Crossing and finishing with shooting scenarios

This multidirectional session is about game-realistic play, positive moves and developing the ability to finish from crosses, with varied shooting scenarios.

It is important to practise this because being clinical in front of goal when chances arrive can be the difference between winning and losing football matches. After all, 50% of the goals we’ve scored this season have been by strikers.

The session encourages players to practise shooting from distance, and greatly improves an understanding of getting into goalscoring positions.

We work on this session at least once a week.

SET-UP

Area
50×40 yards
Equipment
Balls, cones, goals, mannequins
Number of Players
Up to 16
Session time
Crossing sequence 20mins
Progressions 10mins each

What do I get the players to do?

Crossing sequence

Setting up as shown (1a), we begin from position B, with one blue touching the ball to a team mate, who takes a touch then shoots.

1a

• Blues combine from position B to produce a shot at goal

A third blue now joins and all three players move forward, looking to get on the end of a cross from a team mate at position A, to the left (1b). A red defender in the goalmouth attempts to stifle the threat.

1b

• Now another blue joins for a three-man attacking move

Next, attackers turn to their right, and a cross is delivered from position C, on the right-hand side (1c).

1c

• Attackers now switch to their right, ready to attack a cross from the man at position C


After these attacks, three new blues come into the area at position B.

How do I progress the session?

There are a number of standard progressions we’ll try. So from position B, wall passes can be made between the three blue players before a shot is taken. Alternatively, we might ask them to attack the goal ensuring runs are made strictly from 

onside positions; or we can condition it so one blue has to dribble past a passive defender before shooting.

From position A, before crossing, the wide man can dribble the ball forward first, or make a short pass with a team mate. We also want to experiment with deep crosses, as well as altering the pace, power and distance and angle of the delivery (2a). The same progressions apply for position C (2b).

2a

• Here, blues combine at position A to change the angle of the cross into the danger area

2b

• And in this instance, blues at position C have combined with the final ball coming from near the goal line with a low driven cross into the six-yard box


As a final progression, invite a crosser to join in the attack (3). This adds an extra forward option, as well as providing a second ball option for attacking knockdowns, or crosses only half-cleared by a defender. We can also add further defenders for increased realism.

3

• Encouraging one of the inactive crossers to join the attack produces another attacking option. Here, it’s a cutback from the player at position C, and a shot that’s well saved by the keeper


What are the key things to look out for?

We want to see good shooting technique, with the ball being driven or passed into the goal, and using one-touch finishing, volleys and half-volleys. The practice will fail unless players ensure they communicate well at all times, with quick transitions to the next area.

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