Slow soccer

I have played Slow Soccer with children aged from eight to 15 but some players couldn’t do it, no matter how hard they tried, and some found it easy.

The one thing it did was make every player really think about what they were doing!

Objective: To play football thoughtfully, to plan ahead.

Age range: U8s and upwards.

Set-up: Play a 4v4 or 5v5 “match” on a small pitch. For U8s, 30×20 yards is a good size.

How to play: Tackling, shooting, scoring and passing as in normal football.

There is only one condition – running is not allowed.

When the ball goes out of play, the game can be restarted in a number of ways:

  • A normal throw-in.
  • A kick-in.
  • With a goal kick.

Note: Speed walking is allowed in Slow Soccer but if anyone breaks into a run, even for a second, a free kick is awarded to the other team.

Progression: After five or 10 minutes, lift the “no running” restriction and allow your players to play normally.

Why this works: Not being able to run to get back in defence or chase after a misplaced pass, makes young players see the importance of accuracy and anticipating what might happen next. And, believe it or not, it’s great fun!

For more soccer coaching tips and products visit Soccer Coaching Club.