Session 5 - 11

1v1 and score

    Jo Williams, FA coach development officer, shares two ideas for arrival activities that will help young players improve their finishing skills. In part two, we focus on ‘1v1 and score’.

    Key objectives

    Players will develop their understanding of:

    • using different finishing techniques to score
    • how to deal with a 1v1 situation.

    1v1 and score

    A session graphic showing two players, one football and a goal created with two cones. The defending player passes the ball to their opponent to trigger a 1v1 scenario. The attacking player then has to beat the defender and score.

    Session plan

    Want to try this with your team? Download the session plan to your device and give it a go.


    Like with the first arrival activity, this is best in groups of two or three. The graphic above shows two players, but to increase the challenge, it could be altered to have one attacker against a defender and a goalkeeper.

    Either way, all players need are a couple of cones to make a goal, a football (or two) and a space to work in.

    How to play

    The aim of this activity is for players to practise their finishing techniques as well as their goalkeeping and dribbling skills.

    Players take it in turns to be either the attacker or goalkeeper/defender.

    The goalkeeper/defender plays the ball to their opponent, and then a 1v1 is created for the attacker to try and score a goal.

    As mentioned above, a third player could be added, and then players can rotate between all three positions.


    It’s important to think carefully about progressions. Learning doesn’t happen straight away, as players will be figuring everything out at first. Changing the game constantly can mean players miss the opportunity to learn. So, give them a chance to have a go at solving the problems they’re facing in this activity.

    But, after a while, if you feel your players have cracked it or that they’re struggling, you could progress the game to alter the difficulty of the challenge.

    Whenever you decide to progress the activity, think about using the STEP framework. And however you adapt the session, make sure you keep it fun, highly engaging and appropriate for your players.

    However, just like the first activity, this offers ownership as well. The players can change the game when they’re ready by deciding things like:

    • what size the goal should be
    • what type of pass should be played to the attacker
    • if there’s a time or touch limit for the attacker to adhere to.


    After you have looked at the graphic above, ask yourself the following questions:

    • How would you adapt or tweak the practice to make it appropriate to your own players?
    • What additional challenges could you set to make the practice easier or harder for individuals or your group?

    If you use this arrival activity with your team, let us know how you get on by posting in The FA Community forums.

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