Ultimate player battles

This session sets up play for players to use a skill but with a get out if they make a mistake. Players need to have get outs so they can try to do the skill without fear.

Set up

Set up an area 15×8 yards with a target goal at one end and a row of four cones at the other. We’ve used 10 players and you need balls, bibs and cones.

How to play it

Use two teams of four players who start in two queues around the edge of the pitch, plus a keeper and a server. If an attacker completes a skill like a U-turn or step over and scores in the goal they get three points for their team. If the attacker plays a one-two with the server and then scores it is just one point. Attackers and defenders take it in turns to go 1v1 against each other. Swap roles after every attacker has had a go.


This replicates players running at each other and support play. Dribbling the ball to start is replicating match-like situations. There are good player battles in this session.

    1. The attackers start by dribbling the ball through the cones in the direction of the goal
    2. The defender can run onto the pitch as soon as the attacker gets past the second cone, or when the coach gives a signal

    3. The attacker must complete a U-Turn Step Over so he can try for the maximum points score
    4. Here the attacker has gone past the defender and beats the keeper to get three points

    5. Here the defender has made it difficult for the attacker to complete the skill, so he plays a one-two to score for one point
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