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two young players, one kicks the ball, the other defends

Finishing session: 1v1 and score

Jo Williams, FA coach development officer, shares the second of two arrival activities to help young players improve their finishing skills.

 This activity helps players to: 

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

1v1 and score

1v1 and score


Split your team into groups of two or three. The graphic above shows two players – an attacker and a defender. However, to increase the challenge, you can also add a keeper. 

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


The aim is for players to practise their finishing techniques, plus their goalkeeping and dribbling skills. They do this by taking turns in each position. 

The defender (or keeper) plays the ball to their opponent. The attacker must then try to score a goal.


If your team master the game – or find it too hard – try adding a progression. This activity is an excellent opportunity to put your players in the driving seat. For example, they can decide:   

  • 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.  

But remember, learning takes time. So don't alter your activity too quickly or too much. To help, try using the STEP framework (Youth Sports Trust, 2002). This is a great way to keep things fun, engaging and appropriate.    


If you use this session with your team, let us know how you get on by posting in the England Football Community.