Session 5 - 11 12 - 16

2v2 target

    Ian Parkes, FA youth coach developer (futsal lead), shares a practice that helps players develop their marking, scanning and communication skills.

    Key objectives

    Players will develop their understanding of:

    • how to mark an attacker to help regain the ball
    • how to work with a teammate to restrict space and options
    • how scanning will inform their decision-making.

    2v2 marking the target

    Futsal session graphic showing a 2v2 in a small area with one target player at each end.

    Session plan

    Want to try this with your team? Download the session plan and give it a go.


    Set up an area that’s appropriate for your players’ age and developmental stage.

    For this practice, we have six players split into three pairs. One pair act as target players. They take up their positions – one at each end – and can move up and down their end line. While the remaining two pairs play 2v2 on the court.

    If you have a large group, set up as many areas as needed to get everyone involved or adjust these numbers to suit your team.

    How to play

    The aim of the game is to get the ball from one target player to the other.

    Players work in their pairs to find a way past the opposition to pass it to the target player. When defending, they try to mark the target and press their opponents to win the ball back.

    Every time they work it from one end to the other, they gain a point and keep the ball to go back the other way.

    Play for three minutes, then rotate the pairs so the target players get a chance to play in the middle.


    If your players master your activity – or find it too hard – try adding a progression. Possible options include:

    • when a goal is scored, the player who passed it out becomes the target player while the previous target player dribbles onto the court to join in with the 2v2
    • play with two target players at each end to make it harder for the defenders.

    But remember, learning takes time. So don’t alter your activity too quickly – or too much. Try using the STEP framework (Youth Sports Trust, 2002). This helps keep things fun, engaging and appropriate.

    Plan to use this with your team? Let us know how you get on by posting in the England Football Community forums.

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