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A player, stretching his arm out to keep an opponent at bay, moves forward with the ball during a small-sided game in training.

Overloaded session: 3v3 with target players

Ryan Davies, FA physical education and coach development officer, shares a session that helps players to combine and create when overloaded.

Session overview

This session will help players: 

Coaching session

Watch this video to see the session in action.

Coaching tips

Give every player a go as a target player to ensure they’re all benefitting from the practice.  

Observe your players' decision-making and encourage them to use the target players. Remember, they will always be free to receive a pass. 

Remind the target players to move up and down the touchline with and without the ball. These movements may seem small, but they create loads of space for teammates when passing and receiving. 

As players progress to play 11v11 formats, use this game to shine a light on different units and areas of the pitch. You can use the game to develop relationships between a midfield three and wing-backs. 

And if you feel it’s right to progress the session, use the STEP framework (Youth Sports Trust, 2002) to help keep things fun, engaging and appropriate.