Stuart Pearce: Cross the ball on the run

“This is really embarrassing but I can’t cross the ball at all well while running. Any tips?”
Brian Hicks, via email

Stuart Pearce says:

“When crossing on the run, don’t try and look where you’re going to hit it when you play the ball.

Have a look before you concentrate on delivering the ball: if you try and do both at the same time your technique will suffer. Have a quick look on the run, then think about putting the ball into areas.

If you don’t see anyone on, put the ball into an area that will cause the opposition a big problem.

In terms of technique, your standing foot should be just behind the ball when you’re going to strike it.

Hit it with the inside of your foot with some curl so it’s going away from the goalkeeper, towards your forwards. If you try and hit it with your laces on the run, there’s a high chance you’ll lose the ball. I think you have to slow down.

The best players in the world can adapt their technique and manufacture crosses from very tight areas.

Gareth Bale can get to the touchline and pull crosses back because his technique is good, his balance is good and he manufactures something even when he’s going away from goal.”

For more football tips see:
How to create space for a cross
Tony Carr: Getting the best out of your widemen
Cross with precision, pace and accuracy

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