One v One's With a Twist

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Welcome to the FineSoccer Drills Newsletter. Today’s featured activity works on 1 v 1 play with an emphasis on the first touch.

Start with a 20 x 10 grid with an attacking player on one end line and a defender on the end line. A server, with balls, is in the corner near the defender.


The server starts by playing a ball, on the ground, to the attacking player.


The attacking player comes forward to meet the ball while the defending player rushes out to defend.


The attacking player tries to dribble the ball over the end line where the defender started and the defender tries to prevent this and to slow the attacker down.

While this might seem like a simple 1 v 1 activity the thing that makes it unusual is the server is going to vary his passes. Sometimes it will be a soft, easy pass at which point the attacker can get to it early, attack with the first touch and put the pressure on the defender. The defender would have to be very careful on his approach because the attacking player has easy control of the ball and can accelerate or change direction easily.

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On the other hand, if the server decides to play a hard ball on the ground, the defender can try to take advantage of the possible bad touch (since it’s a lot more difficult to control the ball) and the likelihood of the attacker being able to accelerate with the first touch is not as high.

Or, the server can chip the ball to the attacking player so the attacking player, with his first touch, has to work on controlling the ball and the defender knows he can capitalize on any bad touch.

With the server varying his serves, the attacker must focus on his first touch and the defender would alter his approach depending upon the first touch.

The players would each get an opportunity as the attacker, the defender and the server.

Have a great day!


By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

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