Coaches Corner: Increase Ball Time with Small-Sided Games

Small-sided soccer games are widely regarded since the 1960s as a practicing style that helps the development of young players. A small-sided game is essentially a soccer game played with fewer players and less space; for example, the game could have 12 players in a six versus six matchup or run specific drills. This kind of game is good for soccer players of any skill or age, but it is an important developing opportunity for young players. The soccer experts at QueensCast understand the benefits and execution of small-sided games, and we are sharing our knowledge to help young players get the training they need to be kicking it with Orlando Pride. After you’ve shortened up the field and set up the goal, check out a few small-sided drill options.

Beyond expanded drill options, small-sided games provide a variety of undeniable benefits to players.

More Ball Time

The point of a small-sided game is for players to get more time and attention. When there are fewer players on a smaller field, each player gets more time with the ball, so the player can get more practice in by passing, receiving, dribbling, and scoring. This extra time with the ball is unavoidable when there are substantially fewer players on the field, and it gives all of the players much-needed training with the ball. If a player is training on their own, they can use a product like the SKLZ Star-Kick for increased ball time.

Extra Coaching

Fewer players also means that they get more individual attention from the coach. When working with a smaller group, the coach can focus on each player with ease and give them valuable pointers. These one-on-one interactions also help young players feel deserving and essential which boosts their overall confidence on the field.

Lots of Opportunities

The gameplay of a small-sided soccer game is naturally different than a full-sized game, and, for young players, this different style gives them more opportunities to practice different scenarios. With fewer players, each one has more opportunities to score and try out offense and defense. Also, with a smaller scale, game players are able to practice making decisions on the field more frequently (though less complexly). For an extra challenge and for increased precision, play with a smaller ball like this Nike Menor Futsal Ball.

By increasing ball time with small-sided games, players are given the chance to develop multiple skills, and studies show that this has a big and positive impact on young players, so go try out a small-sided game and see for yourself. For more soccer training advice, follow QueensCast, the biggest fans of Orlando Pride!