Small Sided Games

SoccerSpecific

Greetings Coaches,

This week we offer suggestions for Small-Sided Games – we have had multiple requests from our members for ideas on this topic. These games can be used within a training session to develop certain technical, tactical, physical or psychological qualities in your players. The key to using Small-Sided Games is to vary the rules / restrictions to highlight the qualities you, as the coach, want to improve.

We will be providing several more examples of Small-Sided Games in our Pro´s Pick updates in the coming week!

Game of the Week

Set Up:

A 15×15 yard grid is created as shown below. Cones are placed to create “corners” in the grid – 1 player is positioned in each corner. A 4v4 is organised inside the grid.

Diagram (a)
Diagram (a)

Explanation:

Both teams compete for possession of the ball inside the grid (4v4) – Points are scored by passing successfully to ANY corner player and receiving the return pass. The corner players may choose to pass to a different central player in order to maintain possession. Rotate players to avoid fatigue.

Progressions:

(1) Point is scored when corner player passes to a DIFFERENT central player.
(2) After passing to a corner player the central player exchanges places with that corner player – the corner player now enters the grid to continue the activity.

Activity #2

Set Up:

Four teams of four players are organised into different colored vests as shown. Two groups are positioned on the perimeter of the playing area – the other two groups play 4v4 inside the playing area. Goalkeepers are used in full-size goals.

Diagram (b)
Diagram (b)

Explanation:

Both teams compete for possession of the ball and attempt to score in their opponents goal. Players may pass to any perimeter play in their ATTACKING half of the pitch – in the diagram above, the green team can link up with the red perimeter support players: the white team can pass to the yellow perimeter players. Perimeter players must be limited to 1 or 2-touch (depending on ability). Emphasis is placed on quickly attacking, using the advantage of the perimeter players to create goalscoring opportunities. In the diagram above, Player (A) has made a forward penetrating pass to perimeter Player (B): Plaer (B) has quickly passed to (C): (C) is now isloated in a 1v1 situation that can result in a shot on goal. Games last 3-4 minutes – then change players.

Coaching Points:

  • Play must be fast / high tempo – use the perimeter players if needed.
  • Take chances – take players on in 1v1 situations, shoot early.
  • Encourage “forward” passing – use the perimeter players to your advantage.