Go 1v1 or Make the Pass

This session replicates the decisions players have to make when the ball is won in a transition with the decision between 1v1 or pass crucial to the team securing the ball.

Why use it

This session helps players decide whether to go 1v1 to create space to pass to the target man up front, or make the easy pass and support play with a run into unmarked attacking areas.

Set up

Set up a 40×30 yard area with a goal at each end and an eight-yard attacking zone. We used 12 players.

Go 1v1 of Make the Pass

How to Play

Play a 5v5 plus keepers. All players from both teams start in one half, apart from the defending team’s target man, who stays in the other half ready for his team to win the ball. The target man for the attacking team must stay in the zone in front of goal and can be one or two touch. The ball must be passed to him but he can only set up goals and cannot score himself.

The attackers try to score. If the defenders win the ball they counter using their target man in the other half, who can hold up the ball and pass. He must go into the zone in front of goal and the opposition target man moves up to the halfway line, with play now in the other half.


There is a lot of running from deep to support play as the target man can only pass back into the supporting team-mates. If players go 1v1 to beat opponents it can speed up the counterattack.