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1 vs. 1 Mastery in Footbal

German Training Concepts

  • Coaching Points for Attacker and Defender in Various Situations

  • 1 vs 1 Fitness Training

  • Drills for Tactical 1 vs. 1

  • Complex 1 vs. 1 Drills

  • 1 vs. 1 Competitions

Author: Steven Turek

Edited by: Peter Schreiner

Layout: Oliver Schreiner

Publisher: Institut für Jugendfußball

Pages: 48

Pictures: 36


Prologue by Steven Turek

Dear Coaching-Colleagues,


in the development of technical and tactical skills, we should repeatedly ask ourselves the question: ‘Are the players able to convert the newly learned skills also in real competition?’. How often do we notice players accessing their full potential in training but simultaneously not being able to recall their skills in real competition? Most often, we coaches search the mistake in defensive and offensive individual-tactical error patterns within the players themselves. But is really the player to blame? Maybe, the player recalls the exact same skills just learned in training. Maybe, the training content was too far away from authentic circumstances in an 11 vs 11? How often did we train a frontal 1 vs 1, but neglected situations with the back towards the goal? With which distances do we actually train 1 vs 1 situations in training and how do these duels occur in competition?

Steven Turek Vertical Game Soccer

In this practical training concept, I will systematically breakdown essentials of 1 vs 1 duels. Therefore, I will focus in the beginning on the distance and will present suggestions on why group- and team tactical elements are important for a successful 1 vs 1. In the following, I will give detailed coaching tips on different 1 vs 1 situations. Prior the practical part of this eBook with more than 30 pages of different exercises, coaching tips and variations, I will focus on the principles of coaching 1 vs 1 situations and provide impulses on how to use these to specifically train conditional factors.

With the publication of this eBook, I hope to contribute an important piece to one of the most important topics in modern soccer and wish all coaches pleasure reading and trying out in your own training routine!

Enjoy reading, Steven Turek

Develop 1 vs. 1

1 vs 1 as Fitness Training


The success of the trained exercises highly depends on the manner how the coach manages and coaches the exercise! Thus, he is able to head to and coach specific thematic priorities by introducing provocation rules, define lines or vary size and form of the field (and much more). However, this does not only hold true for tactical or technical priorities, but also for the conditional priority. In order to specifically focus on conditional priorities in exercising 1 vs 1 situations, the coach has two different control elements to make use of: The play time (loading duration) and the size of the field. Especially in 1 vs 1 exercises, which nature is mostly defined of a competitive character (contrary to tactical thematic priorities, which must be performed in a regenerated state neatly imitated by real competition) can these control elements be of high value.


Tip: Especially the 1 vs 1 exercises in the last part ‘1 vs 1 - Competitions’ are perfectly suitable to also specifically train conditional aspects!

Play time: The shorter the play time is defined, the more are the players able to put maximal explosiveness into all actions and the training. The longer a play time is set, the more are the players struggling and fighting against exhaustion in every action. Thereby, not only conditional factors are trained but also mental power and the formation of will! When planning the play time, not only the loading duration is of high importance, but also the regeneration time. As a rough guide it can be said that if a player is not out of breath (anymore), he is (almost) fully regenerated. Thus, the coach is able to specifically control when his player undergoes the next load.

Field Size: The more narrow and smaller a field is (especially in the 1 vs 1!) set up, the more players are engaged in direct physical contacts (‘In-Fight’). The reason for this is that the defined space does not allow avoiding physical contact or running away. The wider and greater a field is set up, the more sprint duels will occur and players need to travel greater distances. Therefore, coaches are enabled to create fields for player in order to specifically create in-fight-situations and train sprints respectively running skills!

6 vs 6 with an 1 vs 1 On The Wing
1 vs 1 in soccer drill

Organization: In one half of the pitch, a 6 vs 6 plus respectively 2 outside players is played. The outside players of the ball possessing team and the respective opponent’s position diagonally at the cones of the outside zone. If an outside player is passed to, a 1 vs 1 situation emerges. If the player accomplishes the break through into the crossing-zone, he plays without any pressure a cross. If the player solves the 1 vs 1 into the direction of the center (crossing the red line), he is allowed to finish on the goal without any pressure too. Goals are also allowed without a pass to the outside. Goals following a successful 1 vs 1 over the outsides count threefold.

Coaching: The outside player shall create an advantage with the first touch of the ball and carry the ball into the center or along the sideline.

Variation: If an outside player dribbles into the center, a 7 vs 6 is played - a play in numerical advantage instead of a free finish!

Preparatory Exercise - Indicating 1 vs 1 Situations
1 vs 1 drill soccer

Organization: The central players simultaneously dribble towards the respective dummies. With this dribbling, the outer players release (1) and receive the ball after a feint (1) and the pass (2). With the ball, they themselves dribble towards the dummy, play it off (3) and pass the ball into the depth (4). The outer players follow their pass, while the players, who start into their action, change to the respective other side (3).

Coaching: Pay attention to the right distance towards the dummy when performing the feint. Furthermore, the players on the outer positions shall consciously use their first touch heading towards the dummy!

1 vs 1 - Line-Challenge
1 on 1 Drill in Soccer Line Challenge

Organization: In a deep field with respectively 2 mini-goals are 3 lines with dots marked. The attacker starts from the baseline, the defender is assigned one line with dots (in the example the second line with dots). An instruction is given by the coach and the 1 vs 1 situation starts. The attacker collects points by crossing the lines and by scoring a goal (= 3 extra points). If the opponent gains possession of the ball, the situation is over. Which team collects the most points?

Coaching: The defender must keep away his opponent from his own goals as wide as possible and try to create pressure as soon as possible.

Variation: After a gain of the ball, also the defender is allowed to collect points (according to the lines + 3 points for a goal).

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