Hit the target

Objective: To improve ball control, passing, support play and communication.

Age group: U10 upwards.

Number of players: Whole team.

Equipment: Flat cones to mark the playing area, one football.

Set up: Mark out a 40×30 yard grid with a 2×3 yard grid in the center of the larger grid. Divide your squad into two teams, Team A and Team B (you can give the teams more exciting names if you wish!).

How to play: Team A puts a player in the small center grid. They score a goal every time they can play the ball into the center grid player and back out again to a Team A teammate (ground passes, volleys, headers all count as goals if successfully played back out to a Team A player).

Team B tries to keep Team A from scoring. Team B scores a goal if it completes five consecutive passes. Team A tries to disrupt Team B and intercept passes.

Reverse the teams regularly.

Progressions: If your players find this game difficult, award team A a goal for simply getting a pass into the centre grid player (who now doesn’t need to return it to a team-mate) and team B get a goal for three consecutive passes.

If your players find the game easy, make the space smaller to put more pressure on the ball carrier and make them take quicker decisions.