Small sided games

How to use small sided games (SSGs)

4v4 can be misused as a tool. It is not just a matter of putting eight children on a small field and making some random comments. Even with a properly constructed game learning can be left to chance. The following are some ideas, which help to insure that proper learning takes place. In the end […]

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Charge!

This game is a small-sided game (SSG) that improves teamwork, speed of transition and concentration. Age group: U5s and upwards. Number of players: 12 (but can be easily adjusted for different numbers). Difficulty: Easy. Set-up: Use a 30×20-yard playing area with a goal at each end. Divide your players into four teams of three. How […]

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Through the tunnel

This game was sent in by Chris Hulme of Whetstone Juniors FC Objective: To improve passing, tackling and communication skills. Age range: U7s to U10s. Number of players: Eight. Set-up: Create a 10×4 yard “tunnel” as shown below. Divide your eight players into a team of six attackers (the Xs) and a team of two defenders (the Ds). How […]

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Targets

This is a small-sided game that will improve your players’ communication and attacking skills as well as their passing and receiving technique. Age group: U8s to U14s. Number of players: Ten. Equipment required: Training vests, cones, two goals and a ball. Set-up: The goals are set up at each end of a 30×20 yards playing […]

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4v4, no keepers

Objective: improve players’ decision-making skills, passing, receiving and dribbling. Set up Use a grid marked out with flat cones with a small goal in each corner. The size of the playing area depends on the age and ability of your players. Can vary from 30 yd x 20 yd up to 40 yd x 25 […]

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Score 4 to win

This game is an excellent example of the type of conditioned SSG that develops your players’ creativity and improves their ability to solve problems on match days. Age group: U8s to U14s. Set Up: Create a 30×20 yards area with four goals as shown below. Divide your players into two teams of four plus four […]

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Find the target player

This very simple small-sided game is one of my players’ favourites. It works on keeping your players’ heads up, good off-the-ball movement and quick decision making. It is suitable for all ages and abilities. Set-up: set up a playing area 30 yards long by 20 yards wide for every eight players in your squad. Divide […]

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You’re outa here!

This is a small sided football coaching game that can be varied from 1v1 to 4v1. It is fast paced and requires good dribbling, passing, shooting skills and teamwork. Cone off a small rectangular area just a little smaller than the penalty box. Divide the players evenly into 2 teams of about 4 to 6 […]

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