Winning the 1v1s

Watch any level of football and you will notice players who can win 1v1s find themselves in good positions to create problems for the opposition. This gives a big advantage to your team and means that more goalscoring chances will be created.

You could say: Win the 1v1s and you’re on your way to winning the game.

If your player has the ball or is trying to win it in a 1v1, he needs to analyse the situation and opponent. It is vital to make quick decisions and use movement, skill and a change of pace to win the 1v1s.

I use this simple-to-set-up game that asks some difficult questions of my players and gets them thinking of ways to succeed.


How to play it

  • Split your players into pairs.
  • Players cannot tackle each other.
  • Use two cones five yards apart – gradually make the distance wider to make it harder.
  • Player 1 must beat player 2 by stopping the ball at the cone before player 2 can touch the cone.

The defender must analyse:

  • Which way the player will move?
  • Should he take a chance and gamble on which way the player will move?
  • How is the attacker‘s body shaping up to move?

The attacker must analyse:

  • Whether he should turn?
  • Which turning technique to use?
  • If choosing to sprint, should he slow down or run at the same pace?
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