INSPIRED, CONFIDENT & EFFECTIVE COACHING

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.

Different types of defending

Defending in twos

in Defending, Small Sided Games

The four games in this activity provide players with opportunities to learn individual technique as well as visual cues that can help them decide when and where to provide cover. MORE

Explosive squares

in Shooting, Small Sided Games

This game encourages supporting and movement off the ball as well as making sure players learn how to deal with the basics of passing and receiving. After making a pass you will often see players standing still and admiring their work, you will also see players struggling to create good supporting angles for the player with the ball. MORE

Create goals

Create in possession

in Attacking, Small Sided Games

This session improves attacking players in key skill areas – namely in pre-movement (dynamic and elusive), penetration (with and without the ball), link-up play, plus the ability to focus on positive outcome MORE

defending delaying

Delay

in Defending, Small Sided Games

By pitting individual defenders against two attackers, this session teaches a lone defender to be patient and delay play until he either wins the ball or his team-mate recovers to assist. MORE

Fast attacking

End to end attack

in Attacking, Small Sided Games

In this session strikers are being coached at both ends of the pitch – a striker must press the central defenders at one end, while at the other the strikers must get on the end of good passes to score a goal. It helps to develop teams to play through the thirds with an end product. MORE

Midfield attack

Midfield brains

in Midfield, Small Sided Games

This game develops quick thinking midfielders like Denmark and Spurs star Christian Eriksen. Players like this can set up attacks by reacting quickly to moments of transition in a game, principally moving from defence to attack. MORE

Passing for possession

Passing in threes

in Passing, Small Sided Games

In this game there will be lots of touches of the ball and technique to get passes between players. Movement is also key to what happens in the session. Set up You need a ball and a 16×16-yard area. We’ve used nine players in the session. You will also need bibs and cones. How to... MORE

Play 2v1

Four square

in Attacking, Small Sided Games

If you want your players to outfox the opposition defence by creating goals, this game will provide plenty of opportunities to make clever passes and set up play around the goal area MORE

Creating goal scoring chances

Quick thinkers

in Attacking, Small Sided Games

Youth players will often make a pass into the final third but do not support the pass by running into the penalty area. This session encourages movement to get into dangerous attacking positions. MORE


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