Shooting - Small-Sided Games

Actual game situations provide the best training for shooting and finishing once a technical foundation has been established. I highlighted by favorite shooting game, Halfline, in a previous post. Here's a link to that post.

There are many ways to organize small-sided games so that the emphasis is on shooting. Here are a few from our book, 'Coaching Soccer Through Small-Sided Games.'

This game was from a session observed during pre-season training in Ft. Lauderdale, February 2000.

Both groups combine for the final game.  Mark a field the size of two penalty areas with full size goals and goalkeepers.  The players are organized into two teams of 10 and each team of 10 is split into two teams of five.  Play 5 v 5 inside with each team having their other five teammates on the perimeter of the attacking half as shown.  The players inside have unlimited touches.  The perimeter players on the side have two touches and the players behind the goal have one touch.  When a goal is scored, the team that concedes the goal alternates positions with their teammates on the perimeter.

Play for 15 minutes followed by 15 minutes of light jogging and stretching to cool down.

This game was part of a session observed at the Coaches’ Super Clinic conducted by Reedswain in New Jersey.  Conducted by Lauren Gregg, then assistant coach for the U.S. Women’s National Team that won the 1999 World Cup, the session was done indoors in a 40 x 20-yard area.  When practicing outdoors, a larger area would be used.

This small-sided game is usually played in an area the size of two 18-yard penalty areas.  Organize two teams of three players plus goalkeepers.  Position four neutral players at the sides of the goals.  Play 3 v 3.  The player in possession can pass to a perimeter player who passes back into play with one touch to the passer or one of his teammates as shown in the diagram.

This game is from an article that was contributed by Miles Glynn, assistant DOC for Indiana State Youth Soccer and FC Pride coach.  He had the unique experience of observing Real Madrid train at the National Federation’s Training Center in suburban Madrid.  The squad was intact with Zidane, Beckham and Roberto Carlos leading the array of world class stars.  Manager Carlos Quiroz led the session.

Play 5 v 5 to goal with the goals on the goal line and just outside the top of the “D”.  Because the goals are just 25 yards apart, the players enjoy a lively game in which they are always well within shooting range.  Beckham and Zidane are on opposing sides and are the natural catalysts in the game, with Zidane again finding impossible angles and working through tight spaces, and Beckham sending scorching shots into the upper 90’s, seemingly at will.

The game begins with unlimited touches and ends with a one-touch restriction.

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