Soccer 1v1 Defending

1v1 defending happens hundreds of time during a game so you can imagine how significant it is to your teams' success. To be successful in 1v1 situations you need to excel at the basics.

Soccer 1v1 Defending

- To set up 1v1 defending, create grids 7 x 20 yards for every 2 players you have.
- One ball per grid.

- To gain a point, the attacker must dribble and stop ball on opposite endline, defender must either win the ball or force attacker out of bounds.
- Player A passes to player B, player B then attacks and player A defends using the jockey position.
- Example: Player A passes to player B, makes a banana run to close B down, jockeying into closer position. Defender uses front foot to poke the ball away from attacker and out of bounds winning the ball.

- When 1v1 defending, players should not have shoulders/body square to the attacker, rather should be at approximately a 45 degree angle, knees bent so well balanced.
- This position also allows the defender to easily turn if ball is played past, and also allows defender to dictate which way to try to push the attacker, preferrably towards the nearest sideline both in this case and a real game.
- Defender should NOT just run directly at the attacker, that allows attacker to attack in either direction.
- Defender SHOULD run as the dotted line, in a banana shape, sprinting until within 5 yards and then taking the jockey position (as explained in main page) to work closer. The banana run will naturally force the attacker in one direction giving the advantage to the defender. They will unlikely try to attack into the defender, meaning in the picture above the attacker will attack to the right most often.
- Defender should only use their front foot to try to win the ball. Using the back foot will take longer, cause player to be off balance, and be square to the ball.
- Using the front foot is quicker being closer to the ball, and maintains good balance which is imperative to be successful in defensive soccer situations.
- Remember, stop, coach, demonstrate, and allow your players to show they understand the desired successes!

- Widen grid to increase difficulty.
- Add a 2nd defender element. To do so, have the 2nd defender start 5-7 yards behind the attacker. The 2nd defender cannot move until the attacker has taken 2 touches of the ball. The 1st defender must jockey the attacker allowing enough time for the 2nd defender to get behind the 1st defender as a secondary support. The 2nd defender should not just sprint to the attacker to win the ball, the key focus would be slowing an attack down to allow players to get in behind.

Total time estimated:
- 15-20 minutes for soccer 1v1 defending drill.

Good luck!

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