EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Crossing combinations

Crossing is a vital skill for any player. This practice develops crossing ability as well as the build-up play required to create crossing opportunities.

What this session is about

Quick combination play in wide areas to create space for an accurate cross.

What to think about

  • Players should practice crossing with both feet so run the drill on both sides of the pitch.
  • Make accuracy rather than pace the focus of each cross.
  • Combination play should be quick, one-touch passing.

Set-up

  •  Half-pitch.
Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes15 minutes15 minutes15 minutes5 minutes

What you get your players to do

The wide player passes into the forward and sprints to receive a return pass. The wide player crosses for the forward on the opposite side to attack. After each cross the forward moves to the inside gate ready to attack the cross coming from the opposite side. The starting wide player goes into the first gate to become the forward for the next turn. After attacking a cross, the player collects the ball and joins the queue of wide players on the other side.

A wall-pass releases the wide player to cross for the forward.

A wall-pass releases the wide player to cross for the forward.


Development

The wide player passes to the forward and moves infield to receive a layoff. The forward spins wide and receives a pass into the wide area to cross for the opposite forward. You can add an extra level of complexity by introducing yourself as a passive defender, requiring the wide player and forward to communicate to decide which route to the crossing zone will work best. Do not obstruct the drill itself.

Now the wide player comes inside and the forward makes the cross.

Now the wide player comes inside and the forward makes the cross.


Game situation

In a small sided game, goals scored from good combination play on the wings count double. Set up your pitch to be wider than normal in order to encourage use of the space on the wings.

A wide pitch encourages players to exploit space on the wings.

A wide pitch encourages players to exploit space on the wings.


What to call out

  • “Can you play one-touch?”
  • “Make it easy for the forward”
  • “Get the weight of the pass right”
  • “Keep the cross away from the keeper”
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