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1v1 Defending

Exercise description:

Players are in two’s with one ball. They are playing in a 5x10 area.

1. Exercise # 1 – The outside player has the ball. The outside player passes to their partner and pressures the ball/player. The receiving player attempts to dribble across the end-line. The defending player puts pressure on the ball and stops them getting to the end-line. Switch roles.

Exercise # two – 1. The outside player passes to the opposite partner. The defender now presses the receiving player who has to turn and dribble across the end-line.
2. The defender gets touch tight and prevents the defender from turning. If they are not quick enough to react, the player will turn.

3. If the defender wins the ball, can they dribble to the opposite end-line?

Coaching points: 

Exercise 1 & 2 defensive stance, get side on and force the play one way. Make the tackle. Exercise 2 – Get touch tight, get low, do not allow the attacker to turn.

Intended outcome:

  • To compete in a 1v1 situation.

  • Players defending must react quickly.

  • Teach defensive stance, force the play a certain direction.

  • Players defending get low and are ready to pounce.

  • Get the players to tackle.

  • We want the players to be brave and relish a 1v1.

  • Exercise 2 - Defender gets low and is touch tight.


Make the area bigger and play 2v2.

Possible Performance Problems:

Defender does not get there quick enough. If this happens in exercise 2, get the player with the ball to move closer before passing.

Be ready to focus

Keep scanning the area and visualize playing in a game.

Accept mistakes - Find solutions

Coach your teammates


Applaud good play

Be ready to pass or receive the ball


Be willing to move

Make the tackle

React quickly - Pressure

Defensive stance - Get low

Make play predictable


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