EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

1v1 shooting challenge

Young players can fear 1v1 battles, particularly when taking an opponent on in a situation that dictates quick running and good ball skills at the end of it. But repeating this move will instil confidence and get your players winning important battles in attacking areas of the pitch.

Why use it

Being first to the ball is an essential ingredient in any successful team – players should practice and show determination to be the first to the ball when they play matches.

Set up

Set up a two-goal challenge using back-to-back goals. Alternatively, use a single goal with no net and play into both sides. In front of each goal a ball is placed five yards from the line. Starting with the left-hand goal, a defender stands 10 yards from the line with his back to goal. The attacker is positioned in front of him.

How to do it

The attacker must attempt to sprint past the defender and shoot into the goal. He will then sprint around to the second goal and attempt to score with the second ball. The defender must try to stay with his opponent, preventing him from scoring. Even if the defender is successful in blocking the first shot, he must still be alert to the danger of conceding in the other goal.

Technique

Always look for a winger’s run to end with a shot at goal. When travelling at pace, it is easier for a player to channel that energy and motion into a thunderous shot than it is to make a controlled pass across the box to an attacker.

1v1 challenge

    1. The attacker must work out how to lose the defender by feints or bursts of speed
    2. He must try to score in the goal – the defender cannot touch the ball until the attacker has so he must try to shield the ball and block routes to it

Score from 1v1 challenges

    3. Once the ball has been kicked at the goal the race is on to get to the ball in the next goal
    4.The defender must try to shadow the attacker and stop him getting the ball cleanly

Small sided game 1v1

    5. Set up a large area of 50×40 yards, with two goals at both ends and no goalkeepers. Play 4v4, instructing wing-backs to attack goals from the flanks. The large pitch offers plenty of space for players to push the ball past their opponents, yet the large area will mean players tire quickly. That means this progression is great for stamina and fitness.
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