1v1's With a Conditioning Element

By Jebreel Bubtana

This exercise is a great way to have your players work hard and have fun at the same time. This helps to develop aerobic and anaerobic fitness as it involves many short sprints and changes of direction as well as recovering as a defender.
Split your team into groups of 3 and set up the field as shown below in figure 1.

Continuous 1v1  - 1

The attacker starts with the ball must score in either of the two gates at the other end of the area (figure 2).

Continuous 1v1 - 2

The 1v1 continues until the attacker scores by dribbling through either gate or the ball goes out of play. As soon as either of those things happens, the attacker becomes the new defender and the next attacker starts to dribble towards the gates (this ensures that everyone gets to play as an attacker and defender). The idea is that the next attacker does not wait for the new defender to get ready; they must attack as soon as the previous two players are done, which means that the new defender must recover quickly to close down the space for the attacker. This is to ensure that the intensity of the exercise is kept at a high level (figure 3). Also, if the defender wins the ball then they can attack the two gates at the other end of the area.

Continuous 1v1 - 3

Coaching Points:

  • The attacker must have their head up to see where the space is and attack that space at speed.
  • When facing the defender, the attacker must not let the ball get too close to the defender. A quick decision must be made as to where to attack to avoid this.
  • If the defender blocks off one of the gates then the attacker can turn and attack the other gate.
  • A slightly bigger touch can be taken in order to get past the defender and run onto the ball at speed and into the space.

The exercise is very much the same but the starting point for the defender changes. Now the defender is closer to the attacker and to one side. In order to beat the defender now, the attacker must decide where the space is away from the defender and take a positive first touch into that space and accelerate into that space to get away from the defender. The rotation of the players is the same after every go and must be done quickly as previously done.
Continuous 1v1 - 4


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Jebreel Bubtana
Director of Marketing at BRASA – Brazilian Soccer Academy
NSCAA Advanced National Diploma
NSCAA Director of Coaching Diploma
Follow me on Twitter @jib1989

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