The game of soccer can be broken down into a competition of 11 players vs 11 players, or small groups of players, 2 versus 2 players, 3 v 3 etc. The real heart of soccer is the 1 v 1 duel. These duels happen all over the field for the full length of the game.The team that wins the most duels will, in all likelihood, win the game.  1 attacker versus 1 defender is the ultimate player challenge and coaches are well advised to practice 1 v 1 on a regular basis. As illustrated above it brings out the four components of the game and highlights the role of the first attacker (that is the player with the ball) – which is to penetrate -  against the role of the first defender (that is the closest opponent) – which is to pressure and stop penetration. Some coaches will, often, keep a league table of who wins and loses these 1 v 1 practice scenarios. Frequently, at the end of the season, the best and most competitive players on the team are at the top of the League.

Enjoy Your Coaching,

Jeff Tipping

Admiral Technical Advisor