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.

Passers v shooters - part 1

Passers v shooters

in Passing, Shooting, Small Sided Games

Each team in this game has a different objective to complete in order to be successful. One team works as the passers and tries to keep possession of the ball. The other team needs to pressure the opposition and win the ball in order to shoot for goal. MORE

Rugby football - part 1

Rugby football

in Defending, Small Sided Games

This fun game uses elements of rugby in order to teach group defending. Encourage the nearest player to pressure the ball and then once the ball has been passed to get back in line. MORE

Coconut shy - part 1

Coconut shy

in Defending, Small Sided Games

This game improves reactions and the reading of your opponent in order to intercept the pass. The defender must be light on their toes if they are to intercept the pass and help their team to win the game. MORE

The shield - part 1

The shield

in Defending, Small Sided Games

The players with a ball must shield and defend for their life whilst the defender without a ball competes hard to win possession. The different sizes and strengths of your players ensure each physical battle is different and a good learning opportunity for your players. MORE

King of the ring - part 1

King of the ring

in Defending, Small Sided Games

This practice forces the players to be very clever in their movements as they have to protect their own ball at the same time as trying to remove their opponent’s ball from the game. MORE

Half field possession - part 1

Half field possession

in Defending, Small Sided Games

When your defenders are up against two, three, or even four strikers they need to remain cool under pressure to pass the ball out of defence. This half field game develops team possession, composure, movement off the ball and passing skills. MORE

The random game - part 1

The random game

in Small Sided Games

Improve team work as the players quickly organise themselves to the new game and implement the tactics required to score a goal in this random game. It includes half field possession, end zone, four goal game and a normal two goal game inside one pitch. MORE

Ultimate 4v4 games

Ultimate 4v4 games

in Small Sided Games

One initial pitch set up allows you to play four different small-sided games in this Ultimate 4v4 game. More games, more goals, more fun – less hassle. MORE

Prison Break feature

Prison break

in Ball Control and Footwork, Small Sided Games

The aim of this fun game is for the prisoners to gain possession of the ball from the prison guards and organise a prison break with the help of their accomplices. Why use it Keeping hold of the ball and counterattacking are vital to this session. It’s good for fitness and to maintain concentration, with... MORE

Catch it! feature

Catch it!

in Shooting, Small Sided Games

In this exercise players must use a chipping technique to get the ball into the hands of one of their team-mates in the target box. Why use it The chip is either used to find players in space when the opposition blocks a pass or to chip the goalkeeper. This session helps players to chip... MORE

Dutch Shooting Game

in Shooting, Small Sided Games

Score more goals with this game that targets the final pass into a striker with quick movement and support play. The focus is on the shot but the movement and control of the ball is key to the success of the session. By Dave Clarke Why use it Building play up to getting a shot... MORE

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