1v1 Corridor Warm Up

  • Author: Ian Knapp
  • Age Group: U7 to U17+
  • Time: 10-15 Minutes

This is a very simple warm up that allows everyone to practice their 1v1 skills repeatedly and get plenty of touches. You can change the size of the corridor each pair of players gets to work in to allow for age / ability or even mix the sizes up and rotate the players between them to give them plenty of variation.

  • Split players into pairs.
  • A series of "corridors" coned off, with one pair of players working in each corridor (10 players = 5 corridors).
  • Length / width of corridors to depend on ability / age of players and what you want to work on. For example, longer corridors will allow players to accelerate away once beating their opponent. Can vary sizes of corridors and rotate players betwee them for variation.
  • One ball for each pair.
  • Coach with several footballs to the side.

Basic Rules:

  • One player starts at each end of the corridor.
  • One is the attacker and starts with the ball. The other is the defender and starts without the ball.
  • The player with the ball has to try and dribble past their opponent, staying within their corridor and reach the other end, with the ball still under control as they cross the end of the corridor.
  • If the defender wins the ball, they can attack and try to "score" by crossing their opponent's end zone
  • After every turn, switch roles so each player keeps getting a turn being the attacker / defender.
  • Score 1 point for every time a player reaches the end and 1/2 point if they win the ball when it's not their turn and reach the end.
  • If the ball goes out of the sides of the corridor, the turn is over.
  • Play for a set time and then switch pairs so players get a chance to practise against plenty of different opponents.

5 Key Coaching Points:
  • Attackers - try to use changes of pace and direction to go past your opponent.
  • Attackers - try and use a shift in body weight or a trick to get your opponent off balance. Be positive!
  • Attackers - keep the ball under control and close to you, before choosing the right time to knock it past your opponent and accelerating away into the space behind.
  • Defenders - don't dive in! Wait until the attacker takes a poor touch or gives you an opportunity to win the ball and then go for the tackle.
  • Defenders - use your body shape to show your opponent towards the side of the corridor where they have nowhere to go.

Coaching Points (FA's 4 Corners):
  • Changes of speed and direction, as well as shifts in body weight to unbalance your opponent
  • Try a trick or skill to get past your opponent.
  • Keep the ball under close control, but when the time is right, knock it past your opponent and then accelerate away into the space behind.
  • Defenders - don't dive in.
  • Defenders - body shape (side on, not "square") to show the attacker where you want them to go and give you the best chance of recovery if they do go past you.
  • Confidence to try things
  • Encourage players to be positive and creative.
  • Adapt to different opponents and their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Decision making - when to try a trick, when to keep things simple, when to try and beat your opponent, when to make a tackle etc.
  • Competitiveness - how do different players respond to making the game competitive / scoring etc. Keep an eye out for anyone who's struggling and potentially adapt if they're getting demoralised.
  • Strength to shield the ball or to not let your opponent past
  • Speed to beat your opponent and accelerate away from them
  • Agility, balance and coordination when manipulating the ball
  • Have fun!
  • Encouragement for others