Small sided game to stop opponents getting the ball

Small-sided soccer games are a great way to get your young soccer players developing their core soccer skills. This is a good one to use when you’re coaching players how to stop their opponents from stealing the ball.

This small-sided soccer game is a 4v4 possession game with passers and defenders.

Set up the soccer (football) game

  • Use a 15m x 15m square marked out by cones. Mark out a larger square around it.
  • Two teams of four players.
  • No goals

Play the game

  • One soccer team acts as the passing team.
  • One team is the defending team.
  • The passing team spread out in the 15m x 15m area.
  • The defending team starts with just one player in the area to make it 4v1. The other three wait in the larger square outside the marked area.
  • After 30 seconds an extra defender is added to make the game 4v2, then another for 4v3 and then 4v4.
  • The game is played for two minutes.
  • The passing team counts the number of passes made, then the soccer teams rotate and the new passing team tries to beat the number of passes made by their opponents.


Click here to order a copy of 64 Small-Sided Soccer Games from Michael Beale, Chelsea FC academy coach.

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