EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Defending 1v1

This practice improves your player’s ability to defend 1v1 by taking a good starting position and dictating the direction of play.

What this session is about

  1. Becoming a better defender and reaping the rewards of winning possession.

What to think about

  •  Do the players react quickly?
  •  Are they pressing the ball?
  •  Don’t let the defenders commit themselves too easily.

Set-up

  •  10 x 10 yard grid.
Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
7-10 minutes20-25 minutes15-20 minutes15-20 minutes7-10 minutes

What you get your players to do

The warm-up serves two purposes, preparing the players for the practice ahead mentally as well as physically. The coach calls out “pressure”, “show left” or “show right” and the players must quickly run and pressure the mannequin accordingly.

Use the warm-up to practice positional play.

Use the warm-up to practice positional play.


Development

The attackers take turns to dribble across the area and the defender tries to stop them. If tackled or forced out on either side of the area, the attacker takes the role of defender. For a further progression, if the defender wins the ball or forces the attacker out of the area, they are
rewarded with a free shot at goal.

The defender tries to tackle or force the attacker out of the area.

The defender tries to tackle or force the attacker out of the area.


Game situation

Play a normal small-sided game. If a player is struggling with the principles of 1v1 defending, take them to one side and reiterate the points covered earlier in the session. Point out those that are adopting the correct position.

If the defender wins the ball he is rewarded with a shot at goal.

If the defender wins the ball he is rewarded with a shot at goal.


What to call out

  •  “Press the ball”
  •  “Be patient”
  •  “Stay on your feet”
  •  “Don’t dive in”
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