap to cross.


Game situation

Play a small-sided game where goals are worth double if they come from a cross. To encourage more crosses you can use a wider pitch.

The addition of defenders calls for greater accuracy on the cross and well timed runs from the attackers.

The addition of defenders calls for greater accuracy on the cross and well timed runs from the attackers.


What to call out

  • “Play at match tempo”
  • “Pace on the cross”
  • “Movements to lose the defender and score”
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