Published at SB Nation.
You can also see the multiplicative effect of crosses and headers. Headers not off crosses, perhaps from rebounds of shots or the occasional lofted pass, are better than headers off crosses but not as easy to convert as regular shots. Likewise with crosses—a cross played into feet in the six-yard box, if the player can manage to turn it goalward, will be a score nearly half the time. But it’s still harder to redirect that cross than to play a regular shot. This makes sense, of course. Getting a clean strike on a cross is hard, getting a clean strike using only your head is hard. Trying to do both at the same time, really hard. (Thus the title of the piece.)