5 Tips for Developing the Perfect Cross
Developing the ability to fizz pinpoint crosses into your teammates is a fantastic attribute for any player to learn, and if you can provide some quality service, there's no question that your team is going to start scoring more goals from service.
Crafting the perfect cross is no simple task, it's much more intricate and delicate than just hitting and hoping.
Here are some ideas on how you can start culturing the ultimate cross.
1. Develop Both Feet
The best professional players in the world have the ability to strike a ball with either foot, and if you want to become the next best crosser in the game, it's imperative that you're able to swing in crosses with either leg.
Start hitting balls with your weaker foot yesterday, it's important to start getting repetition and using the weaker foot as early and as often in your soccer career as possible if you want to get better.
All it takes is practice and dedication, there's a not a single player in the game that can't be two-footed if they want to be, and if you can develop those ambidextrous abilities, you'll be ahead of other players who can only provide crosses from their strong foot.
2. Take A Peek
You've just gone on a 30-yard sprint with the ball from deep inside your own half, beating 1, 2, 3 defenders, as you traverse the outside channel, you're coming to the point where it's time to deliver a cross, and that means you're going to need to take a peek and try and lock onto your target.
It is critical that you keep your head on the ball when you strike it, but prior to that moment, you've got to take a peek and see what you're aiming at, so get your head up, hone in on your teammates in the box, and then keep your head on the ball and deliver.
3. Shape The Cross
Good shape on the cross played into or around the box is very important, so think about the spin you impart on the ball, strike a ball that will bend towards the keeper making it harder for defenders to judge, or hit an out-swinger that bends away, and tantalizes the keeper into considering a journey into no man's land.
The shape of the cross makes all the difference, so practice hitting balls at different angles, different heights, and with different spins.
4. Put Pace On The Ball
Your crosses should be hit with snap and well-weighted pace, as driven balls are much harder to defend, and equally as important, they require only a glancing header, or flick-on, that can utilize the pace of the ball.
As the crosser, if you put pace on the ball rather than forcing the target of the cross to generate all the power, you're giving your teammates a hand up on the opponents.
5. Seek Out Dangerous Areas
Sometimes marking in the box will be good and tight, and it will be hard to know where exactly to delver the ball, so condition and train yourself to hit crosses into dangerous areas of the pitch that are sure to create interesting second-balls that your team can win and turn into chances.
The area just around the penalty spot is typically a very dangerous place to place the ball, as is a grass cutter hit across the top of the 6-yard box, smashed in low and hard, these types of crosses are sure to create mayhem, help you win corners, cause own-goals, and give your team an advantage in the box.