Small sided games are great practice
Posted by Dean Holden at April 9th, 2013
by Michael Boyle, 18 December 2012
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.