F3. Crossing and Finishing

F3. Crossing and Finishing 1hr 45min
Quote of the Session: “The most important thing for a forward is speed of thought. Top players read the game.”Samuel Eto’o – Cameroonian professional footballer
Warm Up/Agility 10 mins
Small Sided Game 20 mins
Flank Zones

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

  • 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 35 mins
Crossing Activity 2
This is a continuation of F2. Crossing and Finishing.

From here you can add defenders on the server and in the middle to speed up the serve and make the server pick a target rather then just serving the ball into the box aimlessly. The key to adding the defenders, is to have the defender pressuring the ball start behind the server to simply make them speed up. Have the defender in the box overplay one of the runners to make it obvious where the serve should go. See the diagram below to see the setup.

Coaching Points  


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


  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

  • The next step is quite different. Start with three runners in the box making near/far/12 yard runs. Have a line with balls out wide on each side and a line in the middle. First the person in the right line takes a hard touch down the line and then another touch in and serves the ball to the runners who try to finish first time. As soon as this is done, the middle line takes a hard touch and hits a shot (the runners get out of the way of the shot, frame the goal, and finish any rebounds). Then the left side takes their hard touch and a serve followed by another shot from the middle. The runners can stay in for a hard 2 minutes then rotate them. The rest of the players rotate through the three lines. This drill has a lot of movement, communication, serving, finishing of crosses, long distance shots, conditioning and goalkeeping. You can also add some defenders if you want. This is best done if you have two keepers, as it’s quite hectic and tiring for them to stay in there for any length of time.

Each of these drills should be done from both sides to work on finishing crosses from both sides as well as serving balls with either foot.

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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