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Old September 14th, 2011, 08:16 AM
Pbanta Pbanta is offline
Reggae Junior
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: South Carolina USA
Posts: 361
Default Gsm Coaching Education Coaching Small Side Games Part 2




“Training Your Players with Small Sided Games"

Coaching Educational Benefits of Using Small Side Games

Let’s face it, if we can’t get players to play the “Good Game” (What the Rest of the World is Experiencing) to develop not only our own club’s program and potentially the level of play in our parish, confederation and eventually the nation we might as well remove ourselves from the coaching ranks. “This game is not about you the coach. It’s about the players”. We are there only to teach them and move their game and life forward. If you’ve had coaches who have done that for you know what I’m saying. If you’ve had coaches that the game was all about their egos and trying to force something out of you and never had anything to do with the game (like running all day long and never touching a football) then you need to never be like them and I hope that you’ve chosen to coach so you can impact your players by using the actual match like never before.

Small Side Games will do this with the right approach and one that is centered on only the game in both attack and defense. That’s what the player dreams about (remember your dreams), so be a dreamer with them and make the “Good Game” happen for them not for you. Your real playing days are coming to end or they may even be over.

Some of the results from taking our GSM International Coaching Courses can be as follows, but you won’t see them unless you attend. One thing we all need to do is always have a deep desire to never stop learning. Our GSM courses have always been open to any level of coach (from youth to a national level) and only for one reason, i.e. educate coaches to educate players. Come and join us.


1. As coaches we want our players to touch the soccer ball more often to become more functionally and match related skillfully with it.

2. As coaches we want our players to make more quality decisions during the game and understand that they have a specific playing role but that their role can change do to the nature of the game. Example: Place changing in attacking and defense during a match as they may have to play another person job.

3. As coaches we want our players to be more physically efficient (technique or higher playing skill level, tactical awareness and match football fitness) in the field space in which they normally play in their position in a match.

4. As coaches we want our players to have more involved playing time in the game. (More opportunity to solve problems by themselves that only the game presents and without the coaches’ hammer away at them from the side lines verbal to create a disaster of the game).

5. As coaches we want our players to have more opportunities to play on both sides of the ball. (More exposure to attacking and defending situations)

6. As coaches we want our players to have more opportunities to create scoring opportunities in numbers of attempts and simply score goals and keeper to make more saves in training. (Pure excitement and of course what this great game is all about).

7. As coaches we want our players to touch the ball more often to become more functionally and match related tactically with other team mates to produce a better awareness (almost becoming instinctive) during full matches.

The “Small-Sided” environment is a developmentally appropriate environment for our soccer players. It’s a FUN environment that focuses on the player.


In order to appreciate the structure behind small sided games and understand their philosophy usage is helpful. A sound philosophy will save time and provides continuity. It will have a consistent structure and include a set of assumptions upon which the decisions are based. The following are a few assumptions and the decisions that follow when using small sided games in your training

What players enjoy about the activity will differ. The motivation for playing will vary among individuals. Emphasize the elements of the real world wide game that appeal to the majority of participants.

Winning is important. The game was design to be won. Winning is the final objective. Coaching through small sided games moves players towards this objective.

A Team or playing groups objective is always composed of smaller objectives (or steps to achieve a goal). These are the proficiencies which must be mastered. Coach specific objectives for individual players playing role can be had through small side game training methods.

Learning is important. Learning then becomes a measurement by a permanent change in behavior in individual players, playing groups (like 2 forwards and 2 central midfield players) or the entire team’s play. Learning takes many forms through many methods. Some players learn fast while others make take a few more weeks of efforts, but still learning will take places from the readiness of the player or players state of acceptance that what you’re offering them really works for them because it make total sense.

The game provides the measure for success and when a player or groups of players have achieved multiple successes they start to believe they are being significant. The game embodies certain principles and structures for success. Evaluations are made by meeting the needs of the game. Small side games will allow you the coach evaluation and the player can evaluate better as well. Coaching then becomes for you to find an approach where by your players can start evaluating themselves. If you’re not using small side game our players are missing out.

Players learn to play soccer by playing soccer. They don't learn by doing something else. Use the game for change and not some other sport. Remember when they line up on the field and the ref blows the whistle they are not in the starting blocks to do a 100 meter race or a 5000 meter run.

The coach that does not stay ahead of his players holds back his players. As the players on your team grow, the coach must also grow. Educate your players by using and coaching the game. Your players know you better than you think. You can't hide from them when you stand next to them daily. They are ready to have something positive happen to them in their game and life.

SMALL SIDE GAMES: Less is more.......
  • More touches of the ball improve skill development.
  • More space, fewer numbers, less bunching. The enhancement of tactical awareness can take place. The game is less complicated and easier to understand.
  • More “fun” and personal enjoyment, take place due to small fields.
  • More playing time in training to encourages maximum individual participation.
  • More individual involvement improves fitness.
  • More responsibility, every player has greater opportunities to score, this builds their self -esteem and confidence.
  • More freedom of expression; there are in some exercises no positions; players will find their own position. A player can be a forward, midfielder, and defender during the course of the game. Players will migrate to areas of the field where they feel comfortable. Over time we will discover what their best position is for when they are older.
  • More experience in all phases of the game. There is no hiding nor is there a dominant player hogging the ball. Every player has a role to participate in all facets of the game attack and defense. The emphasis is on PLAYER DEVELOPMENT.

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