An Introduction to Small-Sided Games

An Introduction to Small Sided Games

Click on the cover to download your copy

In this new free coaching ebook you’ll get an introduction to coaching using small-sided games and why they are now considered to be the most important element of youth and adult coaching sessions.

Small-sided games are popular for many reasons, some specifically relating to player development, others down to practicality. How many of us are able to run a full 11v11 game in training with limitations on space and player availability?

I put together An Introduction to Small-Sided Games to show you how the small-sided game in its simplest form can be developed to coach specific skills and tactics.

The games are taken from Michael Beale’s coaching manual 64 Small-Sided Soccer Games. To highlight the breadth of what can be achieved with games I’ve selected one game from the beginner, intermediate, and advanced sections of the manual.


Using small-sided games in training gives a number of coaching benefits:

  1. More player participation
  2. More touches of the ball
  3. More passes attempted
  4. More 1v1s attempted
  5. More goals scored
  6. More goalkeeper participation
  7. Different games mean different problems to solve and skills to use

But fear not! Those ratings are only relative. The basis of small-sided games is that “the game is the teacher” so even if you – or your assistants – have little or no soccer knowledge, your players will still be learning. And you’ll look like the professional soccer coach you dream of being!

The 6 small-sided games in An Introduction to Small-Sided Games are:

Wide Pitch

The size and dimensions of the pitch in small-sided games helps to bring out the coaching point.

With a wide pitch, players are encouraged to cross the ball in from the wide areas because there will be a lot of space out on the wings.

Possession v Pressure

Key to any winning team is the ability to keep the ball and if they lose it win the ball back by pressing their opponents into making a mistake.

Possession – Add One

Speed of play is key to a successful possession team. The quicker you pass the ball in this game the more likely you are to have the most passes by the end. Every 30 seconds it gets harder to pass as more defenders come to press.

Overload Game (Continuous)

Overloads make the training session realistic – in a match being able to take advantage of overloads in defending and attacking situations all over the pitch gives you the edge over your opponents.

Middle or Wide Advantage

This teaches players game recognition by creating a situation where one team can prevent the success of the opposition by cutting off their route to the wide players outside the pitch.

Tactics are different for both sets of players but the advantage lies with the team with a 4v2 on the pitch.

Two Goal and End-Zone

At any time you can change the way the team attacks so all players have to be aware of their position on the pitch so they can attack quickly and also be aware of where the danger lies when they are defending.

Download this small-sided games ebook for free

To get these six small-sided soccer games for free all you have to do is click on this link. Your ebook will either open straight away or offer you the chance to save it directly to your computer.

There’s no risk and no commitment.

All I ask is that if you like this ebook and find it valuable, you share it with your friends and coaching colleagues by liking or tweeting this page.

If you’d like to share An Introduction to Small-Sided Games with visitors to your club’s website, please link to this page and not directly to the ebook itself.

Download An Introduction to Small-Sided Games.

An Introduction to Small Sided Games

Click on the cover image to download your copy.

Looking for something else? Check out our range of free coaching ebooks for the best solution to your specific coaching problem.

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