Functional - Crossing and Finishing

Exercise description:

Set up a square as shown, close to the corner of the 18-yard area. If you have more players, set up one on the left side too. A goal-keeper is used.

1. Players pass the ball in the pattern shown and move into the 18. 

2. Run it from alternate sides if you have two stations.

Focus on attacking the second 6-yard box. Arc your runs. Position yourself, front post, back post, and the edge of the 18-yard box.

3. The player crossing the ball will trust that their teammates make the correct runs. The final pass before the cross is quality and sent to the end-line. This enables the player crossing the ball to look up and pick a target.

4. After the exercise is over, players either come back to the original station or switch to get ready to run it from the opposite side.

Coaching points:

Quality passing.

Body shape.

Timing of runs into the penalty box.

Visualize playing in a game.

Younger players will not head the ball, or the law states no heading for players of a certain age.

Intended outcome:

  • Fun - Players love crossing and finishing sessions.

  • Work on movement from the attacking three players.

  • The players understand to run into areas the 18 and then the player crossing the ball can choose that area knowing a teammate will be there.

  • Improve the Goal-keeper's confidence dealing with crosses.

  • Improve the speed of the attack.


Add a defender or two.

Technical / Tactical:

  • Body shape

  • Quality of passing and crossing

  • Timing of all runs.

  • Movement into the 18.

  • Shot at the goal.

  • Goal-keeper collect poor crosses.


  • Be ready to interact with teammates.

  • Communicate.

  • Applaud good play and work ethic from teammates.

  • Offer help if you understand the exercise

  • Have fun!


  • Always work at game speed

  • Be ready to explode into space after the initial movement.

  • Contact with defenders is expected.


  • Be ready to focus

  • Embrace failure.

  • Remember the instructions of the exercise. The runs are important.

  • Decision-making can only happen if we are open to finding answers.

  • Visualize playing in a game

Possible Performance Problems:

Players are not grasping the movement into the 18.

The timing of the runs. Players may get there too early.

Attack the second 6-yard area.

Lack of quality on the cross.

Older players may still be reluctant to head the ball.