64 small-sided games PDF

64  small-sided games PDF


There is an ongoing debate on how best to coach the next generation of football players.

This manual puts forward the case for the use of small-sided games.

In recent years, the use of the small-sided games coaching methodology has rapidly increased in popularity across Europe and North America.

However, this approach is certainly not a new one.

It's widely held that the practice was first adopted as a structured coaching method by the Dutch Football Association back in the 1970s under the guidance of Rinus Michels, the inspiration behind what became known as Total Football.

The Dutch recognised the decline in street football and the damaging effect that would have on developing players in future generations.

They formulated the 4v4 method as a response and it became widely known as “the Dutch way”.

However, in a chat with Tony Carr, Director of the West Ham United Academy (and editor of Soccer Coach Smart Sessions), he described how when he was a player at West Ham in the 1960s the great Ron Greenwood used small-sided games at the heart of his coaching philosophy.

Greenwood produced players of the calibre of Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters.

Tony is responsible for some of the best players in the modern English game - Cole, Ferdinand, Carrick, DeFoe, Lampard, Terry etc.

What are the key benefits of small-sided games?

• No coaching, the game is the teacher

• Simple to set up

• Simplifies the choices in possession (pass, dribble, shoot)

• More player participation

• Different games bring different problems to solve and skills to use

• More touches of the ball

• More passes attempted

• More 1v1s attempted

• More goals scored

• When used, goalkeeper participation is greatly increased

• No referees required

• No results recorded

• No positions, just players

• The players take responsibility For this manual I have designed 64 different small-sided games.

The games are tried and tested with both grassroots beginners and top youth players in professional academies.

The games are designed to stimulate the players and lead them down a path of learning.

This manual brings the 4v4 concept into the new era and will develop your players in a fun, player-led environment.


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