This practice is designed to provide players with high repetition of 1v1 and even 1v2 dribbling and scoring scenarios. The practice can easily be adapted for a 2v2 and is a great way to engage your players, encourage bravery and confidence, as well as help them work on opposed finishing.

About the Video

In the video below, Dave will talk you through the structure of the practice, various outcomes and how you can adapt it for your players.

Do you want to improve your ability to plan and deliver great sessions? Sign up for our Foundations of Session Design course here.

Practice Overview

Topic: 1v1s

No. of Players: 6 – 18

Goalkeepers: Optional

Practice Type: Skill Practice

Offsides: No

Pitch Size: 30 x 20

Timing: 20 mins

Age Group: U7+

Interpreting the Diagrams

The key below outlines what the images mean on the diagrams.

If you have questions about the practices, contact the PDP Team or share your views on the Player Development Project Slack Community.

Key For Diagrams
soccer training diagram

Diagrams

Set up two attacking lanes that work in a cycle so you have two attacking stations. Defenders are locked into their boxes, and attackers must get past both defenders to enter the scoring zone and shoot. Try to avoid queues longer than 3 players at each attacking station. If you have a large group, set up three lanes and 6 goals to ensure high repetition.
An example of the red team successfully intercepting the ball and scoring in the goal. This immediately triggers the next ball in from the coach to the opposite end.
After a successful press by red, the coach shifts the ball into the opposite half to the two remaining players. Red players must transition quickly to support their teammates. Blues quickly shift up the pitch to press 3v6.
An example of the practice set up with bigger numbers, in this case 7v7. 4 players press against 7 while 3 players stay spare ready to receive the next ball.
An example of the game with fewer players, in this case 8 players in a 4v4. 2 players wait for the next ball in while 2 press against 4. If you have uneven numbers, add in a neutral player which creates a 5v2 in possession.

Objectives

To provide players with 1v1 dribbling opportunities in a fully opposed or overloaded situation.

Organisation

Set up a pitch with two narrow lanes (8-12 yards wide). Adjust for age, physical capability. Each lane has two defending boxes and a scoring zone. The attacker (blue) must dribble past the first and second defender (red) in order to enter the scoring zone and shoot. The defenders are locked in their box. Once they are beaten, they cannot recover.  If defenders win the ball, they can shoot at the mini goal. Attackers cycle through stations and repeat. Defenders work for 90 secs – 2 mins before being swapped so they can attack. If you have low numbers, adapt to one lane, if you have GKs use one big goal for them, and a small goal for the defenders.

Observations & Interventions

What you might see

  • Players attacking slowly
  • Players shooting before the scoring zone

Actions you might take

  • Restrict players to “X seconds” to score so they attack quickly
  • No goals awarded if scored outside scoring zone
  • If you have GKs, you can choose to remove the scoring zone.

Adaptations:

Is the session too easy?

  • Make the space smaller
  • Allow defenders to recover

Is the session too hard?

  • Make the space bigger
  • Add a bounce player to create 2v1s

Would you like to learn how to design world-class sessions your player will love?

Join our Online Soccer Coaching Course: Foundations of Session Design. This course is ideal for coaches of all experience levels & youth age groups who want to learn to create sessions tailored to the needs of their players.

Foundations of Session Design
Popular searches: defending, finishing, 1v1, playing out from the back, working with parents