Outdoor Training Sessions | Attacking: 1 vs 1

Training - Attacking 1 vs 1

Standard warm-up (5–10 min/hr)


This warm-up drill should be used at the beginning of all the sessions, including this  session. This warm-up is designed to:

  • Start the practice with some light activity for the players.
  • Improve the player’s skill handling the ball.
Field setup and video

Place cones to form a rectangular-box shape. The box should be big enough to gives players room to move but not too big that the players cannot see each other or they cannot hear your calls.  For example with 10 players,  create a box approximately 20 by 30 yards. This box will be used for the entire training session.

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Balls: One per player.

Player dribbles ball around within box using all sides of both feet and then does one of the following moves called out by the coach for a few seconds. Then coach calls out to dribble  before calling next move.

  • Toe tapPlayer quickly taps bottom of toes on top of ball alternating between right and left foot. Hide
  • ShufflePlayer passes ball between the feet while lifting legs and jumping slightly. Hide
  • Step overWithout moving the ball the player steps over ball to the right with the right foot and then steps over the ball to the left with the left foot. Hide
  • Circle right or left with inside of footUsing the inside of one foot, the player moves the ball clockwise with left foot or counterclockwise with right foot. Hide
  • Circle right or left with outside of footUsing the outside of one foot, the player moves the ball clockwise with right foot or counterclockwise with left foot. Hide
  • Roll ballStanding behind or beside the ball, the player rolls the ball forward, left or right using the bottom of foot. Hide
  • PullbackPlayer dribbles ball forward a couple of steps and then pulls the ball back with bottom of right foot while turning 180 degrees. Player then dribbles a couple of steps and pulls ball back with bottom of left foot while turning 180 degrees. Hide
  • Shield ballUsing a combination of the circle left or right and the pullback with right foot or left, player moves forward and back in a half circle  to shield the ball from a pretend opponent. Leave it up to the player, but the player should be encouraged to use the weaker foot an equal amount of time as the stronger foot. Hide

Option. To add some fun to the drill, get the players to count the number of times they do each move and have them call out their score to create a bit of competition.

Coaching points

Encourage the players to:

  • Keep the ball close to maintain control.
  • Move as quickly as possible.
  • Keep their head up as much as possible.
  • When applicable, use both feet and use both sides of the foot.

Technique (10–12 min/hr)


This drill works on making sharp right and left cuts with the ball to develop a technique for moving past a  defender.

Field setup and video

At one end of the field, in two or three lines place three cones 3 to 4 yards apart starting 5 yards from the end.

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Balls: One per player.

  1. Divide the players into groups equal to the number of rows you have setup.
  2. Have each player get a ball and line up with their group on the end line behind one of the lines of cones.
  3. On “Go!”, the first player dribbles in and out of the cones with sharp cuts at the cones to make a figure 8 and then turns and goes back through the cones with the same moves.
  4. Player then moves to back of the line.

Option. To add some fun and to get the players to move faster, turn it into a race.

Coaching points
  • Keep tight control and playing distance with ball.
  • Keep head up.
  • Make sharp cuts with the ball with light touches when dribbling.
  • Slow down if control is continually lost.

Skill (10–12 min/hr)


This drill  helps to further develop the skill of dribbling past a single defender.

Field setup and video

Setup two goals at each end approximately 5 yards in from the end line. Also place a cone in the middle of both ends for the players to line up behind.

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Balls: Coach keeps and feeds in  balls one at a time.

  1. Have half the players put on pinnies and line up in single file at one end behind centre cone.
  2. Have the other players line up the same way at the other end.
  3. On “Go!”, the coach passes a ball to the first player in one of the lines.
  4. The  player must try to dribble past the defender and dribble (not shoot) through the defender’s goal while the defender  runs over and tries to take the ball away.
  5. If the defender takes the ball away, they should try to dribble and score.
  6. When the coach says “Next!”, the ball is returned to the coach, a new ball is passed in by the coach, and the players move to the end of their respective lines.

Option: To add some fun, keep score.

Coaching points
  • Dribble ball at good pace using inside and outside of both feet.
  • Maintain tight control and playing distance with the ball.
  • Keep head up and remain in control of the ball by making light touches on the ball.
  • Slow down if control is continually lost.
  • Try to unbalance and beat defender by using cuts, fakes, and change of pace.

Small-sided game: Switch (20–25 min/hr)


The purposes of the small-sided games are to:

  • Let the players have some fun. Most players prefer to play a game to doing drills.
  • Give the players an opportunity to practice what they have learned.
  • Get the players ready to play a real game against another team.
Field setup and video

Remove any cones from inside the box and convert or make sure the end lines  have three goals.

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Balls: Coach keeps and feeds in balls one in at a time.

  1. Divide the players into two teams and have one team put on the pinnies.
  2. Divide each team into two groups.
  3. For each team, have half the team move into positions inside the playing field and the other half line up along their end line.
  4. On “Go!”, have one team start with the ball and try to get the ball into the other team’s goal.
  5. At appropriate intervals, such as when a goal is scored or the ball goes off the side, tell the players to switch. On “Switch”, the inside players move to the end line and the end line players move into the field. When necessary, to keep the game moving, the coach feeds new ball in to restart game.
  6. On restarts, use “Go!” and defenders can’t move until the first pass is received.
Coaching points
  • Help the players make the right decision on when to dribble, pass, and change direction.
  • This is where the following teaching techniques are used most: Direct command; Question and answer; Guided discovery.
  • Let the players play to get a flow going and give them a feel for a game situation, but look for opportunities to stop the play and teach them what they did wrong or right using one of the teaching techniques.