1v1 soccer game to develop decision making skills

This soccer game uses 1v1 situations to coach the players to make the right decision to score points. Should they try to beat their partner for pace to earn one point or take them on and beat them for skill or strength to get three points?

Decision-making is an important part of any young soccer (football) player’s skills set. Decisions are always needed when a player has the ball, whether this is during a soccer drill or a match.

Often players are faced with situations where there is an easy route where their team keeps the ball – a simple pass or sideways movement into space to slowly build up play – or a more difficult route with more to gain – attempting to dribble past a defender for example.

By playing this game you can help your players to see the results of their decisions. Because they keep the ball when points are scored they could quickly build up points by going to one of the easy cones. Or, if they find they are a lot of points down with only a few minutes left, they must go for the harder cone to quickly score points.

All your players – defenders, midfielders, attackers – should take part in this game. It can be used for any age group.

soccer game to get players making decions in 1v1s

Key soccer coaching tips for game

  • Tell your attackers to keep the ball moving.
  • They need to use moves and turns such as step overs, dragbacks and dummies to lose the defender.
  • Tell them to take every opportunity to score points.
  • The way to do it is to keep the ball close to their body.
  • When a player scores a point, they return to the starting cone to score another point.
  • They keep possession of the ball until it goes out of play or they lose the ball to the defender.

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Click here for a soccer drill to help your players’ decision making skills.


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