INSPIRATION | CONFIDENCE | SUCCESS

One-on-one defending

Defending in a 1v1 is tough – use this drill to improve your players’ ability to come out on top in such situations.

What this session is about

  1. 1v1 defending.
  2. Stopping the attacker’s progress.

What to think about

Defenders must:

  • “Press” the attacker quickly and get within touching distance.
  • Adopt a slightly side-on body shape, crouching slightly.
  • Force the opponent sideways or onto his weak foot and down the line, etc.
  • Feint to tackle and gain the initiative.
  • Stay on the feet unless certain of winning the ball.
  • Time the tackle correctly.
  • React to the movement of the ball, not the attacker.

Set-up

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes10-15 minutes10-15 minutes10-15 minutes10 minutes

What you get your players to do

Mark out a narrow channel split into three zones and use three players (A, B and C), as shown in the top picture.

A starts with the ball at one end of the area with B and C each confined to their respective end zones. The central zone is free.

A must try to dribble past B and, if successful, through the central zone then past C to the end.

If B wins the ball, he must try to dribble in the opposite direction past A.

If C wins the ball, he must try to dribble past A, who must stay in that end zone, then through the central zone and past B. Regularly rotate the players’ starting positions.

A tries to beat B in his area, go through the central area then beat C.

A tries to beat B in his area, go through the central area then beat C.


Development

Mark out an area with a target goal at one end and use three teams, each has two players. One team rests as the other two play.

The attacking team starts at the end opposite the goal and must try to score, while the defending team tries to win possession and dribble the ball over the end line where the attacking team began.

Play begins with a 1v1, between the first attacker and one defender. Once the ball is out of play (scored or off the pitch), the second attacker dribbles another ball on, while the second defender also joins in to make a 2v2.

After the ball goes dead, the attackers become defenders, defenders take a rest and the resting team becomes attackers.

An attacker (A) tries to beat a defender (D) in a 1v1 then it’s a 2v2. Resting players (R) replace defenders.

An attacker (A) tries to beat a defender (D) in a 1v1 then it’s a 2v2. Resting players (R) replace defenders.


Game situation

Set up an area that has no goals or keepers and play 3v3, as shown in the bottom picture. Teams spread out across the width of the pitch, defending their own line and attacking the one opposite.

Teams score a point for dribbling across any part of the line they are attacking.

This exercise will use a lot of 1v1s but support players are always available. The team that crosses the opponent’s line most wins.

In a 3v3, players have to dribble the ball across the end line to score a point.

In a 3v3, players have to dribble the ball across the end line to score a point.


What to call out

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