1V1 Attacking & Defending – Session Plan & Key Coaching Points

Over the years of coaching youth soccer, I have seen entire curriculums made up of 1v1 and 2v2 activities. Sometimes clubs focus solely on these topics throughout their curriculums, particularly with regards to younger players. For me personally, I love to be more possession-focused and most of my activities revolve around topics of how to get the most out of our attack and time on the ball. 1V1 and 2V2 activities can also be dangerous to implement as a lot of them involve far too much waiting in lines. That said, 1v1 defending and attacking is still an essential session topic to cover in any season, regardless of your coaching philosophy and approach. As the great football pundit and commentator Don Hutchinson once said – “People think it’s a game of 11v11. It’s not. It’s a game of 1v1. Win your individual battles.” So with that, here is a session all about both 1v1 attacking and 1v1 defending.

WARM-UP: 1v1 skill move at cone

Setup/Execution: Players at blue cone attack yellow cone, perform skill move or cut, go opposite way from other player and finish at the other player’s cone. As soon as they are done, players on red cone go, and so on.

Progression:
1. Coach stands at yellow cone and angles body a certain way to show player where they should take ball.
2. Coach goes away. Players attack yellow cone and then try to score on pugg net. Who can score first? Players count their points. Who can get the most?
Additional Progression Option:
– Set up different coloured gates on the outside lines. Players attack yellow cone and then coach calls another colour gate for players to attack. Whomever runs with the ball through the gate first gets the point.

Coaching Points:
– Skill moves and changes of direction to beat defender (e.g. rollover, scissors, v-push, roll-cut, 360, shoulder fake, chops and cuts, etc.). Not just what are they, but crucial steps to execute.
– Read body position of defender.
– Read movement of other player and keep head up to go opposite way.
– Part of the foot.
– Speed after the skill to score before other player.

ACTIVITY: 1v1 TWO WAYS TO SCORE

Setup/Execution: 1v1 green v. white. Attacker has two ways to score: running with the ball through opposite end yellow cones (3pts) or through nearby cones (1pt). If defender recovers the ball, they try to score on opposite end yellow or the red cones. Switch roles every time. If necessary based on numbers, separate group in two to avoid waiting in lines.

Progression: Turn it into a 2v2. Who can get _ points?

Coaching Points (Defending):
– Angle of approach (body angle to force away from goal)
– Timing of the tackle, don’t dive in.
– Speed to stop defender before they score.

Coaching Points (Attacking):
– Change of speed, change of direction, skill moves
– Timing of changes and timing of the finish 
– Don’t force it into pressure, turn and go the other way.

GAME 1: QUEEN’S COURT – DRIBBLE TO SCORE

dribble-to-score-queens-court

Setup: Two 2v2/3v3/4v4 games being played at the same time. Dribble through gate to score goal. One field is the queen’s court, the other is the jester’s court. Team that wins in the jester’s court moves up to play team that won in the queen’s court. Team that lost in the queen’s court moves down to play team that lost in the jester’s court. If you have an extra
player, add in a neutral player and rotate who is the neutral. Eventually there will be a final match-up to decide who is the king or queen of the day.

Progression: Progress to a game with mini goals/pugg nets instead of dribbling to score.

Coaching Points (Defending):
– Angle of approach (body angle to force away from goal)
– Timing of the tackle, don’t dive in.
– Speed to stop defender before they score.

Coaching Points (Attacking):
– Change of speed, change of direction, skill moves
– Timing of changes and timing of the finish 
– Don’t force it into pressure, turn and go the other way.

GAME 2: REGULAR GAME

active-start-regular-game

Setup/Execution: Final game with larger goals or skilz nets. No restrictions or conditions. Split up into two groups depending on numbers to create more decision making and 1v1 situations.

Coaching Points (Defending):
– Angle of approach (body angle to force away from goal)
– Timing of the tackle, don’t dive in.
– Speed to stop defender before they score.

Coaching Points (Attacking):
– Change of speed, change of direction, skill moves
– Timing of changes and timing of the finish 
– Don’t force it into pressure. Turn and go the other way.


CONCLUSION

Although I prefer not to focus my sessions around 1v1 situations week in and week out, many do and it is an essential topic to cover at least once if not more every season. With this session plan that can be used for almost every age, your players will have a greater understanding of both how to defend and attack in 1v1 situations and win their individual battles. Be sure to check out more Session Plans right here on The Mastermind Site.

You might also enjoy ->
– 5 Ways To Come Up With Your Session Topics
– 4 Reasons Your Session Isn’t Working

 

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