Football Drill: Attacking & Defending 1v1

Football Drill: Attacking & Defending 1v1

Planning a good football session can be trickier than you think and in order to get the best out of your session its ideal to focus on a key area. Whether this session is around Attacking, Defending, Passing or Tackling, being prepared with a dedicated session helps players progress and get the most from the sport.

Defending 1 V 1

Session Set up

Defending is a key element in football coaching. With defending 1 v 1 it allows the individual to focus on their own performance before moving it on to defend as a team. Within this session we want the defender to press the ball, delay the attack and protect the goal. We also want the defender to regain possession of the ball and move to a counter-attack.

Session Set Up
  • You need an area of roughly 25m x 30m
  • Number of players in the session: 6 to 20
  • Equipment required: 10 x Footballs, two different coloured Bibs, 4 x cones in colour A, 4 x cones in colour B, whistle, coaching board
Stage One Set Up
  • Session Aim – Defender must stop the attacker from scoring through their goal

The defender starts with the ball and then passes it to the attacker. Once the attacker touches the ball, the defender must then close the attacker down and try to win the ball and clear it.

If the defender does not win the ball then the attacker must try to dribble the ball through their colour gates. They have the choice of two gates.

Coaching points

  • Accelerate – Move up to the attacker
  • Approach side on – Have one foot forward to block off one goal and force the attacker towards the other one, meaning defender dictates the play
  • Be on Toes – Allows for better balance
  • Delay play – Slow the attacker down to help the defender to think
Stage Two Set Up
  • Session Aim – Defender must stop the attacker from scoring by regaining possession and counter-attacking back

Repeat the drill but this time add in goals for the Defender to target. If the Defender wins the ball, they must try to run through one of their gates to receive a point.

Coaching points

  • Accelerate – Move up to the attacker
  • Approach side on – Have one foot forward to block off one goal and force the attacker towards the other one, meaning defender dictates the play on their preferred foot
  • Be on Toes – Allows for better balance
  • Delay play – Slow the attacker down to help the defender to think
  • Counterattack – Once have the ball target one of the goals and run to it

Potential for Progression

  • Add in a 3rd goal for the attacker
  • Increase the game space
  • Move to 2 v 2