Small Sided Games are Great Practice


I tweeted this two days ago

“playing lots of games without practicing is like taking lots of tests without studying.”

This led to a Facebook discussion about practice quality. As adults we think that practice must be boring and repetitive and at times it must, but for kids, small sided games ( think 3 on 3) may be the best practice ever. Check out these stats.

Dr Rick Fernoglio, a lecturer in Exercise Science at Manchester Metropolitan University, compared the experience of young soccer players during eight-a-side games and SSGs (4v4).

He found that the players in 4v4:

  • Made 135% more passes.
  • Took 260% more shots.
  • Scored 500% more goals.
  • Experienced 225% more 1v1s.
  • Did 280% more tricks, turns, and moves.

(published in Success in Soccer, March 2004)

Remember these numbers the next time you’re tempted to allow a “mass scrimmage” at the end of one of your coaching sessions.

Here’s more support for small games. Many of you reading need to think hockey when you watch. I can’t believe we are still debating cross ice Buzzer hockey. It was the best thing my son has ever done. Parents should have no input. They have no idea what they are talking about when they want 7-8 year olds playing fullice.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPJltFaZYEc&feature=player_embedded&utm_source=The+Ontario+Soccer+Association&utm_campaign=65146e9cd6-New+LTPD+video+and+presentations+now+available&utm_medium=email

5 Responses to “Small Sided Games are Great Practice”

  1. mboyle1959 Says:

    Sad.

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  2. unfortunately it looks like MassHockey is trying to find a way to keep Mites at full ice based on their meeting last week. Short sighted in my mind. They are presenting it in FLA this week.

  3. mboyle1959 Says:

    Our mites played full ice all year. I thought my son got better in Buzzer. Now he knows how to wait to get a breakaway goal and never goes near the boards. He’s adapting to the game. Wait for a turnover and skate away on another breakaway.

  4. mboyle1959 Says:

    Our mites played full ice all year. I thought my son got better in Buzzer. Now he knows how to wait to get a breakaway goal and never goes near the boards. He’s adapting to the game. Wait for a turnover and skate away on another breakaway.

  5. Agree. Now we have http://www.tsmhl.com pulling mites away from cross ice. I am feeling an uphill battle coming on…

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