Vital soccer skills – 6 practices for 1v1

Being able to deal with a 1v1 is an important part of a player’s soccer toolbox. Whether defending or attacking, players have to choose and use the right skill or technique to win a 1v1.

As a coach, you should build your players’ 1v1 experience right through from Under 7s to Under 18s. Here are six 1v1 practices I use throughout the age groups…

I like to start a session with a warm-up that uses the skill I want to work on in an effective way – 1v1 around the clock is perfect for this.

To get younger players warmed up for defending I recommend the practice plan Defending 1v1, which has instruction about body position and how to delay the attack.

You could also try the game 1v1 defending techniqueIt’s a great way to develop the technique of pressing and introduces the idea of ‘jockeying’ an opponent.

Once the players are warmed up and understand the basics of a 1v1, you need to play a game that covers both the defending and attacking elements – 1v1 breakout is the ideal small-sided game for testing players’ 1v1 skills.

Finally, you can use the Easicoach curriculum to give your players a good technical workout. Beat a player 1v1 (U9 activity) and Beat a player 1v1 (U9 game) are brilliant to use in short bursts played at high tempo.

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