Individual Attacking

By David Johnson –


This session will focus on the attacking player of a 1v1 dual.   The attacking player must be able to control the ball with all surfaces of the foot, understand when and how to shield the ball, and ultimately how to beat the defender.

Diagram 1

Set Up

Position cones in 3 lines with enough room between each cone for players to move around the cone. There has to be a matching number of cones to players. Have each player take a ball and stand next to a cone.


  • The build up of ball handling and skills begins with each player moving in a circle around the cone next to them.
  • Dribble around the cone with both feet
  • Dribble around the cone with the right foot only
  • Dribble around the cone with the left foot only
  • Roll the ball around with the sole of each foot
  • Use the laces to push the ball around the coneThe first Progression is to move the players into lines at the end of the line of cones as shown in Diagram 2.The players then progress moving either weaving or beside the cones to the other side by dribbling to each cone. At each cone the player preforms a move to evade the defender such as step over, scissors, or mathews. This is where player creativity can shine as the player moves at game speed through the cones.

Diagram 2

The final progression is to split the players evenly across the 2 channels created by the 3 rows of cones.   The players on the left side of the cones are defenders that start play by making a sharp pass to the feet of the attacker on the other side.  The attacker must control the ball and then take on the defender 1v1 in the channel.   The player that wins the ball and takes it to the opposite side of the channel from where they started wins the dual.  The player must have the ball under control in order to win the dual.  See diagrams 3, diagram 4, and diagram 5

Diagram 3

Diagram 4

Diagram 5


  • The attacker can only use their right or left foot to beat the defender
  • The attacker has to shield the ball for 5 seconds before they are allowed to try to beat the defender.
  • Defender serves a ball in the air by throw-in or lofted pass

Coaching Points

  • Ensure the players have good control and understanding of how to move the ball prior to working 1v1 at game speed
  • Ensure the players understand that possession or not letting the ball being taken easily is more important than moving to the other end of the channel
  • Allow players to be creative in how they take on and beat defenders

By David Johnson

David Johnson has been a high school coach for more than 20 years.

About the Author Tom Mura

Leave a Comment: