1v1 to goal

This game will improve your players’ desire to win the ball before their opponent and sharpen their shooting skills.

Objective: To encourage a ‘be first’ mentality and get players taking quick shots.

Age group: U6 upwards.

Number of players: Whole squad.

Set up: Place a normal-sized goal on one end of a 30 yards by 40 yards playing area. Place one flat cone about 20 yards in front of both posts.

Put a goalkeeper in goal and divide your squad into two teams. Place each team next to a goalpost. You stand to one side of the playing area with a supply of balls.

How to play:

On your command, the first player in each line runs around the cone in front of their post. As they run, you play a ball into the playing area midway between the cones and the goal. Both players try to be first to the ball and the first to score in the goal.

The first team to 10 points wins the game.



Game Rules

  • One ball for three players in the area shown in the diagram, approximately 15 yards square.
  • Each player plays against the other two players.
  • Each player tries to score in a goal four to five yards wide.
  • When the ball goes out of play, the coach puts another ball in play.
  • Goalkeeper making a save throws the ball to the coach.
  • After 10 balls are served, all three players and the goalkeeper are changed.
  • Keep score and play the winners against each other to name the champion.

Player Objectives

Control the ball from the coach.

Manipulate the ball to avoid challenges.

Shield the ball when necessary.

Change direction – turn with the ball.

Change pace.

Shoot at the earliest opportunity.

1v1 No tackling!

it doesn’t get much simpler than this….

A defender on the goal line plays the ball out to an attacker who is 30 – 40 yards away.

The defender then closes down the attacker who tries to get past the defender to score.

The defender is not allowed to tackle, only contain and block any attempted shots.

Note: I’ve found this game to be excellent at helping children to stop ‘diving in’ during matches.

1v1 Battles

Improve tackling, dribbling and shielding skills

The Game

Play one v one, trying to score through a ‘two-sided’ goal. There is no out-of-bounds. The player in possession of the ball is the attacker, the other player, the defender. Play games of one minute in duration.

1v1Coaching Points

Defenders: steer attacker away from the goal, tackle when ball is exposed, get goal side when possession is lost.

Attackers: try to face the defender whenever possible change speed, change direction; shield the ball when trying to maintain possession.

1 v 1 attackers back to goal

The Game

Server passes the football so that it stays in the grid.

Attacker is the only one able to play the ball initially.

Attacker attempts to turn with the ball and:

a. Dribble under control over the end line for 1 point.

b. Pass the ball through the goal for 3 points.

The player defending attempts to: a. Win the ball and dribble over the opposite line for 1 point. If the ball goes out of the grid, no points for either player.

Alternate roles.

Coaching Points


Do not allow the attacker to turn. Play him honestly. Do not let him know where you are by ‘leaning’ on him. He will use this over-commitment to turn you.

Tackle when the attacker turns, and only when certain of winning the ball.

If attacker turns, play them honestly, but deny pass into the goal. However, do not overplay this option too extremely as this will allow the attacker to dribble right by.


Make a self-pass in order to escape pressure. Turn and face the defender as soon as possible.

When facing defender, take him on with speed. Use short, controlled steps.

Use quick changes of pace and direction.