Pressing 1v1

The Pressing 1v1 drill is a simple one versus one drill that keeps players on their toes and places an emphasis on the defensive player to close down the attacker’s space as quickly as possible. It is an ideal drill for a team that likes to use pressing tactics because it trains defenders to run towards their opponent as they try to establish possession.

Set Up

To prepare for this exercise, simply build a square or rectangular playing field with cones and set up a mini goal on one side. Another variation of this drill could be played with a large goal and goal keeper rather than a mini goal.

Separate players evenly into two lines, starting at the corners of the side with the goal. To avoid long lines it may be best to create multiple grids when using this exercise with a larger number of players.

How It Works

When the first player in each line is ready, the coach plays a ball out onto the field towards one side. Since the focus of this drill is on defensive pressing, it’s best to play the ball towards one side so that the player on that side can gain possession more easily. However, another variation of this drill could be performed by playing the ball into the middle and having the two players battle to win a 50/50 ball.

The player on the side opposite to which the ball was played sprints into position to defend while the attacker attempts to score a goal. In the event that the defender wins the ball, they can earn a point by dribbling across the touchline opposite the goal. With that being said, another variation could be played where both players attempt to score on the same goal.

Coaching Points

In a one versus one situation, the attacker can gain an advantage if they are able to dribble directly at the defender. For this reason, the offensive player can gain the upper hand if they are able to get to the ball quickly and turn towards goal. The defensive player should try to prevent the attacker from turning and playing forward which is why immidiate pressure is so important.

If the attacker is able to turn towards goal, the defensive player should display proper defending technique, maintain a distance that’s not too far or too close, and force the attacker one way. In this situation it can be advantageous for the defender to force the attacker towards the side of their weaker foot.

Related drills

 

Two Teams Against One

Two teams against one is an easy keep away competition where three teams take turns playing defence in the middle.

3 Team Possession Drill

The three team possession drill is a fun and competitive rondo variation played with three teams.

Keep Away To Wide Players

Keep away to wide players is a fun keep away style game where once a team completes a given number of passes they can play it out wide and attack.

Rondo Pressure Drill

The rondo pressure drill is a fun keep away variation with two teams competing against each other.

1v1 Defender Trailing

1v1 defender trailing is a 1v1 variation that encourages offensive players to attack quickly and stay calm under pressure while being chased by a defender.

1v1 Back To Goal Race

1v1 back to goal race is as fun 1v1 exercise where the first player to run around the cone in front of them gets the ball to attack on goal.

Spaced Out Rondo

Spaced out rondo is a keep away variation to help players work on staying spread out, offensive shape, and finding good passing angles. Set Up Create a grid divided into six zones as pictured in the diagram. This drill is played as a 6v3 rondo 'keep away' exercise...

Swarm The Ball Carrier

Swarm the ball carrier is an excellent drill for players to work on aggressively pressing the opposition in numbers and trying to win the ball back quickly.

Numbered Passing

The numbered passing drill is a simple passing exercise that can be used as a warm-up or to help players work on passing and moving.

Jürgen Klopp Pressing Warm-Up

The Jürgen Klopp pressing warm-up is an excellent passing style warm-up that places an emphasis on defensive pressure and closing down the space quickly.

Sign up to get the latest exercises and coaching content!

Don't miss out on professional quality drills and analysis delivered straight to your inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!