Making the Most of 1v1 Opportunities

By Danny Carvalho

These drills will help you make the most of your 1v1 opportunities.

Warm up – Activity 1
This one is called “The electric fence”. Set up a square with cones side by side in the middle (the electric fence) and a gate on each side. Starting without the ball as tag 1v1, each player starts on opposing side, facing the fence. (A) has the goal to escape the square through one of the gates as (B)’s goal is to tag (A). Player (B) is not allowed to jump over the fence so the game forces (B) to run around which gives (A) some advantage. The objective of having “the electric fence” is to separate them and having the (A) player to work and understand the concept of committing the defender by running towards the cones, faking to go one way and going another, leaving the defender behind.

- With a ball
- Take the fence away

Activity 2
Use the same square as before but now have the players on opposite corners of the square and set up four gates on the square lines. Two gates are for player (A) to dribble through, and another two gates are for player (B) who starts defending to dribble through if wins the ball. Game starts after (B) passes the ball to (A). A lot of dribbling skills and special moves demanded!

Activity 3
This is one of the most successful 1v1 activities I’ve worked with. This one is called “Divisions touchdown”. Set up a bunch of 1v1 grids with end lines and scoring zones such as the American football ones, and each grid is going to be a division. The goal is to beat the opponent by dribbling the ball into the scoring zone and fully controlling the ball once you get there (1 point). Have a minimum of three players per division so the winner of each round stays in field to face the next opponent. After 5 minutes the player with most points gets promoted to another division and the player with less points gets relegated. The other players stay at their current division for “the next season”.

Activity 4
We now finally get to take shots! Split the attacking half or third in two sides. This 1v1 situation starts when player (B) passes the ball to (A) who will try to score on the goal as (B) will defend the goal. If (B) wins the ball, they must dribble past the end line or pass it to the coach who will be positioned in the middle of the two sides. Rotate after every play to have players work both on defense and attack.

By Danny Carvalho, DOC at Corinthians Campinas Youth Club,  Brasil

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