14 Essential Youth Soccer Crossing Drills to Boost Skills and Performance



14 Essential Youth Soccer Crossing Drills to Boost Skills and Performance

Crossing is an important soccer skill that helps create scoring opportunities and enhances team play. This article provides a comprehensive guide to youth soccer crossing drills designed for various age groups and skill levels. The drills focus on improving crossing accuracy, timing, and finishing.

Youth Soccer Crossing

Crossing involves delivering the ball from wide areas into the penalty box, aiming for teammates to finish the play. This skill requires precision, timing, and the ability to read the game. Effective crossing can break down defenses and create high-quality scoring chances, making it a crucial aspect of any soccer team’s strategy.

Importance of Youth Soccer Crossing

Crossing is essential for soccer players of all ages, particularly for youth soccer players who are developing their technical skills. Good crossing can lead to more goals and successful plays. By practicing soccer crossing drills regularly, young players can significantly enhance their overall performance on the field, making them more confident and capable in various game situations. Coaches and parents should encourage young players to practice these drills in their soccer training program.

Basic Soccer Crossing Drills

Starting with basic drills helps build foundational skills crucial for soccer. These basic soccer ball handling drills are simple yet effective for improving stability, control, and precision.

Static Crossing Practice

In static crossing practice, players learn to focus on their technique without the added pressure of movement. This drill is ideal for beginners who need to get comfortable with the basics of crossing.

  • Method

Players cross from a stationary position to target areas.

  • Benefits

Teaches basic crossing techniques and accuracy.

Target Crossing Drill

Target crossing drills help players develop their ability to deliver accurate crosses. By aiming for specific targets, players can improve their consistency and accuracy, which are essential for effective crossing in game situations.

  • Method

Set up cones as targets in the penalty area for players to aim their crosses.

  • Benefits

Improves crossing precision and focus.

Soccer Crossing Drills for U10 Soccer Players

Designed for U10 soccer players, these drills are designed to match the developmental stage of younger soccer players.

Cone-to-Cone Crossing Drill

For U10 players, it’s important to keep drills simple and fun. The cone-to-cone crossing drill helps young players understand the basics of crossing while improving their spatial awareness and technique.

  • Method

Players cross the ball from one cone to another, focusing on proper technique.

  • Benefits

Develops crossing skills and spatial awareness.

Partner Crossing Drill

Partner crossing drills improve crossing accuracy and also help players develop their finishing skills. By working in pairs, players learn to communicate and coordinate, which are essential skills on the field.

  • Method

Players pair up, one crossing the ball while the other receives and shoots.

  • Benefits

Enhances teamwork and finishing skills.

Soccer Crossing Drills for U12 Soccer Players

Designed for U12 soccer players, these drills are more challenging to match their growing skills and understanding of the game.

Moving Target Drill

As players get older, they need to learn how to cross the ball to moving targets. This drill helps U12 players develop their timing and coordination, which are crucial for effective crossing during matches.

  • Method

Players cross to teammates, making runs into the box.

  • Benefits

Teaches timing and movement coordination.

Cross and Finish Drill

The cross and finish drill combines crossing and shooting, allowing players to practice both skills simultaneously. This drill is excellent for developing the ability to deliver accurate crosses and finish with precision.

  • Method

Players cross from the wings to attackers who finish the play.

  • Benefits

Combines crossing and shooting practice.

Soccer Goalkeeper Crossing Drills

Integrating Soccer goalkeepers drills into crossing drills helps them develop handling and decision-making skills during crosses.

Goalkeeper Reaction Drill

Goalkeepers need to be confident in dealing with crosses, and this drill helps them practice catching and punching away crosses under varying conditions. It also improves their ability to judge the flight of the ball.

  • Method

Crosses are aimed at different heights and angles so goalkeepers can catch or punch away.

  • Benefits

Improves goalkeepers’ handling and decision-making.

Crossing Under Pressure Drill

Goalkeepers and crossers can practice in a more realistic environment by adding defenders to the drill. This drill helps goalkeepers improve their decision-making under pressure and crossers refine their delivery.

  • Method

Add defenders to challenge both the crossers and goalkeepers.

  • Benefits

Simulates game-like scenarios, enhancing pressure handling.

Advanced Soccer Crossing Drills

For more experienced players, these advanced soccer crossing drills help further improve crossing accuracy and effectiveness.

Dynamic Crossing Drill

Dynamic crossing drills simulate game situations where players have to deliver crosses while on the move. This drill is excellent for improving accuracy and maintaining control under pressure.

  • Method

Players cross while on the move, aiming for specific targets in the box.

  • Benefits

Enhances accuracy and crossing under pressure.

Combination Play Drill

Combination play drills involve passing sequences before delivering the cross. This drill helps players understand how to build up play and create crossing opportunities through teamwork and strategic movement.

  • Method

Incorporate passing sequences before the cross.

  • Benefits

Develops teamwork and strategic play.

Soccer Crossing and Finishing Drills

Combining crossing with finishing drills helps players apply their crossing skills in game situations.

Through Ball Crosses

The ball-crosses drill focuses on combination play to create crossing opportunities. It helps players develop their passing, crossing, and finishing skills cohesively.

  • Method

Players practice the up, back, and through combination to create crossing opportunities.

  • Benefits

Improves passing, crossing, and finishing skills.

Cross and Volley Drill

The cross and volley drill is perfect for practicing finishing techniques. Players learn to control and finish crosses with volleys, improving their ability to convert aerial chances into goals.

  • Method

Crosses are aimed at players finishing with volleys.

  • Benefits

Enhances aerial control and finishing precision.

Best Soccer Crossing Drills

These highly effective drills are suitable for all skill levels and focus on different aspects of crossing.

Wide Player Crossing Drill

Wide player crossing drills help players who frequently find themselves in wide areas. This drill emphasizes delivering accurate crosses from the flanks, which is essential for creating scoring opportunities.

  • Method

Focus on wide players delivering accurate crosses from the flanks.

  • Benefits

Develops consistency in crossing from wide positions.

Small-Sided Crossing Games

Small-sided crossing games are great for practicing crossing in a competitive environment. These games encourage players to apply their crossing skills in real-game scenarios, enhancing their decision-making and execution under pressure.

  • Method

Small-sided games emphasizing crossing and finishing.

  • Benefits

Encourages real-game application of crossing skills.

Incorporating Crossing Drills into Training Sessions

Practical tips for coaches and players on how to integrate crossing drills into regular training.

Warm-Up Drills

Crossing exercises in the warm-up routine help players get ready for more intense training while improving their technique. This approach ensures that players start their training sessions with a focus on stability and control.

  • Method

Start with basic crossing exercises to prepare players.

  • Benefits

Prepares players physically and mentally for practice.

Cool-Down Drills

Balance exercises during the cool-down phase can aid recovery and reinforce the skills practiced during the session. This practice helps players relax their muscles while continuing to improve their balance and crossing skills.

  • Method

End with light crossing drills to reinforce skills.

  • Benefits

Helps with recovery and skill retention.

Progressive Training

Progressive training involves starting with basic drills and gradually increasing the difficulty as players’ crossing skills improve. This method helps players consistently develop their skills without becoming overwhelmed.

  • Method

Gradually increase the difficulty of crossing drills as players improve.

  • Benefits

Ensures continuous development and challenges players.


The effective crossing can significantly improve soccer matches, providing numerous scoring opportunities. By regularly practicing these youth soccer crossing drills, players can enhance their abilities and contribute more effectively to their teams. Coaches and parents should encourage consistent practice, emphasizing the importance of precision, timing, and teamwork in developing excellent crossing skills.


How can I improve my crossing skills in soccer?

To improve your crossing skills in soccer, practice aiming your crosses to specific targets and focus on your technique. Use drills like static crossing and target crossing to enhance your precision and accuracy.

What is the best way to finish a cross in soccer?

To effectively finish a cross in soccer, position yourself well, time your run, and practice various finishing techniques like volleys and headers. Drills like cross and volley help build these essential finishing skills.

How should I warm up for crossing and finishing drills?

Start your warm-up with basic crossing exercises to get comfortable with the ball, then gradually incorporate more dynamic drills. This prepares your body and mind for more intense training and helps improve your technique.

What is cross-training for kids in soccer?

Cross-training for kids involves practicing different types of exercises and drills that enhance overall fitness and soccer skills. It includes activities like agility drills, strength training, and ball-handling exercises to develop a well-rounded athlete.

How many types of crosses are there in soccer?

In soccer, there are several types of crosses, including low crosses, high crosses, and driven crosses. Each type requires different techniques and serves various strategic purposes in the field.

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