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.

Final Third tactics

Handball midfield

in Attacking, Small Sided Games

This session encourages players to be aware at all times of where they are on the pitch and concentrate on getting the ball through to the shaded areas where they can shoot at goal . MORE

Keep the ball or score

Possession or score

in Attacking, Small Sided Games

This session encourages strikers to have rapid shots at goal and to link up in the middle of the park with one-twos and one-touch passing. Defenders can switch play when in possession and spread out to keep the ball from attackers. MORE

Defend open goals

Don’t let them score!

in Defending, Small Sided Games

A very good session for getting players to cover the back because one team has no goalkeeper. The opposition can look for different ways to score especially shooting early or chipping the defence. Great for match play. MORE

Keep possession overload

Possession and movement

in Attacking, Small Sided Games

This session is all about possession and movement from a team, moving the ball from back to front with purpose and controlled possession. It’s not just about having the ball it’s what you do with it MORE

Battle for possession

Angles of attack

in Attacking, Small Sided Games

This session tests a number of developmental characteristics in players, from the technical – multiple and varied touches and passes of the ball, position-specific work and handling pressure – to tactical linking with players in similar positions and game understanding linked to rules and conditions MORE

Principles of attack

Success in transitions

in Attacking, Small Sided Games

This session ensures players remain physically and mentally alert at all times, always aware of the concept of using available space in order to make maximum use of the ball. It’s a fast session that rehearses overloads, shooting, passing and movement in the same manner that your players will encounter in a match MORE

Rondo squares

Rondo Squares

in Passing, Small Sided Games

Based on the Barcelona possession game Rondo, this game will help your players to keep the ball off the opposition giving themselves more chance of scoring goals. MORE

Transition Success

Transition success

in Attacking, Small Sided Games

In the professional game there are around 200 turnovers of the ball in every match – so players need to practice how to deal with them. Reacting to turnover balls is vital at youth level because often teams are switched off to the positives and negatives MORE

Striker 1v1s

Strikers winning 1v1s

in Attacking, Small Sided Games

A clever striker can find space with ease when he goes 1v1 with the opposition defenders – get past the defender and your free to attack the goal. Try this session to get your players scoring more goals. MORE

Gates game - part 1

Gates Game

in Passing, Small Sided Games

Set up Pitch size: 30 x 30 yards Two teams of four players Five gates made from cones No goals Rules There are a number of ways this game can be played and scored: The player in possession must dribble through a gate to score. The player in possession must make a pass through the... MORE

Possession vs pressure - part 1

Possession v Pressure

in Passing, Small Sided Games

Set up Pitch size: 30 x 20 yards (minimum) up to 40 x 25 yards (maximum) Two teams of four players Four keepers No offside If the ball leaves play, you have a few re-start options: The coach passes a new ball onto the pitch The players take a roll in The players take a... MORE


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