Side help game

I use this game regularly with my U12 girls team. It’s the best way I’ve found to improve their vision, passing and control. The only proviso is that the side players should be coaches if your players are under, say, 9 years of age. Rating: 5 stars

Side help

Minutes: 15-20 Players: 8-12 Ages: 6-50

Objectives:

Improve team passing and possession using outside support

Setup and Procedure: Football (soccer) field about 30 x 20, small goals, 3 vs 3 (up to 5 vs 5), and two “side-help” players. Normal football rules apply except the side-help players are neutral and roam up and down the side lines providing support to whichever team has the ball. The side-help cannot dribble and must pass back to the team which touched the ball last. Players on the field cannot take the ball away from a side help player. If the ball goes past the side-help player then it is a throw-in. This is a good and fun way to encourage passing and possession.

Tip: Really encourage the children to use their side-help. For younger teams it is better if the side-help are coaches and/or more skilful players. Encourage and-again’s using the side-help. Also, for younger teams (under 10) feel free to use a larger goal with goalies. Vary the field size taking into account age and number of players.