3 Steps to Winning Offensive 1v1
The 1v1 is where boys turn into men. It’s where one’s true mettle is revealed. There’s no one to blame if you lose. But if you win, you prove you are better than your challenger. You must win your 1v1 matchups.
I’m doing a series on 1v1s for different positions. This article is on winning an offensive 1v1. Later, I shall include articles on how to win 1v1s if you’re a d pole or short stick defenseman. That said, here are three crucial steps to winning 1v1s against defensemen.
Step One: Make Space, Choose Plan of Attack
To start a 1v1 situation, you must get the ball. Then, make some space from the defenseman covering you. For example, if at X, give yourself 5-7 yards of space from the defenseman. Giving yourself this amount of space is ideal. You want to build momentum as you charge the defenseman.
While making this space, you must decide on your plan of attack. Do you want to split dodge? Roll dodge? Bull dodge? Pick your poison.
What you shouldn’t do is keep deviating from your plan. Don’t have an inner argument with yourself on the chosen dodge. Once you decide, stick with the plan. Decisiveness is a key part of winning offensive 1v1s. It’s better to make the wrong choice than to never make one.
After giving yourself space and having decided on your dodge, you are ready for step two.
Commit and Charge!
I cannot stress this enough. Once you start your dodge, you must commit to it. There is no backing out. Even if the ship sinks, you are going down with it.
The worst thing a dodger can do is change his mind mid-dodge, hesitate, and get wrecked by the defenseman. A d pole’s favorite dodger is one who’s indecisive. They are easy to beat.
When dodging, run through your man. Don’t try to dance around him. A lot of young attackmen do this. Here’s the deal: You are not Saquon Barkley. You aren’t going to juke a good defenseman out of his shoes. He’s just going to backstep and hack down on your bottom hand. You need the mentality of a power running back. I’m not saying to bull dodge, but you must move forward, not sideways.
Watch these Todd Gurley highlights. You’ll notice he runs straight. He doesn’t dance around defenders. He consistently moves north/south. You must do the same by moving towards the goal!
Step Three: Draw Slide or Get Shot on Goal
So, you’ve ran straight at your man and committed to a dodge. Now what? Simple. You draw a slide or shoot on net. If you do one of these two, you have officially won the 1v1.
Some coaches say the goal of dodging is to draw slides. Some will say it’s to score goals. Either way, if you draw a slide, it’s the defense admitting you won. They have acknowledged you beat their defender and he needs reinforcements. If you draw the slide, pass the ball to the open man! If two men play you, it means one teammate is open. It’s simple math.
If no one slides, and you beat your man, shoot the ball! Even if you don’t score, getting a shot on net means you won the 1v1. Sometimes the goalie will get you. No matter how good your shot. Obviously, you want to score, but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t. If you've beat your man to shoot on net before, you can do it again.
Follow these three steps to win offensive 1v1 battles. If you are still struggling, it may be a physical, not technique, problem. If you are too slow, you need more speed work. If your feet are slow, get on the ladder and improve your footwork. If you drop the ball when you dodge, do more stick work.
Whatever your sticking point, I hope this article helps improve your 1v1 technique. As stated above, I will provide follow-up articles to help defensemen.
Did I miss anything? Do you agree with my steps? Am I wrong? Whatever your thoughts, let me know by connecting with me on Twitter or Instagram. You can also subscribe to my website and comment directly on this article. Regardless, I hope you enjoyed and don’t go easy on defensemen with your new offensive powers.