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What is a small sided game?

Small-sided games are games with a small number of players on each side, for example 3 v 3 or 5 v 5. The key point is that because there are fewer players, each player gets more touches of the ball, and there are many additional benefits.

Why use small sided games?

• More touches of the ball, helps develop skill.

• Positions not defined in the game.

• More chance for all players to stay involved.

• Increases the number of times a skill is performed. • Coach can identify problems more easily.

• Coach can give feedback more easily by reinforcing good practice.

• Decision making skills can be improved.

• Improves problem solving skills in the game.

• Fewer opponents, creates 1v1 opportunities.

• You can focus on one part of your play, in a game situation. (Condition your games).

• More chance to practice skills, at game speed.

Games and game-like practice, coupled with individual challenges and questioning techniques that encourage reflective processes and promote tactical understanding also help to develop decisive decision making and help players to recognise where their football skills apply in context."

 - John Allpress, FA National Player Development Coach (7-16) Ministry of Football believes strongly in small-sided games (SSGs) to teach skills and develop creative, confident players and children.

Far too often childen are rushed into playing the full adult version of the game, where there are less touches on the ball, less opportunities to be involved in the game, less chances to make decisions that lead to learning, and more pressure to clear the ball from 'dangerous' areas of the pitch.

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