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Six of the best 1v1s

This is a great time of year to go through some 1v1s with your players… even though training has ended you can still get some of the players to turn up for an added value session working on the individual.

There are many ways you can work on 1v1s… I often do it in the back garden with my own sons although it can get a bit edgy if they can’t beat me! 1v1s are a vital part of any player’s skill toolbox even at the younger age groups. Being able to keep the ball and get past players without losing it is key to many of the top players around the world.

It always seems like an easy thing to do, just give a pair of players a ball between them and off you go… well it can be that but there is also more to coaching it. Work your way through the six 1v1 practices below that I use throughout the age groups.

I like to start a session with a warm-up that uses the skill I want to work on in an effective way – 1v1 around the clock is perfect for this.

To get younger players warmed up for defending I recommend the practice plan Defending 1v1, which has instruction about body position and how to delay the attack.

You could also try the game 1v1 defending techniqueIt’s a great way to develop the technique of pressing and introduces the idea of ‘jockeying’ an opponent.

Once the players are warmed up and understand the basics of a 1v1, you need to play a game that covers both the defending and attacking elements – 1v1 breakout is the ideal small-sided game for testing players’ 1v1 skills.

Finally, you can use the Easicoach curriculum to give your players a good technical workout. Beat a player 1v1 (U9 activity) and Beat a player 1v1 (U9 game) are brilliant to use in short bursts played at high tempo.

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