How is it set up?

Targets who are teammates play opposite each other; in this case, red plays from top to bottom, and black plays from left to right.

What is the objective?

Each team tries to successfully play from one end to another; the team gets one point for each time they can get to both targets without losing possession.

How do you progress it?

Initially, the targets can remain as targets, playing the ball back to their teammates.  A simple progression would involve the targets entering the grid with a strong first touch.  They would be replaced as targets by the teammate who passed them the ball.

What does it teach?

Technically, the importance of a strong first touch is emphasized, particularly when the targets enter the field (can they beat the first defender with their first touch?).  Tactically, players in the field need to be acutely aware of where their teammates and opponents are.  Do they need to play a pass back to the target to keep the ball – or can they play quickly to the opposite target?  Can they combine with other field players using short passes?  How can the field players create space and open the field for a direct pass to the target?

The difference in directions also highlights the importance of playing a quick, safe pass to keep the ball once possession is regained (how many times do you see a young player win the ball, try to dribble with his head down, and lose the ball as quickly as he won it?).

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