Hit the target man

This game involves winning the ball in midfield before releasing to a target man to finish.


How to set it up

  • Use a 30×20 yards (min) up to 40×25 yards (max) area.
  • Create two end zones, 10 yards in from each goal line.
  • Use two teams of four players, plus two keepers.


The rules

  • Each team selects one player to be the “target man”‘. This player stands in the attacking end zone.
  • The aim of the game is to make a pass to the target man. A supporting player will then receive his lay-off pass before shooting at goal.
  • Defenders can track back only when the second supporting man makes his run.
  • After a shot is made, the shooting player swaps position with the target man.
  • The game is played for five minutes and there is no offside.
  • If the ball leaves play, you have a few restart options:
  1. The coach passes a new ball onto the pitch.
  2. The players take a roll-in.
  3. The players take a throw-in.
  4. The players make a pass-in.
  5. The players dribble-in.

Why this game works

This is a great game because the quality and organisation of a team’s support play is crucial in any match scenario. For the attacking team, the accuracy of the pass to the target man is one thing, but only the quality of the lay off will offer the chance of a shot at goal.

For the defending team, there are two key aims – to block off the pass to the target man, then to recognise where the threat of the bombing support player may come from. If the defenders are too late, they may not be able to get back and tackle before a shot has been unleashed.

Get your players to perfect this and you’ll see them trying it out in a match situation, it’s easy to execute yet very rewarding.

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