In today’s blog, we are focusing on Trent Alexander-Arnold (TAA) who is known for his exceptional crossing ability. if you're looking to improve your crossing skills and aspire to be able to cross like him, here are some tips:
Body position is key when trying to cross, position your body correctly by facing the direction you want to cross the ball. Keep your non-kicking foot next to the ball and your body slightly leaned back. Having a planted foot (non-kicking foot) will increase your accuracy and power.
As you can see in the video above TAA has his technique mastered with his standing foot always on the floor while his posture is slightly leaned back to get the height he needs.
Use the instep of your foot to strike the ball. This is the large, flat surface on the inside of your foot, just below the laces. Allow your foot to follow through after making contact with the ball. This provides more control over the cross, it will also ensure more accuracy than striking the ball with the laces.
Eye on the Ball:
Keep your eye on the ball throughout the entire process. This helps you maintain accuracy and control. This sounds relatively straight forward however, when crossing, you will have an area where you aspire to cross the ball into, then you need to get the accuracy and power; this is very hard to do in a matter of seconds. To help this situation you can train putting the ball in certain areas under pressure in training.
Practice different types of crosses, including whipped crosses, floated crosses, and driven crosses. Alexander-Arnold is known for his ability to vary the type of crosses he delivers based on the situation.
The video above shows the incredible crosses by TAA which showcases his wide range of crosses from different areas. There is great understanding between TAA and the attackers to get into the box and attack the area. TAA main objective is to get the ball into the right areas by using different methods of crossing to unsettle defenders.
Timing and Decision Making:
Choose the right time to cross the ball. Look for opportunities when your teammates are in good positions and make a run into the box.
Assess the situation quickly to decide whether a low, driven cross or a high, floated cross is more appropriate.
Delivery from Different Areas:
TAA is famously known for the delivering crosses from the right back area. More recently he has started to play more centrally which means regular crosses from deeper which can still be pivotal in creating huge chances.
When training you should practise crossing from various positions on the field, including the wing and deep in your own half. This will help you become versatile and effective in different game situations.
This step is key when wanting to train for anything, practicing repetition is vital. Spend dedicated time on the training ground working on your crossing skills. Use cones or markers to simulate defensive obstacles.
Fitness and Conditioning:
Good crossing often requires strength and endurance, especially when delivering crosses consistently throughout a game. Maintain your fitness levels to ensure you can perform at your best.