INSPIRATION | CONFIDENCE | SUCCESS

Blast past the defender

This series of drills will help your attackers take on defenders in crucial 1v1 battles. This is an important skill all players need because there are so many one-on-one encounters everywhere on the pitch.

What this session is about

  1. Dribbling skills and close control.
  2. Beating defenders in 1v1 situations.

What to think about

Players in possession must:

  • Slow down as they approach a defender.
  • Use their arms for balance, keep the knees bent and maintain a low centre of gravity.
  • Try body feints and deceptive foot movements – encourage players to try tricks, eg. Ronaldo stepover.
  • Commit the defender then accelerate past.
  • Keep the ball within playing distance.
  • Dribble with their head up.

Set-up

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
7-10 minutes15-20 minutes15-20 minutes15-20 minutes7-10 minutes

What you get your players to do

Mark out an area and put players in pairs with one ball between each pair, as shown in the top picture. One player from each pair tries to keep possession. However, to win a point they must dribble past their opponent.

If the attacker loses the ball, the defender wins a point. Play for one minute before the players switch roles. The player with the most points wins.

Players in possession try to go past a defender in a 1v1.

Players in possession try to go past a defender in a 1v1.


Development

In a smaller area, play 5v5, plus a goalkeeper and a server (S). Both teams start on either side of the goal, as shown in the middle picture.

The server stands centrally at the opposite end and passes into the playing area, at which point, one player from each team runs on and tries to gain possession. Whoever wins possession tries to beat the other player and shoot at goal.

Each player has 10 seconds from winning possession to score. If the defender wins possession, he tries to score.

A server (S) passes a ball that two players try to win and beat the other before shooting at goal.

A server (S) passes a ball that two players try to win and beat the other before shooting at goal.


Game situation

Now divide players into three teams, each with four players, and use two goals, one at each end of the pitch. Play 4v4 (team A v team B) inside the area. The third team (team C) provides two-touch passing support to the players in possession.

The drill begins with two players in both A and B having a ball, creating four 1v1s.

Goals can only be scored once the players in possession dribble past the defender assigned to mark them. If the defender wins possession, the roles are immediately reversed.

The ball stays in the net after a goal is scored, with the attacker and defender becoming free to receive passes and support team mates.

Now, C players can pass to any member of the team they receive the ball from. Once all the balls are in the net (use a fifth ball if the score is level), the team with the most goals switches roles with C to repeat the drill.

After each team has played each other, there will be a winner.

Two teams play four 1v1s while a third team outside provides support to the players in possession.

Two teams play four 1v1s while a third team outside provides support to the players in possession.


What to call out

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