EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Shrinking goal

This is a great game since it provides a natural handicap that makes even the most unequal of teams (in terms of player skill) equal. So let your players choose their own teams, if necessary, and enjoy the game’s effect!

Why use it

A big part of the game is the pursuit of accuracy when shooting, so this puts the emphasis on players stroking the ball towards goal, not necessarily shooting with power. They should quickly realise this is the key technique to employ.

Set up

You need balls, bibs, cones and goals. Play 5v5 on a pitch measuring up to 40×30 yards (you can adjust it depending on the ages of your players). There are no keepers.

How to do it

Goals are marked using poles or cones – one centrally at each end. • Play as you would do a normal game, but when a team scores, the goal it is shooting at shrinks by moving the poles or cones closer together by half a yard. • If a team shoots and misses, the goal width of the shooter’s own goal is increased by half a yard to make it easier for the opposition.

Technique

Shooting accuracy and combination build up play

Make scoring easier

    1. When attacking a big goal, players can shoot from long range, but the requirements change with a small target, to the extent that a team might find itself trying to ‘walk the ball’ into the goal!
    2. Players must be accurate with their shots or the goal will shrink
    3. The emphasis is on team play and communication – team mates will not be happy if you shoot and miss
    4. Make sure all players are trying to score – you can nominate a goal scorer if some players are not attempting to shoot
    5. Play for 10 minutes and keep players informed of the time – as it runs out the need to score becomes urgent
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