Posts tagged ‘1v1’

Game Realistic 1 v 1′s

When many coaches create 1 v 1 environments for their team it’s limited to an attacker facing a defender who then tries to beat him to score. This certainly occurs during games but there are so many more scenarios that players need to learn how to deal with. This week I want to present ways to make the same old 1 v 1 exercise realistic to more scenerios that occur in a match.

A simple way to adjust the traditional 1 v 1 exercise is to change the position of the players and angle of the passes.


The angle gives the defender the opportunity to Continue reading ‘Game Realistic 1 v 1′s’ »

Combinations in Attack

These two activities that focus on attacking combination play are from a session contributed to the WORLD CLASS COACHING magazine by Renato Lopes Moreira. A new edition of the magazine is available each month as a part of the Member Drills Database. The rest of this article can be found in the March 2014 issue.

1v1+2 Continue reading ‘Combinations in Attack’ »

The Art of the Duel

These 1 v 1 exercises are from our latest book by Tony Englund, ‘The Art of the Duel‘. Here’s what Anson Dorrance has to say about Englunds book:

‘I am thrilled to endorse Tony Englund’s new book on 1 v 1 play.  The game in the United States continues to evolve at an astounding pace.  American coaches now have easy access to coaching methodology and training curriculum that is world class in every sense, and our players are increasingly Continue reading ‘The Art of the Duel’ »

November Magazine Preview

Each month we add a new magazine update to the Member Drills Database. The magazine contains training sessions, videos and articles presented by top teams and coaches from around the world.

Here’s part of a training session presented by Chelsea FC Academy coach Chris Woodword. The session focuses on 1 v 1, 2 v 1 and 2 v 2 situations that lead to a zonal game. Continue reading ‘November Magazine Preview’ »

The Importance of Teaching Individual Defending

I think coaches spend a lot more time teaching offensive skills and techniques than they do teaching young players how do defend individually and in small groups. The attacking techniques of dribbling, passing and shooting are easy to create training sessions around and they are definitely the sexier skills of the game. But teaching a young player to defend a 1 v 1 effectively is vital to their development as a player.

This point was driven home to me last weekend as my teams played their first games of the new season. We had worked on all of the attacking skills but spent no time learning how to defend correctly. There are so many topics to cover that you just can’t do it all in two weeks of training sessions before the first game. So this week Continue reading ‘The Importance of Teaching Individual Defending’ »

Which Fakes to Teach Young Players

I’m in favor of teaching young players to be very comfortable and confident with the ball by teaching them different fakes . During the initial learning phase I want the players to use them every time they get the ball. Some coaches have told me that you can’t teach creativity but I think you give them the tools and then teach them how to use them. This can look a bit rough at first as the kids get comfortable with the fakes but if they use them enough they learn when to use a move and when to choose another option.

There are so many different fakes you can teach that an important question becomes Continue reading ‘Which Fakes to Teach Young Players’ »

1v1 Attacking and Defending

Welcome to the FineSoccer Drills Newsletter.  Today’s featured activity works on 1 v 1 attacking and defending as well as goalkeeping.  A great deal of emphasis should be put on the individual defending in this game as it’s a part of the game that is frequently neglected.  To learn more about how to do this please check out the DVD Coaching Individual Defending: Attitude and Technique.

Start with 2 goals 30 yards apart with a keeper in each goal. There should be a group of players with balls near the right post of each goal.

The first player on the black team starts by dribbling out at full speed and Continue reading ‘1v1 Attacking and Defending’ »

One-Touch Passing and Shielding

Welcome to the FineSoccer Drills Newsletter.  Today’s featured activity works on one touch passing, shielding and taking players on.  For more activities similar to this check out the DVD 1 v 1 Attacking.

Start with 2 players in a 10 x 10 grid with one ball.

The two players are passing one touch while moving around the Continue reading ‘One-Touch Passing and Shielding’ »

Preparing Player To Deal With Contact

Soccer is a contact sport.  Unfortunately we frequently forget about this in training so when the players do come up against contact in a game they aren’t prepared.

Here is the beginning of a nice progression to prepare players to deal with contact, receive balls and react accordingly.  There is an excellent series on this topic in the DVD 25 Exercises to Train Competitive 1 v 1 Play.

Start with a a 10 x 10 playing area and a server 15 yards away with some balls.  There are two lines of players side by side on the far side of the playing area.

The first step of the progression has the first player in each line sprinting forward while making contact with each other and the server plays the ball toward them.

Whichever player gets to the ball first plays it back one touch to the server.

Those two players would then sprint to the back of the line and the next two players begin.  The key is for the two players to make contact early and often and not just try to out sprint the other player.

Next is the exact same thing but this time the player who gets to the ball first works to keep it by shielding the ball while staying in the grid.  The objective is to keep the ball for 10 seconds while the other player tries to win the ball.  The key here is to use the body to shield the ball and to keep the defender as far from the ball as possible.

If the defender wins the ball they try to keep it for 10 seconds.  If possession is kept for 10 seconds or the ball goes out of the playing area, the two players go to the back of the lines and the next two begin.

Next is the exact same thing but now the player who receives the ball must turn and try to dribble the ball over the end line.  The defender tries to prevent this.

There are many other options for this progression including balls played in the air, bouncing balls, move requirements etc.  The key is to get the players accustomed to the type of contact they will see in a game (and the type of contact which is PERMITTED in games).

There is an excellent series on this topic in the DVD 25 Exercises to Train Competitive 1 v 1 Play.

Have a great day!


Encouraging a Competitive Attitude

Coming out of a long winter of indoor practices and Futsal games, I’m always anxious to play our first outdoor league game of the spring. I was looking forward to it even more than usual this year because it had been more than a month since my U12 girls team had played their last Futsal game. Practices had gone well but it’s often hard to judge how the players are developing without the test of an opponent.

The girls played well from the beginning of the game. We possessed the ball well and created scoring chances but didn’t take any of them. Gradually the other team began to win more tackles and put some pressure on our defense. We hadn’t slowed down or stopped making good decisions but as the half wore on we had less and less of the ball.

The difference was that we were PLAYING soccer and the other team was COMPETING. They were defending aggressively, fighting harder for the 50/50 balls, playing stronger to keep possession and really going for it in the final third. We discussed this at half-time and I challenged the players to match the intensity of their opponent so that we could play our game rather than constantly chasing them.

The girls worked hard in the second half but each time we would find some success the other team ‘up the ante’ and increase their speed and intensity of play. Some of the girls were able match their ‘Want To’ but we couldn’t do it consistently as a team. Playing against this relentless attitude was something that the girls were not prepared to do on this day.

At our next practice we played a series of games that focused on creating a competitive attitude. We began with a game of Wembley where the first two teams to score three goal would then play in the final. The game is a common one but there are many different ways to play it. We play it in pairs with two balls constantly in play. All of the teams are attacking the same goal which is defended by our goalkeeper. The girls enjoy this game and the competition set the tone for the practice to come.

The next game was one I call ‘American Gladiators’. Two teams of six players are in their own 15 x 15-yard grid. One player from each team acts as a defender and enters the other team’s grid where the remaining five players are dribbling a ball. When a player’s ball is kicked out of the grid they are out of the game. The first defender to kick all of the balls out of the other teams grid, wins for point for their team. This is played six times so that everyone has a chance to act as the defender. This game promotes hard work from the defender and being strong on the ball for the girls who are trying to keep the ball.

After that, we played a number of 1 v 1 games where all of the players are competing at the same time on a field that is 25 yards long. The girls are encouraged to be creative and score goals but the emphasis is on tenacious defending and hard work. The last 1 v 1 game that we played was one in which the girls are divided into two teams. Each team is lined up on one of the posts of the goal. They are organized biggest to smallest. The first two players in line come to the middle of the goal and lock arms at the elbow. I stand behind them as they look out away from the goal. I throw a ball over their heads and they run onto the field and chase the ball. They keep their arms linked and push shoulder-to-shoulder as they approach the ball. When one player gains possession of the ball she tries to turn, beat the other player and score. The player that scores earns one point for their team.

For the last game we played 10 v 2. Pairs of players take turns trying to win the ball from the 10 attackers as many times as possible in 2 minutes. The defensive pairs that touches the ball the most times wins. This game shows the girls how hard they are capable of working if they really focus on it. It also encourages them to work as a team to win the ball.

The practice ended with a scrimmage where the winning team would only have to do two sprints and the losing team would have to complete five. Having a consequence to the game gives the girls something to play for and emphasizes the idea of not just PLAYING but COMPETING.

We compete in a tournament this weekend so I’m looking forward to seeing how this practice carries over into our games.

Have you had a similar issue with your team in the past? How have you dealt with it?