Strength and Speed in 1v1 Possession

By Alex Trukan

This exercise is focused on speed and strength in individual possession scenario. Physical components developed in this practice improve the ability to keep the ball under pressure of the opponent. This is integrated with dribbling and ball manipulation skills.

Set up and directions
Organise a square suitable for players’ abilities and baseline fitness level. Half of the players with one ball each start in the inner area of the grid, while second group spreads around the square as shown on the diagram. On the coach’s signal, outside players run into the middle of the square and try to get into possession of the ball. Inside players’ task is to keep possession until the next signal of the coach. The exercise is suitable for flexible amount of players and almost every age group!


As mentioned previously, on the coach’s signal, outside players try to get into possession of the ball. If they do so, player who has lost possession tries to regain it as soon as possible. Variation of the exercise can be a tag game, in which outside players try to touch the ball instead of getting it to score a point.


As a progression, organise two squares which will be “safe zones”. Player in possession of the ball can get into that area in which he can’t be attacked. However, only three touches (or 3 seconds) are allowed in the “safe zone”.

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Each repetition should last 1 min. with 3-1 min. rest between it. The exercise should be done in 2 series, 4 minutes apart from each other. It is also convenient to do this practice in 3 groups, where two groups are working and one group is resting. That incorporates work-rest ratio automatically.


  • Tag game with players in possession and chasers without the ball
  • Variable number and position of “safe zones”
  • Increase or decrease number of defenders

By Alex Trukan, Development Coach, Nottingham Forest

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