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Small Sided Games

Small-sided games are games with a small number of players on each side, for example 3 v 3 or 5 v 5. The key point is that because there are fewer players, each player gets more touches of the ball, and there are many additional benefits.

Soccer Coach Weekly recommends the use of small-sided games as a key part of your coaching program, and as a subscriber you can access 128 specially designed games, in a format that you can easily print and take to training. Once the games are set up and running and the players understand the rules, there’s no coaching, and the players take responsibility.

Alternatively you can buy all the games in printed or ebook format here.

An example of a small-sided soccer game used to help players have more touches of the ball in a training session

An example of a small-sided game being used to teach strikers to shoot

The games in the section below will help your players to improve on individual and team skills. They are simple to set up, guarantee more player participation, with more passes attempted, and more goals scored.

Communicate on the pitch

in Email newsletters, Small Sided Games

One of the ways to improve your team in 2021 is to get them communicating on the pitch. Players do this by verbal and non verbal actions, like pointing where they want a ball to be passed or calling for the ball when overlapping from behind like a fullback running outside a winger. MORE

Save long shots

in Goalkeeping, Small Sided Games

This session is all about saving long shots and making sure any rebounds go safe. Long shots can cause problems if the goalkeeper drops the ball – lurking attacker only needs a sniff of the ball and it’ll be in the net. MORE

Scoring goals for fun

in Email newsletters, Small Sided Games

We've had a lot of fun games this season with all the stopping and starting of the leagues due to coronavirus. But when I ask the players what it is they want to do they nearly always ask for a shooting game. With only one match left before Christmas this is a great time to work on the vital areas of the game like shooting at goal. MORE

Find the space

in Small Sided Games, Tactics

This session shows you how to open up the pitch and exploit space behind the defence. Your players will learn how to drag defenders to one side and switch play across the pitch in order to pull defenders apart and create space in the middle. MORE

Develop players with Dutch 4v4

in Blog, Small Sided Games

‘The Dutch 4v4’ is a small-sided game blueprint that has been at the heart of producing a vast array of talented individuals. It is the Dutch way to pick out problems during the match, create similar training models, and use them to develop the players. MORE

Possession game - part 1

Possession Game

in Passing, Small Sided Games

Both teams must try to win and keep possession of the ball. A goal is awarded to the team that completes a certain number of passes (a minimum of 5 for younger players). The game is played for a set time period. MORE

Why small-sided games matter

in Blog, Small Sided Games

Small-sided games are a fantastic way of getting players to work together to score lots of goals with every single player having a big part to play in the game. Small-sided games are not ideal for coaching player positional roles but they do get players to face match relevant situations. MORE

Organised to attack

Hit wide areas

in Attacking, Small Sided Games

This session focuses on hitting wide areas with the use of group attacks and switching. It works on the basic play used to develop attacking moves to get from one third to the next to create goal scoring chances. MORE

Throw for broke

in Set pieces, Small Sided Games

A long throw when teams are in the attacking third of the pitch can be as effective as a corner kick or a free-kick. Use this session to identify a couple of players who can perfect the technique. Set up You need balls, bibs, cones and two goals. Set up an area 30 x 20... MORE

Attack-defend-attack

in Attacking, Small Sided Games

Use this session as a way of getting fast breaking teams to tear through a static defence and create lots of goalscoring chances. In this game players are working in groups to beat a defence in a transition type of situation which will happen often in matches. MORE

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