soccer coaching game for practising shooting and defending

Objective: Find the target is a small-sided game (SSG) which requires your players to make quick, forward passes.

Find the target is also good for practising shooting, defending, making forward runs and encouraging good movement off the ball.

Age group: U10s and upwards.

Set-up: create an area 40 yards long by 30 yards wide that is split horizontally into thirds.

Place a small goal at both ends.

Divide your players into three teams plus two goalkeepers. Teams of four are ideal but you can play with teams of three or five.

Two teams play "normal" football.

The players in the third team are split into two groups of target players. One group stands next to one goal, the other group stand next to the other goal.

How to play
  • Players can only score following a pass to a target player.
  • The target players move along the end line, trying to make themselves available for a pass.
  • Target players cannot be tackled and have four seconds to pass the ball back to the team that passed to them. Or you can impose a two/three-touch limit.
  • Corners are taken by target players.
  • Goalkeepers throw the ball out - no kicking.
  • Play five-minute games.
  • Rotate the teams on the pitch with the target players in every new game.

What you're looking for

Attacking players passing to a target player at the first opportunity then moving quickly into space to get the return pass.

Find the target is adapted from Target Man, one of Michael Beale's 64 More Small-Sided Soccer Games.

For more soccer coaching tips and products visit Soccer Coaching Club.