Sunday, December 23, 2007

Small Sided Games - Is it Better?

The activities in the youth sector, 10 - 12 years of age, have as the main objectives the teaching of all individual abilities that represent the fundamental base of the game of soccer. The individual abilities are what we call, the technical fundamentals, the individual tactical fundamentals and the techniques of the players.

Unfortunately the instructors that work with these delicate age groups do not always incorporate the objectives mentioned above, but instead they turn their attention towards activities related to the adult soccer players. The reasons for these "deviations" may be are because of the desire to reach the "winning" results, which, in many cases can be an easy objective to reach with the young age groups.

They insist by working on the collective tactics instead of the individual tactics, and ignore the development of the individual techniques, as it is an important aspect of the player development growth and require much patience from the instructors as it does not show or bring fast results.
It is in fact important that the young players will use their own individual abilities during the game.

The game in fact represents the moment more important for a self-evaluation of the players and an individual player evaluation for the instructors. It does not make sense for example that a player will work and learn all week to dribble but in the game they will not have the chance to dribble and take the opponent's player on. Therefore playing 11 vs. 11 on a regular size field will not satisfy the technical needs of these age groups.

Moreover, the regular size field would not guarantee the involvement of all players, especially the ones with less skills, and since the possibility to keep possession of the ball is very slim, it would not allow the constant application of the individual technical and tactical fundamentals.

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