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,