West Ham 1v1 high-intensity drill

by Pablo M15th Jul 2022

Drill created with TACTICS MANAGER

Even in amateur football, a team’s fitness level is crucial. However, fitness drills can be tedious. An exercise used by West Ham inspires this high-intensity drill that will increase your players’ fitness and speed while they have fun.


You don’t need a football pitch but enough space for the players and goals. In addition, you will need conesagility poles, two small goals, and a good number of balls. Use cones if you can’t get hold of goals or agility poles. Set the circuit as shown in the picture above.

This high-intensity football drill can be practised with as few as 2 players and a third player to pass the ball. However, practising it with 6 players and a helper is best. This last configuration provides intensity while giving enough time for each pair of players to pick up the balls, regroup and start the circuit again. So, this football drill is ideal for training sessions with low attendance.

If your entire squad attends training, you can have up to 4 groups (24 players) running this drill simultaneously on a full football pitch.


This is a high-intensity drill. Therefore, we recommend that you practice it after you have completed a good warm-up. The instructions for this exercise are:

  • Divide the players into two teams (red and blue in the picture).
  • 2 players at a time will compete for that ball, so match up the players in 1v1 pairs.
  • These players must wait with one foot in the cone to make a start.
  • Blue players defend the goal on their right and attack the goal on their left.
  • Red players defend the goal on their left and attack the goal on their right.
  • The coach, goalkeeper, or an injured player assists by passing the ball to the players when they run past the first set of agility poles.
  • The assistant will shout “GO” to start each matchup and throw the ball into the middle of the playing zone.
  • Players will compete for the ball.
  • Before reaching the ball, in their first matchup, the blue player will run to their first agility pole on their right, while the red player will do the same on their left.
  • The first player to reach the ball will have a chance to score but can only use a maximum of two touches.
  • The player coming late to the ball will attempt to defend their goal.
  • Sliding tackles are not allowed.
  • A second matchup starts when a goal is scored, or the ball is blocked.
  • In their second matchup, the blue player will run to their second agility pole on their right and then the main gate opposite to the assistant, while the blue player will do the same on their left.
  • As soon as one of the players crosses the main gate, the assistant will throw another ball on the field.
  • Once players complete two matchups with one player, they match up against a different player and start again.
  • The drill finishes when every possible matchup has been completed. In total, players should complete 4 rounds on the circuit.
  • The team scoring more goals wins.
  • The player scoring the most goals is the man of the day 😊

If the instructions above and the picture are not clear, watch the video below.


The focus of this drill is on fitness, speed and having fun. However, this high-intensity football drill will also develop the following skills:

  • Fitness. This game is physically demanding. Players cover an extensive area of the pitch while quickly stopping and starting.
  • Speed and reaction. Players must sprint through stations to get to the ball. Then, they should quickly react to shoot or block a shot.
  • Defensive skills in 1v1 situations. Not allowing sliding tackles forces defenders to be patient. Players practice to recover the ball, avoiding reckless defending.
  • Shooting accuracy. Because the game is played with small goals, it encourages a clinical finish.
  • First touch. Players must improve their first touch to control the ball and shoot quickly.
  • Ball control with both feet. Players playing with both feet are more likely to win this game.