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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.

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

Control the goal

in Small Sided Games

Teams must be in control of the match by scoring first – then they have to build on that to win the game. This is all about taking control of the game by scoring a goal and then changing direction. MORE

Penalty area success

in Attacking, Small Sided Games

Possession of the ball on the edge of the penalty area should result in creating goal scoring chances. If not the reason could be they’re making the wrong decisions. It gets your players to make correct decisions on the edge of the penalty area MORE

4v4 with 4 goals

in Attacking, Small Sided Games

Obviously kids thoroughly enjoy scrimmaging and coaches can use games to teach players without them realizing they are learning. Not only does this game help players stay connected but also starts introducing finishing and expands players range of passing. MORE

Score in every direction

in Passing, Small Sided Games

This training session is all about the ability to control the ball by passing in tight areas, taking advantage of moments of transition, and being coordinated to change the direction and angle of attack. MORE

Winning gateways

in Attacking, Small Sided Games

The session splits the work into two parts: getting the ball wide and attacking in the final third. There are lots of individual responsibilities here, with the pitch in three parts and a job to be done in each zone. MORE

Quick thinking

in Attacking, Small Sided Games

When you have a fast player quick thinking is vital to giving him the ball in areas he can exploit. In this game a wide ball can be create opportunities in midfield or to get him up the pitch to go 1v1 with the keeper. MORE

Fast pass game

in Passing, Small Sided Games

Ball control in tight areas is vital to building a successful team that can play through the thirds. The overloads in this session help players to develop their ability to pass and receive MORE

Hotshot

in Shooting, Small Sided Games

Use this lively attacking session to get your strikers working well with team-mates to set-up solid goalscoring chances for your team. This helps encourage players to shoot without fear of missing. It is a fast, attacking session, using off-pitch creators to help tee up scoring chances. MORE

Destroy defences

in Attacking, Small Sided Games

This session pulls defences apart with two strikers playing different roles, one higher up the pitch than the other. It gives space for clever midfielders to put attackers clear in the penalty area with space to shoot at goal. MORE

Three amigos

in Attacking, Small Sided Games

This session is all about making full use of the width of the pitch when attacking the final third using wingers or wing backs to rip the opposition apart the way Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan attack their opponents. Why use it Spreading play wide when attacking means it is much harder for the defending team... MORE


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