7-a-side youth soccer teams are the breeding ground for box-to-box players. Because the pitches are much smaller than full-size ones, it is easier to coach players how to pass and how to break down an attack and turn it to their advantage. Use this soccer coaching game with players in coned-off boxes to help change defence into attack through quick, box-to-box play.
Run the small-sided soccer game
- Split your soccer squad into groups of four or more, depending on how many soccer (football) players you have.
- Put the squares next to the two goals, as in the diagram.
- Two of the players on each team must go into the corner squares next to the goal they are attacking.
- The players in the squares have to stay there, no one else is allowed in the boxes.
- When you play the game, the players in the box must touch the ball at least every three passes.
- Players in the squares cannot score goals, they are there to hold the ball and give attacking players options.
Soccer skills to look for in this game
- You want to see lots of passing skills and fast movement turning defence into attack quickly.
- Tell your soccer (football) players to look up constantly, so they can pass quickly and get the ball to the players in the squares who can set up goal attempts.
- The object is passing in this game and not running with the ball.
- Go for quick changes.
- If you have three teams and play winner-stays-on it works well. The winning team can rotate players after every goal so the players in the squares can change frequently.
Key soccer coaching points
- Tell your players to look for early balls into the players in the squares, then follow the pass into the opposition box.
- Tell your players this game is about quick change from defence to attack so they must make a run into the box.
Using soccer drills and small-sided games will add to the success of your soccer coaching sessions. If you want more ideas for coaching your players, subscribe to my coaching publication Soccer Coach Weekly. Click here to find out more.
Click here for tips and advice on how to coach passing technique.