Movement off the ball – Practice


This target game enables players to develop the concepts introduced in the warm-up through a more game-realistic environment.


Divide players into two teams. Set up an area relative to the age and ability of your players. The pitch needs a target zone at each end. Each team has a target player in one end zone, the rest of the players set up in the centre of the playing area. When the practice progresses, grids will need to be marked out in the central area.


Teams aim to pass the ball into their own target player. To progress the game, add grids into the central area. Players must now aim to only receive the ball in an empty grid.


This practice allows players to work on quick, sharp movements to lose their marker and receive the ball in space, taking a positive first touch in the direction they want to go (preferably towards their target player). Players should aim to play forward when possible.

Communication and decision-making are also key elements for success in this practice.

1. Set up with two teams, each with a player in a target zone

2. Teams aim to progress the play from the central area into their target player to score

3. Progress the practice by adding grids to give players reference points for receiving the ball in space

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