The Top 5 Benefits of 1v1 Soccer Drills

Soccer is a sport that requires a lot of skill and strategy. Whether you’re playing as an attacker or a defender, you need to have the right skills to be able to perform well on the field. One way to improve your skills is through 1v1 soccer drills. Discover the benefits of 1v1 soccer drills for players of all levels. From improving technique to better decisions, these drills are a must.

1v1 soccer skills

What are 1v1 soccer drills?

1v1 soccer drills are drills that involve two players in various positions on the field. The objective is for one player to get past the other and score a goal or escape the pressure. These drills are designed to help players develop their dribbling, attacking, and defensive skills. They also help players improve their speed, agility, and decision-making abilities.

1v1 soccer drills are also drills that learn players to dominate their duel. A benefit of 1v1 soccer drills is that each 1v1 duel can be practiced from a variety of angles, distances, and positions. When players get familiar with the 1v1 duel they are faced with they start to develop the tools they need to take control in these situations. The repetition of the drills brings composure and control.

The best 1v1 soccer drills are ones that are realistic and specific to the game. It is the coach’s responsibility to design drills that recreate the decisions and pressures of the game. Every position on the field has slightly different versions of 1v1. Part of your job is to recreate these pressures in a training environment. The coach must observe the modern game and identify the player’s needs.

Benefits of 1v1 soccer drills

Enhances attacking skills: Dribbling is an essential skill in soccer. A great benefit of 1v1 soccer drills is that they allow players to practice dribbling against a defender in a realistic game-based scenario. This helps players improve their dribbling and ball control whilst under pressure from a defender.

The players develop skills such as stops starts, turns, changes of pace, and dragging moves. These moves are useful for planting the defender’s feet and allow the attackers to create a space to escape the pressure of the defender.

Additionally, 1v1 soccer drills learn how to create space for themselves beat defenders, and score a goal or get an end product on whatever skill occurs after a dribble. These drills help players encourage players to take on defenders and make quick decisions in high pressured situations.

Improves defensive skills: 1v1 soccer drills also help players develop their defensive skills. Players learn how to anticipate their opponent’s moves, block shots, tackle, and intercept effectively. These drills help players improve their ability to defend against an attacker in a game-like scenario. Positioning and timing are 2 additional defensive qualities that are enhanced as a result of 1v1 drills.

Players learn to position themselves to force play in specific directions or to protect certain spaces. They learn to delay attacks and make attempts to win back the ball at the right time. The defender learns to read the triggers so that the ball can be won back. A loose touch, a big touch, or an attacker that turns back where they came from helps to inform the defender that the time is right to take back the ball.

1v1 soccer skills

Psychological Benefits

Increases confidence: A great benefit of 1v1 soccer drills is that they help players to gain confidence on the field. When a player is able to successfully beat a defender in a 1v1 drill, it boosts their confidence and gives them the motivation to keep improving. The exposure and repetition of such drills ensure that players are confident to try out new skills or keep going against a tough opponent.

When players practice in drills that involve lots of touches of the ball they have no choice but to take control of the situation. The familiarity of 1v1 soccer drills from a variety of distances, angles, and positions ensures that the player is able to learn how to cope. The exposure to pressure does not seem as intense and the player becomes quietly confident that they can find a way to dominate the opponent they are up against.

Develops decision-making skills: 1v1 soccer drills require players to make quick decisions on the field. They need to decide whether to pass, dribble, or shoot the ball. These drills help players improve their decision-making skills and teach them how to make the right decisions under pressure.

Physical Benefits

Enhances fitness levels

1v1 soccer drills are also an excellent way to improve your fitness levels. These drills involve a lot of running, sprinting, and changes of direction. They help players improve their endurance, speed, and agility. The intense bursts of activity mean that they are an excellent way to mirror the demands of a game. An additional benefit is that these drills maximize contacts on the ball.

The attacking and defending elements of the 1v1 drill means that players get lots of opportunities to accelerate and decelerate. These are important skills for players to learn. The footwork involved in speeding up and slowing down develops strong, powerful muscles.

Recovery time improves as a result of 1v1 drills. The repeated nature of the drill means that players perform short intense periods of work. These are followed by short periods of recovery. Exposure to this interval-like training is a great way of improving fitness. It enhances the player’s ability to perform repetitive actions over and over.

Types of 1v1 Soccer Drills

Further benefits of 1v1 soccer drills include their adaptability. These drills can be performed from different angles and formats to mirror various moments of the game. For example, the 1v1 drills can be performed in a variety of formats.

  • Pressure from in front: The attacker is facing the defender when trying to beat them.
  • Pressure from the back: The defender is behind the attacker trying to win the ball
  • Sideways pressure: The defender is at the side of the defender
  • Directional: This means the 1v1 drill has a direction for each player
  • Multi-directional: This drill does not typically have a direction of play, players have the freedom to roam
  • Skill-based: The drill is set up with a focus on skills such as shooting, turning, crossing

Coaches should use different variations of 1v1 soccer drills. This allows the players to develop the skillsets required to deal with the demands of the game. These drills can be incorporated as arrival activities, as a part of the training session, or as stand-alone sessions.

Some common mistakes when performing 1v1 soccer drills

If you plan on using these drills then it might be useful to look out for some of the following common errors.

Missing the chance to use changes of speed. Ideally, an attacker should only have to beat the defender once. If the attacker has to keep beating the same player over and over it suggests they are not using a change of pace following the skill.

No end product. Players need to strive for an end product in their 1v1 moment. A shot, a cross, or a pass preceding the skill is vital. Too often players produce a 1v1 moment then mess up the next part or lose the ball.

A poor balance between attacking and defending. The defending quality needs just as much emphasis as the attacking. Are the defenders closing down quickly enough? Are they tough to beat? The coach should challenge the defenders to make it difficult as possible for the attackers.

Poor use of the first touch. The attacker’s first touch should be out of their feet towards the space they want to travel or at the sides of the defender. Players often take their touch into pressure or towards the defender. This makes it easier for them to steal the ball.

It is a joint effort between the player and the coach to fix these errors. The player needs to self-correct if they are experiencing a problem. The coach needs to check for errors and offer fixes.

HERE is another article on a different site that provides some useful insight about the benefits of 1v1 soccer drills.

1v1 Soccer Drills

Players can begin to achieve the benefits of 1v1 soccer drills using these practices. They will allow players to get the returns they need to become better in attacking and defending moments. Here are three different drills that may be of some use.

1v1 Drill with Back to Play

Drill Organisation: A rectangle pitch with 4 target goals is needed. Add an end zone in front of each pair of goals. Arrange the players in pairs, 1 attacker and 1 defender. Split the group into pairs of attackers and place them diagonally, at opposite ends of the pitch. Place a target player between the goals at each end of the pitch.

How it works: The first attacker dribbles around between the goals. A defender follows the attacker. The ball must be passed to the target player between the goals. The attacker must get turned and score in the goals behind them. The defender must regain and score in the goals that are in front of them.

Progression: To add a little more traffic two pairs of players could go at the same time. This might mean that the attackers need to adjust their movements and positioning if another pair of players is in the way.

1v1 Inner and Outer Goals

Set-Up: On a square pitch, line up 4 goals through the center of the pitch. The outer goals face into the practice and the inner goals face out of the practice. The attackers start on one side of the square and the defenders start on the opposite side of the square.

Run the drill: The defender dribbles the ball onto the pitch and passes to the attacker. The attacker tries to beat the defender and score in any of the inner goals. The defender must win the ball and score in any of the outer goals.

Progression: This drill could allow two pairs of players to go at the same time. This means four players would be on the pitch at the same time. More traffic means players have to manipulate the ball to avoid the other pair. The drill could also be played as a 2 v 2.

Around the Goals 1v1

Run the drill: On a rectangle pitch set up 4 mini goals. Place players on each corner of the pitch. One team (blacks) has a ball each and the other team (reds) acts as defenders. Players must run around the goal and then onto the pitch. There is an endzone in front of each pair of goals (dashed line).

Play: Four players run around the goals and then enter the pitch at the same time. 2 players have a ball (attackers) and 2 players (defend). This means that there are two 1v1’s happening at the same time. Each 1v1 must play until a finish. Either the attacker scores, the ball goes off the pitch, or the defender wins the ball and scores. The scorer must be beyond the dashed line to score.

As soon as a ball goes dead. The attacker and defender from the game that has just finished can help the other attacker/defender. This means that the game can become a 2v2 with the same rules and conditions.

Progression: A coach could serve in a second ball to the red defenders once the initial two 1v1s have ended. This means that the defenders would get the chance to attack in a 2v2 and there would be lots of gamelike transitions within the drill.

This website provides another 1v1 soccer drill. The drill can be found HERE


1v1 soccer drills are essential in developing a player’s skills. There are a number of benefits of 1v1 soccer drills. The 1v1 helps players to improve their attacking and defending skills. They also help players improve their decision-making, confidence, and fitness levels. By incorporating 1v1 soccer drills into your training routine, you’ll become a better player and improve your overall game.

1v1 drills should be performed from a variety of angles and distances. This will place different pressures on the players. It will create problems that the attackers and defenders have to solve. The various types of 1v1 drills will develop different skills that players have to master and overcome.

There are common mistakes that occur in 1v1 moments. Not using changes of speed to beat the defender or a lack of end product are two examples. As coaches, we should be observing our players and try to help them fix or overcome the problems that occur in 1v1 moments.


What are 1v1 soccer drills? 1v1 soccer drills are drills that involve two players on opposite sides of the field. The objective is for one player to get past the other and score a goal.

How do 1v1 soccer drills improve a player’s skills? 1v1 soccer drills help players improve their dribbling, attacking, and defensive skills. They also help players improve their decision-making abilities, speed, agility, and fitness levels.

How can players incorporate 1v1 soccer drills into their training routine? Players can incorporate 1v1 soccer drills into their training routine by practicing before or after team practice. They can also practice 1v1 drills on their own using cones or a wall.

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