Feel the width

A complex soccer coaching drill to help your players develop the skills they need to deliver three kinds of cross.

Why use it

The session aims to coach players to score more goals from crosses and to show that changing the pace of play and the angle of attack are key instruments in unlocking the opposition. Using wide areas is an important part of attacking play.

Set up

Create a playing area that is wider than long by using the width of the pitch you normally play on (mini, 9v9 or full size) and half that size for the length (so mini would be 30 wide x 15 deep and full size would be 60×30). Split it into six equal squares. You need a goal, balls, bibs and cones. We’re using 17 players in a 9v8 overload.

How to play

Players are locked into areas, except for the fullbacks who look to join the attack and create situations to cross the ball.


We’re looking for three different types of crosses in this practice: the deep cross, just entering the final third; the whipped in cross, cutting inside and swinging it across; and the full back cross, running to the byline and whipping it in.

    1. In this 9v8 overload players are locked into the zones, apart from the fullbacks
    2. Here the fullback has played into the winger and the players combine for a cross from outside the box

    3. The fullback plays into the winger and carries on running to receive a pass and cross the ball from the byline
    4. Note the different types of finishing from crosses, like control and pass or in this case a headed shot. Attackers must be able to provide a finish to the cross

    5. Movement and exploitation of the space left by the attacking fullback creates space for a counterattack and this time the winger whips in a ball for an his fullback to attack
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