1v1 on the fly

This is a fast paced and competitive way to introduce young players to 1 v 1. For young players it is important that they understand the simple rules of the game, such as out of bounds and which goal to go towards.

For all age groups this 1 v 1 set up encourages the use of all necessary techniques and tactics needed to be successful in 1 v 1 duals. There is also a fun team element to this game.

Set up

Create an area 15×20 yards. Coach A is on one touch line with as many balls as possible at his/her feet. On either side of the coach there is a cone for each team to stand behind. You can have 3-6 players behind each cone. Coach B is standing just inside the far touchline at half way.
Note: If you do not have an assistant you can have a parent step in or use a cone or flag for the players to tag.

How to play it

Each team is given a name. We will use Pineapples and Kiwis. The coach briefly explains and demos how the game is played. You will need an extra coach or parent to help you with this demo. Make sure each team knows which goal they are trying to score on. Then on coaches command the first player for the Pineapples and the first player for the Kiwis runs over to Coach B and tags his/her hand. The two players then turn and look for the ball which has been passed into the grid by Coach A. The players are allowed to play until a goal is scored or until the ball goes out of bounds.


The coach is looking for players to recognize where the ball is and which goal he/she is trying to score on. The coach is also encouraging players to dribble the ball and KEEP IT IN PLAY! Coach can also teach players to look up, keep the ball close when they are attacking and go with speed. Coach should also encourage players to try to ‘get the ball’. Young players often shy away from taking a ball away from an opponent. Finally coach should encourage players to SHOOT!

1v1 duels

    1. Play starts when Coach A says ‘go’. First player in each line runs across the grid and tags Coach B’s hand. Coach A sends the ball into the grid. Players play until the ball goes out of bounds or when a goal is scored. Once game gets moving the coach will be able to send the next two players as soon as the ball goes out. This keeps players moving!

    1v1 duels

      2. Play like diagram 1 only now players will be running behind the goal. If this is too complicated you can have both players run and tag Coach B or both players run behind the goal that they are defending.

      winning 1v1s

        3. Two players from each team run in to play. One player from each team tags Coach

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