Individual Duels Game

By Alex Trukan

This game is focused on improving aerobic endurance as well as 1v1 duels. From the physical point of view, it helps players to maintain many actions throughout the whole game, what will enable them to be more involved and affect the game more even towards the end of it. From the technical perspective, this practice also incorporates 1v1 high intensity duels, what increases competitiveness and engagement. Individual duels’ game is mostly suitable for older age groups, usually from U12 upwards.

Set up and directions

Organise a 30 x 40 yards pitch with two big goals (one on each end), and four small goals (two on each end in wide areas). Cone off two wide zones, each 4 yards wide as shown on the diagram below. Divide the group into two teams of five. Place goalkeepers in goals. Prepare min. 8 balls to supply if needed. Assign individual duels for every player (i.e. right back from team A responsible for left winger from team B).


The game starts in the middle zone, no players are allowed to go into wide coned off areas. The goalkeeper plays the ball into one of the players from his team (no restrictions into who the ball should be played).


The player on the ball can decide – continue the game in the middle zone and try to score in the big goal or dribble into wide area. As soon as he dribbles into wide area, only the player that is responsible for him can go into the wide area and try to defend.


The 1v1 duel continues in the wide area with players trying to score in the opposite small goals. If the ball goes out or the goal is scored, the duel finishes and both players come back to the middle zone. At the same time as the duel is being played, a coach/goalkeeper plays second ball into the middle zone and the game continues normally (player on the ball can choose to go into other wide area).

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The game continues 4-8 minutes and is repeated 4-6 times with 2 minutes rest between repetitions.


  • 5v5/7v7
  • Increase/decrease the size of the area
  • Play without the goalkeepers

By Alex Trukan, Development Coach, Nottingham Forest


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