If you want your players to beat defenders with style, run this session. Getting young players to dribble and beat their opponent in 1v1 situations is vital to getting behind the opposition defence and creating goalscoring chances. MORE
Take him on
All across the country you will hear the instruction “take him on”, but you cannot expect your players to have the confidence to take on and beat an opponent in a match, unless you practise in training.
What this session is about
- Beating defenders in 1v1 situations.
- Improving dribbling skills and close control.
What to think about
- Keep the ball within playing distance.
- Players slow down as they approach the defender.
- Use arms for balance, knees bent, maintain low centre of gravity.
- Body feints and deceptive foot movements – get players to try tricks, e.g. Robinho stepover.
- Commit the defender then accelerate past.
- Encourage players to dribble the ball with their head up.
|Warm up||Session||Developments||Game Situation||Warm Down|
|10-15 minutes||10 minutes||15-20 minutes||10 minutes||10 minutes|
What you get your players to do
Divide the area into nine, five-yard sections, as in the top picture. Place one defender in alternate zones, with neutral zones separating them (i.e. defender-neutral-defender-neutral etc.)
Attackers take turns to try and dribble the ball the length of the grid past each defender in turn. Defenders cannot enter the neutral zones. After a set time the defenders and attackers switch roles.
Play 5v5 on a pitch as in the middle picture. Both teams defend their goal line and attack the opposition’s line.
Players can pass to each other until one of them can dribble the ball across the opposite goal line to earn a point.
But they treble their points if an individual reaches the opponent’s goal line after dribbling the ball past an opponent.
Play a small-sided game in an area similar to the one shown in the bottom picture – make it larger or smaller depending on how many players you use.
Split the area into three zones and impose the following restrictions:
- Players can only take a maximum of two touches when passing in the zone nearest the goal they are protecting and are not allowed to dribble the ball.
- Players can dribble the ball in the middle zone, but not past an opponent, and can also pass.
- Players must dribble past an opponent (which could be the goalkeeper) before shooting or passing in the attacking third.
There are no restrictions on players moving between zones.