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Fun crossing and shooting drill

by Pablo M16th Feb 2021

Shooting and crossing drill

Fire up your players with this football shooting drill. Practice finishing direct shots and crosses in a single exercise.

Setup

You need half of a football pitch, cones to mark the shooting zone, mannequins and a full-sized goal. Set two mannequins outside the box to simulate the centre backs. Mark the shooting zone with two cones and the other two mannequins. If you don’t have mannequins, use cones or ask teammates (injured or unable to practice) to stand in their place. You can see the setup in the pictures and videos at the end of this post.

This drill is designed to be practised with your first 11. But, you can practice the drill with as few as 6 players: 5 players and 1 goalkeeper. The pictures and video in this post use the 11 players configuration.

Instructions

The drill is simple, players complete a one-touch attacking triangle and attempt to score from a direct shot and a high cross. This is the progression to follow:

  • Both strikers wait with their back to their first two mannequins.
  • One of the players receives the ball from a teammate waiting in a queue.
  • The player receiving the ball turns around and passes the ball between the two mannequins.
  • The teammate to receive the pass turns around and run-pass the outside of the mannequin.
  • The player that receives the ball shoots when the ball is in the marked zone. Meanwhile, his teammate waits for a rebound from the goalkeeper.
  • When the shot is completed (goal scored or ball out of the field), a cross is kicked into the marked zone from one side, then the next.
  • Strikers attempt to score from the crosses.
  • After the players finish shooting, they move to the crossing stations. While the players in these stations move to the waiting queue.
  • Once a player completes the progression on one side, including executing crosses, the player moves to the opposite side queue.
  • In all scenarios, players are allowed two touches only: control the ball and shoot.

If the instructions are not clear for you, have a look at the images and video below.

Shooting and crossing drill - Step 1
Two players wait with their back to their first two mannequins.
Shooting and crossing drill - Step 2
The player receiving the ball turns around and passes the ball between the two mannequins.
Shooting and crossing drill - Step 3
The player that receives the ball shoots when the ball is in the marked zone.
Shooting and crossing drill – Step 4

Takeaways

This shooting drill focuses purely on finishing chances, but in the process, players will develop all these skills:

  • Shooting accuracy. Practising with a goalkeeper requires to read their movements and to shoot with pinpoint accuracy.
  • Quick finishing. Limiting the number of touches encourages players to take shots quickly.
  • Ball control. A great deal of control is required to quickly get the ball on the ground from airborne crosses and shoot.
  • Headers and volleys. While controlling the ball and shooting is allowed, crossed balls will encourage headers and volleys.
  • Crossing and long balls. Consistency is key in crossing. Crosses have to be weighted to make them easy to control by the shooting player.
  • Triangulation – Passing. The drill starts with players held by two “centre backs”. Players must hold the ball, turn, and time as a pass between the defenders. The timing of the pass is key to set a successful attempt at goal.
  • Timing and reaction. Once a striker shoots, the second striker must be ready to score from a deflection or rebound.
  • Goalkeeping. This is a great drill for goalkeepers. They practice saving direct shots and crosses while controlling the ball as much as possible to avoid second chances.

I hope you find this drill useful. If you like this post, please share it with your friends. If you know other exercises or have any questions, leave a comment below.