1 v 1 Short Intensive – Transition Muscle Tension Activity

By Anthony Hazelwood

The following activity is a short intensive 1 vs. 1 transition exercise intended to train the players explosive and soccer specific muscle strength. The specific fitness target is intermittent endurance while adapting the player’s anaerobic capacity in a small sided group format.

In this activity, groups of players go through two sequences:
1. The defending player passes the ball to the attacker.
2. Attacking player receives the ball to attack in a 1 vs. 1 format to goal.
3. If the defending player takes the ball away from the attacker, then the defending play transitions and can score on his own goal.
4. Whatever the outcome (the attacker/defender scores or ball goes out of bounds) the attacking player transitions to defense and a new attacking player from the line dribbles in to score.
5. The sequence continues.

When preparing the activity, if needed, concentration and difficulty levels may be increased by having players execute something extra unique by setting more restrictions. Every activity may be modified, and it is up to the coach to be creative. However, it is important to respect the parameters of the exercise time, the rest, the types of actions used and the weekly periodization of the activity.

Additionally, it is beneficial to train a soccer team and its players with all the elements of the game being present in the session. By doing so, it will promote soccer specific adaptations to the player’s body, mind and emotional triad. Ultimately, these adjustments will enhance their real-time game performances on a physical, emotional, conscious, and subconscious mental level.

Area Size: 15 yds. x 10 yds.
Total Activity Time: 15 Minutes.
Activity – Sets: 4
Activity Work – Set Interval Time: 3 minutes.
Recovery Interval Time between Sets: 45 seconds.
Intensity: High.

Objectives:
• Tactical: 1 vs. 1 individual attacking, defending and transition principles of play.
• Fitness: Muscle Tension and anaerobic capacity adaptations in a short intensive setting.
• Technique: Proper fitness and off/on the ball execution/techniques.
• Mental-Emotional: Players are fully engaged, and intention of actions are high paced.
• Concentration Level: High.

Setup:
• Set a 15 yd. x 10 yds. grid.
• Create one line of five (could be more if needed) players on each end.

• The defending player passes the ball to the attacker.

• Attacking player receives the ball to attack in a 1 vs. 1 format to goal.

• If the defending player takes the ball away from the attacker, then the defending player transitions and can score on their predetermined goal.

• Whatever the outcome (the attacker/defender scores or ball goes out of bounds) the attacking player transitions to defense and a new attacking player from the line dribbles in to score.

• The sequence continues.

Coaching Points:
 After passing the ball, an intense defensive run needs to be performed to encounter the attacking player.
 The attacking player should receive the ball with the outside of the receiving foot and commit the defender to go one way.
 This would create space on the opposite end in order to expose on a dribble to score.
 During the transition, quick reaction time needs to happen to perform both the attacking start and the defensive transition.

By Anthony Hazelwood

Current Seattle Sounders Academy Performance Coach with previous European academy coaching experience as an assistant fitness and strength/conditioning soccer coach with Levante U.D. (2013-2014) and Getafe SAD CF (2015-2016) in Valencia and Madrid, Spain respectively. A USSF “A” licensed coach with a BSc in Physical Education and an MSc in Sports Training and Nutrition.

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