As a winger, crossing the ball needs to be a skill that takes precedent. A winger is a position where you have to be able to give excellent service. Excellent service from wingers will allow the striker to have better opportunities at scoring goals, and get you more assist. They are aimlessly crossing the ball and are having zero success. The reason for lack of success is because the technique isn’t where it needs to be.
No worry, I’m here to give you some tips I picked up when I was struggling to get off right crosses! These tips are things you should focus on when you’re practicing your crossing, and when you’re in the game and not give great service:
1. Kicking the outside of the ball to generate a bend in the soccer ball:
This is where you have to strike the ball when you’re trying to achieve a great cross. Keep your eye on the ball and make sure you use the inside of your foot to establish good contact. Don’t hit the ball with sure laces when you’re trying to have a bent cross, but there is a cross that players can do, and we will tackle that at another time. The motion at first will feel weird, so if you’re not comfortable crossing the ball, find a wall and practice. This way you’ll get plenty of reps and get the technique down
2. Getting the ball out from underneath you
If the ball is too close to your foot, you’ll never be able even to get your cross off. The distance in which the ball is placed, and having a great first touch will help you achieve a great cross. The length has to be far enough away from you so you can generate power from your hip and leg to strike the ball cleanly.
3. Picking out your target (Not just crossing the ball to cross it)
You will not always hit your target, but you should aim to put it close to your striker at all times. A lot of times coaches say, “ Just put it in a dangerous area,” but in my opinion I want players to put at where their teammates are. We all know if I cross a ball to the 6th-yard box and no one is there, well that’s not a good cross because my teammate is on the front post. This will happen over time, but you have to lift your head briefly to see where the striker is, and then right back to the ball so you can concentrate on the technique.
As always, go out there and try first. Then, reflect and see what you did great and what you can improve on. Once you know what to improve, and how to develop on it, implement this into the game. Learning, working hard, and being positive is the formula for success. This is what Quincy and I believe in, and this is what got us to be professional soccer players!