How To Play Off a Target Player

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Welcome to the FineSoccer Drills Newsletter. Today’s featured activity works on playing off the target player.

Finding a player up top is an important part of many teams attack. Sometimes it’s done by playing the ball into space for the player to run onto.


Other times, it’s a case of playing the ball directly into the target player and having him receive it and either take the player on, shoot or lay the ball off. This activity works on the player receiving the ball in from a distance and making decisions.

Start by having a player out by midfield (on an angle) play balls into the target player for him to get used to receiving the pass.


Some of these passes should be driven and some chipped so the players get used to receiving different types of passes.

Next do the same thing but add a defender.


This defender starts by putting token pressure and then gradually adds more and more pressure.

Next add another attacker for the target to lay the ball to for a shot (also add a keeper)


Once the players get comfortable with this the defender can go all out and the target player can lay the ball off, or if the defender is overplaying the pass, the target can turn and shoot.drills181f


Next add another attacker and a second defender


You can keep adding more attackers and more defenders to make it more and more game related but the key is to start with the ball being played into the target player.

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Have a great day!


By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

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