Video: Teaching Movement “Off the Ball” Through the Transition Directional Target Game

The following session is from eBook 16: Soccer Awareness “One Touch” Training: Developing its Relationship with Movement Off the Ball.  The drill below can get you started and then  get the book for the full session with additional progressions, developments and coaching points.


  1. Players must pass the ball to their target players to score. To score again they have to work the ball back into their own half of the field to be able to return.
  2. Target players have two touches as do side players.

Coaching Points:

  1. Creating Space by running off the ball to receive or to help a teammate receive.
  2. Quality of Passing; long and short to targets and to teammates.
  3. Support play: working angles and distances incorporating switching play using the side players.
  4. Receiving and Turning in tight situations and dribbling in 1 v 1 situations.
  5. Quick decision making is required in this session because the numbers are small, the area tight and the transitions rapid.


  1. No restriction on touches then 3, 2 or 1 touch, but only if it is on to do one touch.
  2. All outside and target players have one touch only where possible
  3. Switch with target players as they receive the ball.
  4. Switch with outside players
  1. Here is an example of the transition and movement off the ball to make it happen.
  2. (2) passes to target player (8) who brings the ball back into the playing area.
  3. (3) makes a run into the other half of the field on the blind side of (C) to receive the next pass. They need to get the ball into that half to be able to score.
  4. (1) makes a forward run into space to receive the next pass off (3) and passes to target player (7) who can start the play again.
  5. (1) switches with (7) and becomes a target player for the next phase of play.

Observe the Attacking Team – Recognize their movement off the ball for example to work the ball into their own half see if the players make runs early in there as soon as the ball is at a target, some should support short and some long so the target has choices.

Observe the Defending Team – See if they are sucked to the ball or they recognize runs off the ball and track players making runs away from the ball into the other half. To lessen the workload and keep everyone involved have players switch with targets and outside side players when they pass to them.