Conditioning 1v1s

By Jebreel Bubtana 

This is a fun way to have your players compete against each other whilst working on their endurance.

Set up the field as shown below with the cones in a zigzag shape all the way to the edge of the 18-yard box (figure 1).

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The players at the front of each line race against each other to the edge of the 18-yard box by touching each cone in the zigzag with their hand (figure 2). As they make it to the to the last cone, the coach will throw or pass a ball into the middle for the two players to battle over. Their aim is to try and score a goal as quickly as possible. As soon as a shot is taken, the next two players in line must start their race.

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Rather than having the players line up in order, the coach can number the players and call out a number, which will also test your player’s reaction time.

Another variation is shown below in figure 3. A player now stands on each cone and the race starts with the player on the first cone sprinting to the player on the second cone and giving him a high 5. The player on the second cone now sprints to the third cone and so on until the fourth player gets a high 5. As soon as this player does, they battle 1v1 against the player who has just done the same on the other side of the area with the coach having already passed or thrown the ball into the middle.

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Coaching Points:
• If one player gets to the ball in front of the other, it is important that the player who doesn’t have the ball keeps working hard to either win the ball back and attack themselves, or to force the attacker into a mistake or poor shot on goal.
• If one player gets to the ball in front of the other player, they must use their body to help them attack the goal. By putting their body in between the ball and defender, they make it hard for the defender to win the ball without either fouling the attacker or having to run around the player to get to the ball.
• Stay composed in front of goal despite the pressure from the defender. It is important that the attacker remembers to get their head up to see where the goalkeeper is and how far they have come out in order to judge when to take their shot.
• Place the ball with the inside of the foot into the goal. As the attacker will be close to goal, power is not necessary to score a goal. This also links back to the previous point of looking up to see where the goalkeeper is in order to side foot the ball into the part of the goal where the goalkeeper isn’t.

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

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