This three-part practice develops players’ ability to receive the ball ready to shoot. By STEVE OAKES MORE
Staying in control – Small-Sided Game
WHY USE IT
This small-sided game allows players to test their first touch in a more game-realistic setting.
Play with two teams of four, plus four neutral players around the outside of the area. Set up four mini-goals, two at each end.
HOW TO PLAY
Two teams of four compete in the playing area, using the four neutral players as support when in possession.
Each team attacks two mini-goals and defends two mini-goals. Set a time limit or goals tally and this will increase the session tempo. Adjust area size to challenge players’ first touch. Coaches can also add conditions such as limiting the touches of outside players, awarding extra goals for a first time finish, or limiting the touches of players on the inside to challenge their first touch.
1. Set up with 4v4 +4 on a pitch with four mini-goals
2. The team in possession can use the neutral players as support, and aim to score in two mini-goals
3. The game can be progressed to only allow a first-time finish
Can players take a positive first touch in the direction they want to go? Does their body shape allow for this? Can players play with their heads up and consider their weight of pass to help their receiving team-mate take a good first touch?