Skip to main content
One player runs with the ball while another, close behind her on the left, puts her under pressure as she looks to make a tackle.

Challenging session: 1v1 recovery

Amanda Greenslade, FA regional PE officer, shares a session that emphasises challenging to create goalscoring opportunities.

This session will help players:

  • win the ball back
  • create goalscoring opportunities
  • make effective recovery runs.

If you like this idea, download the session plan and give it a go. And don't forget to share your experience on the England Football Community. We'd love to know how you got on.

Session setup

Set up an area with mini-goals at both ends of the pitch and a marked-out half-way line. Split your players into two teams. They should be lined up at either end of the pitch. Our example uses ten players and a pitch of 10x20 yards.

Tactics board

Looking for a bit more detail? Check out Amanda’s tactics board video for this session.

Coaching tips

Have your defending players think about triggers for when to challenge. Get your players to consider the following:

  • Does the player have their head down?
  • Do they have a big first touch?
  • Which foot do they prefer to shoot with?
  • Where are the opposition's supporting players?
  • Where are the other defending players?
  • Can you show them away from goal?
  • Do you know your opponent, are you quicker or stronger than them?
  • Do you need to be patient to delay the attack to wait for the right opportunity?

Remember, learning takes time. So don’t alter things too quickly or too much. Using the STEP framework (Youth Sports Trust, 2002) can help keep things fun, engaging and appropriate.