F1. Crossing and Finishing

F1. Crossing and Finishing 1hr 45min
Quote of the Session: “Technique is not being able to juggle the ball 1000 times. Anyone can do that by practicing. Then you can work in a circus. Technique is passing the ball with one touch, with the right speed, at the right foot of your team mate. “Johan Cruyff – Dutch football player
Warm Up/Agility 10 mins
Rondo
Small Sided Game 15 mins
Flank Zones
Organization

The field is smaller – double the box size – to provide more repetitions and put the teams in their attacking third at all time. Each team has attacking players in wide channels. The ball is played to the flank player in the channel who prepares and serves it into the box.
Coaching Points

  • Players organize runs, communicate and frame goal/ box 
  • Flank player can serve early (30 yds) or closer to end line (based on the pass he receives and runners) 
  • Encourage variety of cutbacks to 18, near post and far post service. 
  • Aggressive first touch into space by flank players
Variations

  • Award three points for one-touch finishes/goals directly off crosses 
  • Allow overlapping player into channel (if flank players 1st touch is onto playing field)
Technical/Tactical 50 mins
Crossing Activity
OrganizationThese crossing drills are an easy way to combine passing, finishing, defending, and conditioning. Set up cones in a semi-circle as shown in the diagram.
The cones start on the end line and stay outside the 18 yard box. All of the players, except the first two players have soccer balls.
Coaching Points  

Crossing

  1. Accuracy 
  2. Eyes on the Ball
  3. Pace / Timing / Weight 
  4. Part of Foot 
  5. Part of the Ball

Shooting 

  1. Accuracy 
  2. Attitude 
  3. Head Down/Eyes on the Ball 
  4. Part of Ball (Contact) 
  5. Follow Through


Attacking Heading 

  1. Eyes Open 
  2. Attack the Ball  
  3. Part of the Head (Forehead) 
  4. Head Ball Down to Target 
  5. Meet the Ball at Highest Point 
  6.  One Foot Take Off
Description
The first player starts sprinting around the cones and as she gets to the second to last cone, the third person in line passes the ball (on the ground) toward the last cone. When the first player gets around the last cone, she attacked the ball and finished it into the back of the net. When the first player is half way around the semi-circle, the second player starts her run. From this point on, as soon as a player passes the ball, she starts making this run around the semi-circle. While it might seem like there would be a lot of standing in line, if you can get the players running at a full sprint, by the time they get back in line, it’s time for them to go again. The next step is for the ball to be crossed in the air so that the finishes are done either with a volley or header.
This drill should be done from both sides and a keeper should be in the goal at all times. Ideally, you would have two keepers who are rotating on every 5 shots. Each shooter is responsible for retrieving his/her own ball and this should give players an incentive to get all shots on goal (it’s more tiring to sprint after a ball that went over the goal then it is to get one out of the back of the net).
Crossing Activity – Progression
Organization
The next step is to set up the field the same way as in the previous drill except now the players start on the sideline (as can be seen in the diagram below).
Coaching Points

Crossing

  1. Accuracy 
  2. Eyes on the Ball
  3. Pace / Timing / Weight 
  4. Part of Foot 
  5. Part of the Ball

Shooting 

  1. Accuracy 
  2. Attitude 
  3. Head Down/Eyes on the Ball 
  4. Part of Ball (Contact) 
  5. Follow Through


Attacking Heading 

  1. Eyes Open 
  2. Attack the Ball  
  3. Part of the Head (Forehead) 
  4. Head Ball Down to Target 
  5. Meet the Ball at Highest Point 
  6.  One Foot Take Off
Description
The first difference is that the players must take the ball down the sideline and then take a touch toward the near post in order to cross the ball away from the keeper. After serving the ball, she continues on the same semi-circle run as the previous drill to become the finisher.
The other difference is that after finishing the run, she then becomes the near post runner for the next serve. If the server sees the keeper cheating toward the far post, she may serve it to the near post. In other words, a player takes the ball down the line, serves the ball, becomes the far post runner, then becomes the near post runner before going to the back of the line to start again. One of the things you will notice is that I do use lines. However, I have the drills going non-stop so that at no point does a player spend any time standing in a line.

Variations

  • The next variation is to add a second line 2 yards behind the first line. This line becomes the defensive player and starts defending the server as soon as she touches the ball down this line. This will force the players to go at speed at all times.
  • Another player can be a designated defensive player who either goes with the near post or far post runner which will force the server to pick out a target based on what the defender is taking away.

This should be done from both sides and can have many other variations added to it.

Small Sided Game 30 mins
  • Two teams with goalkeepers.
  • Playing field of 40x20m
  • One goal at each end
Regular play with minimal coach intervention.
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