1 v 1 Attacking Technique Session

The following session is an excerpt from “Soccer Awareness Coaching Curriculums presented by Game Sizes: 4 v 4, 7 v 7, 9 v 9 through to 11 v 11

This eBook covers up to 14 weeks of training for each game size presented as one session per week. All sessions have small sided games scrimmage set ups as close as we can get it to finish to reflect the theme of the session As the program moves from 4 v 4 through to 11 v 11 the focus changes from individual teachings at 4 v 4, to small sided situations at 7 v 7, to Phases of play and tactical needs at 9 v 9; through to team tactical development at 11 v 11. 11 v 11 focuses on advanced training ideas to teach the “team”.

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Each of 12 players has a ball to play with. They must protect their own soccer ball but at the same time try to kick someone else’s ball out the area. When your ball is kicked out you cannot kick anyone else’s ball out. You can vary the game by allowing them chances, maybe up to three each before they are ultimately out of the game. When they are out have them juggle the ball to keep practicing skills.

Play until the last player is left with their own ball still and everyone else’s ball has been kicked out. This player is the winner.

Variations can be you have three areas of play they can work in. They start in one then if they are kicked out they go to the next and so on, this way they get two chances but also you can have two winners in each group with an overall winner at the end. Or you can just decrease the area they are playing in to make it harder as there is less space to work in.

Coaching Points

  1. Awareness of where other players are whilst maintaining possession of the ball ensuring players are looking around away from their own ball

  2. Dribbling and Turning,

  3. Shielding,

  4. Tackling,

  5. Anaerobic Fitness work.

This is a practice that is fun but ensures relevant skills are practiced by the players.

Kick out game working on dribbling, turning, observation

1. There are 12 players in this clinic (it can be any number), 9 with a ball, 3 without. The 3 players without a ball have to try and win a ball off a player with a ball and kick it out the area. If a player has their soccer ball kicked out and then they can join in with the other players helping them keep possession by passing and support play.

2. To make this competitive rotate the players so different groups of 3 work together, time each group to see who does this in the quickest time.


3. Progression: To decrease the time it takes if the defenders can win a ball and pass it to the coach (who is constantly moving around outside the area) for example 3 times out of the 9 balls won, then the clock stops. This represents winning the ball and keeping possession in a game rather than kicking it out of play and losing possession again in a game. It may be the first 3 balls the defenders win.

4. The session develops from an individual 1 v 1 attacking / defending work out to a passing and support situation. You can work on the defenders by encouraging them to work as a team, maybe in 2’s for instance to have a better chance of winning the soccer balls. The defenders can pass the ball around between themselves until one can find the coach with a pass. Attackers during this time can try to win it back before it goes out the area and keep possession.

This is showing the progression of the session where the defenders have won 6 balls and got 3 to the coach thus maintaining possession if it were likened to a game.

The reward for them getting the soccer balls to the coach and keeping possession and working as a team to win them is that it may take a lot less time to have to work in the clinic. Coaches can move around so the players have to look to find their position; so they can pass to them. Attacking players who have possession of the ball can also use the coach to play wall passes with them; so the coach is a target for the attacking players and the defending players.

Coaching Points:


Attackers with the ball –

  1. Dribbling and turning practice,

  2. Shielding the ball,

  3. Moving and support play,

  4. Quality of passing, players keep possession by passing between each other once one or more lose their ball.

  5. Awareness of positions of both sets of players and where the spaces are.

Defenders without the ball –

  1. Practicing defensive pressurizing skills,

  2. Team work (in 2’s or more) to win the ball using supporting defensive skills – Angle / Distance / Communication,

  3. Maintaining possession after winning the ball,

  4. Awareness of the player to pass to (the coach or a team mate to get it to the coach),

  5. Quality of the pass once they win the ball.

The essence of this game is it is fun and competitive for the player’s but it also provides a situation where they are learning important skills.


Progression One – Every ball won by a defender must be passed to the coach to show they have won the ball but also kept possession of the ball. This presents a bigger challenge to the players and teaches the players the importance of not just winning possession of the ball but also trying to maintain possession after winning it. If the defending player passes the ball to the coach and it is not accurate and does not get to the coach’s feet; then the attacker who had the ball gets it back to continue in possession. This ensures quality of passing from the defender who has won back the ball in the first place.

Progression Two – Make it a two-team game, one defends, one attacks, time each team as to how long it takes for them to win possession of each ball and make a successful pass to the coach. The clock stops when all the 6 balls have been passed successfully to the coach.

Now defenders need to have awareness too as when they win the ball they need to know quickly where the coach is to pas the ball to and consequently be successful. So, whilst they are defending trying to win the ball they are also watching the coach in their peripheral vision to see where he or she is.