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5 vs. 5 with Targets by US Youth Soccer DOC Sam Snow

Posted on Dec 5, 2012 in Education 0 Comments

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This is a favorite activity of mine.

In this game based activity the team in possession (here the black team) scores a point whenever it can play the ball to one set of targets and then, in the same possession, play the ball successfully to the set of targets at the other end of the field.

The reason I like this game so much is that it does several things. First, it makes possession directional. There is a purpose for the possession, get to both sets of targets.

Click picture to download PDF

Second, the 360-degree nature of the game means both the team in possession and the team defending have to transition each time the ball is played into a target. Both teams are constantly trying to get into better positions to either support or defend the ball.

Finally, it is economical. It requires good technique. It requires good decisions. It forces all players, including the targets, to think in advance of the ball. Clean technique, good decisions equal improved speed of play.

Coaching Points:

  • Coach the shape of the team. To support the ball well, the first attacker must always have passing options to the right and left, plus a short through pass option and a longer through pass option.
  • Coach the posture of the player, the player needs to open the hips to the field (e.g., backside to the outside) to be able to play the ball with the fewest touches.


The NSCAA and partner organizations work to provide soccer coaches a variety of resources to help take their teams to another level. This, and many other games, training sessions and articles, are available in the Online Resourse Library. Any member can easily access the Resource Library and submit relevant content, which can be categorized and shared with thousands of other coaches in the NSCAA community.

Additional Links

Video Chat with NSCAA DOCE Ian Barker and US Youth Soccer DOC Sam Snow

US Youth Soccer Director of Coaching Sam Snow presenting at 2013 Convention

NSCAA and US Youth Soccer merge annual conventions beginning 2013

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