EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

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.

Head the ball game

Header react

in Heading, Small Sided Games

This is not only really good heading practice but at the coach’s call it turns into a small-sided game with lots of coaching points: heading technique, concentration, focus and quick passing. Check local rules for heading age groups MORE

High pressing game

High press

in Small Sided Games, Tactics

This game is all about pressing high. It will help both individual roles and team movement when pressing opponents in their own half of the pitch, starting from their defensive third. MORE

Academy players

6 great games for pre-season training

in Pre-season, Small Sided Games

Turning up for friendly games, or for the first match of the season, needs planning. Do your players know where to play or what tactics you will use? Do they know if it’s 7v7 or 9v9? You need to get your players into the swing of match play again so playing appropriate games and activities... MORE

Possession fun game

Keep ball, switch play

in Attacking, Small Sided Games

This session is a good example of a fun activity that works on a number of levels. You can use it for possession and switching play practice, while it also works the defenders who must move quickly between zones when the ball is passed. MORE

Get all players scoring

Goals win games

in Shooting, Small Sided Games

This is a game to get all of your players scoring goals, so that your team is not relying on just one or two players. If you score goals from every position on the pitch your success will be guaranteed. MORE

Turn and play forward

Forward March

in Small Sided Games, Tactics

This drill helps players move to create passing angles to receive the ball. Players in possession try to make good decisions on whether to pass forward to the target player or keep possession by passing backwards/sideways to build the play again. MORE

Passing and support play

Vital turnover ball

in Passing, Small Sided Games

Turnover of play is one of the most common occurrences in a football match, and equipping our players to know how to maximise space and possession in these situations means we can make best use of the ball. MORE

Intercept the ball

Steal the ball

in Defending, Small Sided Games

It’s all about positioning in this lively intercepting game aimed at teaching your players how to nick the ball back from the other team while it’s still in midfield MORE

Great game for accuracy

5V5 Fetch the ball

in Shooting, Small Sided Games

One team knocks balls off cones and one team scores by passing to the keeper from one end to the other. But the key to this game is that when a ball is knocked off the opposition have to get it back. MORE

Organised to attack

Organised attacking play

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


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