1v1 Soccer Drills and Progressions
When you boil soccer down at any level, it really is just a bunch of 1v1 soccer all over the field. Whether it is the 11v11 game, the 9v9 game, a 7v7 game, or a 4v4 rec league...at some point in the match, you will come up against a player either on the defensive or attacking side of a ball.
These 1v1 soccer drills were designed to help you improve your comfort and success in those situations.
I came up with this set of 1v1 soccer drills after watching the USMNT lose 2-1 to Trinidad and Tobago...I could go off the deep end into a host of reasons why this happened but I won't because this isn't the venue. But one of the areas that jumped off the page to me at 2-1, with 10 minutes remaining is the hesitancy to take players on and penetrate and take a chance...
So I put together this set of 1v1 soccer drills that progress into a 1v2. Granted, we want out players taking chances in the appropriate parts of the field, for example not in front of your own goal...but rather in going at the other teams goal, trying to unbalance the opposition and create better numbers for your team in the attacking third of the field.
The Set-Up and Coaching Points for 1v1 soccer drills and progressions
- Set-up a 10 yards wide x 20 yards long area
- Defender plays the ball to the attacker, attacker has to take on defender and try to dribble across defenders line.
- Defender tries to steal the ball and counter to the opposite line.
- Attackers- Get your speed up as quick as you can, try to keep your body moving forward. Many players want to do stepovers, dance on the ball, try every trick they've ever learned...when change of pace, change of direction, shimmies, shakes, stop and go's are old school...but they work the best. Neymar, Mbappe, Suarez, Messi, all come down to those 5 moves and every now and then a little magic.
- Keep your momentum going forward. Remember, you get the defender back pedaling and it's easy to unbalance them. Attack the right and left hand side.
- Defenders, close space as quick as you can...then funnel play to one side by shaping your body in that direction.
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