Crossing and finishing


Half a pitch


Balls, cones, goals

No. of players


Session time

Session 10mins, progressions 10mins each

Crossing and finishing is an inherent part of attacking play, and this quick-paced session addresses that by working on creation of space and movement in the box.

It’s also an important session for rehearsing the second phase of play, both for attackers and defenders.

What do I get the players to do?

The server plays the ball into the central area, to any player on the blue team. Blues have to make three passes before working the ball to their target player, who is positioned just inside the box. The ball is then fed wide to either of their two wingers (1). Blue players now make runs into the penalty area.


1. The ball is worked to the target player
2. Possession is then fed out to the right winger
3. The left winger prepares to move into the box to support inrushing attackers

The winger in possession takes a touch to set up a cross. Blues break into the box with the focus being on good attacking movement. We’re looking for purposeful forward runs, with players taking up key attacking positions in the box, at near and far posts, in front of the keeper, and on edge of the box (ready for a second ball). The opposite winger can also enter from the other side and, with his team mates, attack the cross.

At the end of the attack – and whether a goal is scored or not – blues return to the central box. Now the server plays the ball in to the red team, who must repeat the task, attacking the opposite goal.

How do I progress the session?

To progress, we turn this into an opposed game, where teams have to make four passes before hitting the target player. The ball can then either go wide or stay central as attackers break into the box, looking to score (2).


1. In the first progression, blues construct four quick passes
2. This time the team abandons the flanks and concentrates the attack through the middle

In the second progression, defenders can now retreat in order to defend the cross (3a). If successful in protecting their goal, defenders can counter-attack quickly without the ball having to go back to the server (3b). So with blues having to retreat back to the central area, reds look to make four quick consecutive passes before attacking the other goal.


1. In the second progression, defenders are allowed to retreat into the box
2. A cross into the middle results in a header that’s saved


1. The keeper rolls the ball out for reds to counter-attack immediately
2. Reds quickly aim to make four passes in the central box as blues retreat

What are the key things to look out for?

We’re looking for quick passing and intelligent movement into space. Precision of pass is equally important, with players being aware of transitions and the danger caused by any turnover of possession/


  • Ball movementBall movement
  • Player movementPlayer movement
  • DribbleDribble
  • Optional movementOptional movement