Speed and Power in 1v1

By Alex Trukan

This exercise is focused on improving Speed and Power in 1v1 situations. Maximum effort up to 10 seconds improves quality (explosiveness) of football actions by enhancing anaerobic energy system. 1v1 duels are present in all areas of the pitch, on every level of the game.

Set up and directions
The exercise is set up as shown below. Coach plays the ball in the middle of two players who run and compete for the ball. First player to touch the ball becomes attacker, second player becomes defender. The aim of the attacking player is to score. When defending player gains possession, his aim is to pass the ball to the coach. Attacker has 5 seconds to score. Make sure there are min. 8-10 players (4-5 pairs) to allow enough rest between repetitions (work to rest ratio 1:5/1:6). Coach should provide variety of passing types (ground/aerial/bouncing/curved). To increase competitiveness, award points for each goal.


As we can see on the following diagram, first player to the ball becomes attacker and his aim is to score against a defender and a goalkeeper.


Progression 1 – Add additional cone as shown on diagram. That will improve players ability to change direction and at the same time increase working time. Place of the cone can be varied depending on specific objectives of the session.


Progression 2 - Change starting positions and direction as shown on diagram to challenge players and make the practice more variable. It is also possible to change server position.


Progression 3 - Vary pass direction, pace and type (ground/aerial/short/long/curved). This condition can be used to challenge individual players and work position specific (coach controls who starts as an attacker/defender).

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This exercise should include 4-6 repetitions in 1-2 series. Work to rest ratio should be 1:5 or 1:6. That will ensure the development of anaerobic energy system which is required to short, explosive actions during the match.

1 – 1v1 in wide area and cross
2 – 1v1 leading to 1v2 (recovery runs)
3 – 2v2 in the penalty box

I hope you enjoy the exercise!

By Alex Trukan, Development Coach, Nottingham Forest

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