Getting young players to cross a ball with height and distance can be difficult. Try a soccer training drill to help them perform the technique effectively, says Tony Carr, Academy Director, West Ham United, English Premier League.
Kick the ball when it is moving
It is important to stress to all your players that when they are going for distance or want a high-crossing ball, they must always kick a moving ball, never practise kicking a stationary (dead) ball — only do this for practising corners and free kicks.
Move the ball into position
In training drills, the technique you need to teach your players for long kicking starts with them pushing the ball to the side, slightly in front of the body.
Kick through the ball
If your player is right footed, get him to place the left foot alongside the ball, keep his head down looking at the ball and kick through the centre of the ball trying to get his toe under the ball and with a tight ankle joint, his body leaning slightly back, kick through the ball. Make sure they only lift their head after contact.
Practise this with a soccer drill using three players, A, B and C. Player B passes into A, who kicks long to C. Player C passes back to B. Each player swaps places with the person they passed to.