Soccer coaching session to improve chances of scoring from a cross

This session, "Flooding the penalty box", aims to improve the movement of your forwards in the opponent's penalty area so they have a better chance of scoring from a cross.

What this session is about

  • Forwards working together to make different runs.
  • Midfielders forging into the box.
  • Covering all areas of the box to give your team the best chance of scoring a goal.

The aim of the session

  • When the ball is in wide areas, that is the signal for your players to make runs into the penalty area.
  • When they enter the penalty area, they must aim to make different runs so they are covering the whole of the penalty area.
  • Make sure players are communicating their movements so they are not all running to the same area.

How to set up and play

  • Use half your pitch.
  • The ball is played down the line to a wide player.
  • The two forwards must make a crossover run as they enter the box so one is attacking the near post and one is attacking the far post.

How to develop it

  • Now add a midfielder to the practice for the attacking team and two defenders to play against the two forwards.
  • The inclusion of a midfielder gives the attacking team a 3v2 for the cross.
  • This type of late-running midfielder is like Steven Gerrard or Frank Lampard. Arriving late often makes players more difficult to track and mark.

Game situation

  • Progress to include a midfielder for the defending team and a second midfielder for the attacking team. You act as server.
  • Pass to the attacking team, which must make three passes before passing to the wing.
  • Now the two forwards are joined by one midfielder in the box and one midfielder on the edge of the box for knockdowns or clearances.
  • The team which scores most goals – which must be from pull-back crosses – wins.

This article is from Smart Sessions put together by Tony Carr – Academy Director of West Ham United.

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