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Small-Sided Games (SSG)

posted May 13, 2014, 10:38 AM by Site Administrator   [ updated Aug 13, 2014, 10:12 PM ]
The "Small-Sided" Game is a FUN environment that focuses on the young soccer player.  Small-Sided Games are developmentally appropriate environment for our youngest soccer players.  MAYSA, strongly supports Small-Sided Games and will implement such games as part of introducing our youngest players to soccer.  Generally, used for our K-1st grade level players, Small Sided Games can be used at any level.  

Although, entry level soccer may appear to be simply allowing the kids to play and run around in a small area, there is actually very serious thought behind Small Sided Games.  The United States Soccer Federation (USSF) and U.S. Youth Soccer both endorse the approach of 'staying small-sided longer' after studying its successful application in the top European clubs and national teams (e.g., Spain, Holland, Germany) where emphasizing player development and long-term competitiveness have been traditional hallmarks.  

What is a Small Sided Game?

Small Sided Games are soccer games with fewer players playing on smaller sized fields.  These are fun games that involve each player more because there are fewer players.  Small Sided Games have a definite developmental impact on our players.  At this young age playing on a larger field generally results in one or two athletically advanced children sprinting ahead of everyone.  This limits touches for all players, but also eliminates the development of footwork (even for the athletically advanced). Because on the larger field the children tend to kick the ball far ahead and chase it instead of developing footwork in close-courters.  

Additional benefits of a Small Sided Game:

1. We want our young soccer players to touch the ball more often and become more skillful with it! (i.e., Individual Technical Development)

2. We want our youngest players to make more, less complicated decisions during the game! (Tactical Development)

3. We want our young soccer players to be more physically efficient in the field space they are playing in!  (Reduced Field Size)

4. We want our young soccer players to have more individual teaching time with the coach! (Fall In-House)  Less players on the field and on the team will guarantee this!  (Our youngest children all have a need to feel worthy and need to feel important as part of a team)

5. We want our young soccer players to have more, involved playing time in the game!  (More opportunity to solve problems that only the game presents).

6. We want our young soccer players to have more opportunity to play on both sides of the ball!  (More exposure to offense  defensive situations)

7. We want our young soccer players to have more opportunities to score goals!  (It's just fun!)

These are the reasons why MAYSA, US Youth Soccer and USSF all support "Small-Sided Games".  The "Small-Sided" environment is a developmentally appropriate environment for our young soccer players.  It's a FUN environment that focuses on the young soccer player.

It just makes sense, doesn't it?  If you have further questions about Small Sided Games contact us.