If your are coaching soccer for kids and are wondering what to do during your next practice or training session consider this. Coaching soccer for kids using small sided games is one of the most effective components of a practice or training session. We all know that the best teacher of soccer is actually the game itself, and since we are not always able to play full sided games, we can use small sided games to simulate real game situations.
The benefits of using small sided games to teach your kids the game of soccer are many. Some of the benefits are as follows:
1) Allows players to touch the ball more often, therefore, developing individual skills more quickly.
2) Players get more opportunities to play on both sides of the ball allowing them to learn the tactical skills of indemnity and defense.
3) Players get more time to actually play the game.
4) They force players to respond to game like situations.
5) Coaches can easily change the game, or run several games simultaneously, to emphasize and focus on specific techniques and skills.
6) Kids like to play soccer. They are more fun and more enjoyable then standing in line waiting to perform drills.
Traditional soccer drills are also important, in fact, drills are essential for establishing the basic groundwork for the fundamental skills needed to play soccer, however, small sided games provide a better opportunity for young players to learn to play soccer for the reasons listed above.
If you are coaching soccer for kids, consider focusing on and incorporating small sided games more than drills into your practices or training sessions. Not only will the kids enjoy practice more, but it will also take some of the stress off of you as a coach by allowing you to watch these games and determine which skills your players are lacking. Once this is determined, you can use or recommend some drills to your players that will help improve these skills, or, with a little creativity, you could even incorporate some drills into your small sided games. Give it a try.