best small sided soccer drills

Best Small Sided Soccer Drills

Best Small Sided Soccer Drills

Small sided drills are a great way to improve your skills in training. They are also a great way to have fun with your friends and teammates. When treated with the right level of intensity, these drills can improve your in game decision making and technical skills. Maybe the most convenient thing about these drills is that you only need a handful of people to get started. In this article, we’ll be going over 7 of the best small sided soccer drills to implement in your training sessions.

If you’re looking to improve your skills while training alone, check out our article containing 20 Great Individual Soccer Drills. You can also check out our list of the Best 7v7 Soccer Formations to improve your tactics. For all the latest football boots and gear, go to World Soccer Shop for the best prices online.


Best Small Sided Soccer Drills

Rondos are used by players at every single level of the game. You’ll even see professional teams performing rondos during warm ups in their training sessions. The drill consists of several players standing in a circle with one or two players in the middle (5 v 2 is a typical setup). The players on the outside try to maintain possession while the players on the inside try to steal the ball. Whoever gives the ball away must then exchange spots with someone in the middle.

Rondos can be scaled easily for both beginners and advanced players. If you’re just starting out with the drill, try using a three touch limit for the players on the outside. As you improve, you can speed up the game by moving to a two touch limit. If you and your teammates want to really challenge yourself, you can try playing with one touch as well. This drill helps players practice moving the ball while under pressure.


Best Small Sided Soccer Drills

Possession is another timeless drill for players who want to work on their ball movement and defense. This drill can be done with any amount of players. If you have an odd number of players, you can designate one player as neutral. This player (designated in orange above) will play for whichever team has possession at any given time.

After you have split up your players into two groups, you just need to decide on the boundaries of the game. If you’re looking to work on ball control in tight spaces, make the boundaries small. If you want to work on longer passing and playing into open space, make the boundaries larger. In order to raise the intensity of the drill, keep a two or three touch limit on the ball.

Perimeter Passing

Best Small Sided Soccer Drills

Perimeter passing is a great drill for working on stamina and first touch passing. To set up the drill, form a square boundary to play inside of. Then, assign one player to each side of the square (four players outside in total). The remaining players the players will go in the center and play a possession drill.

Players in the center can pass to their teammates or anyone on the outside. The players on the outside must play the ball back into the center to whichever team passed it to them. Players on the outside are encouraged to use one touch when passing to maintain the speed of the drill.

Counter Attacks

Training counter attacks is a great way to simulate fast breaks in a real game scenario. This drill is also a great way for the offense and defense to sharpen their skills. To set up the drill, have three forwards line up near the half way line, and two defenders stand at the goal. Have the goalie or another player punt the ball out to the forwards to start the drill.

Once the forwards receive the ball, they will run at the defense and try to score a goal. The purpose of this drill is for the offense to play quickly and create a goal scoring opportunity. The defense should be focusing on preventing any cross or shot that comes from the forwards.

2 Large Goals

If you have two goal keepers at your disposal, this is a great drill for players to work on their shooting and creativity. Instead of playing full field, set up the goals about 40 yards apart. This will work better for smaller sided games of 3 v 3 or 4 v 4. Rather than having rigid positions on the field, players can be more free flowing in this drill. Due to the smaller field size, every player can rotate to play both offensive and defensive roles.

The main goal of this drill is to take shots. Taking more shots in training will translate into taking more shots in game. That’s why the larger goals are helpful here, as they help simulate more realistic shooting scenarios.

4 Mini Goals

Another great drill involves utilizing mini goals on both sides of the field. This drill helps emphasize switching the ball from side to side across the field. To set up this drill, grab 4 mini goals. If you don’t have any pop-up goals, just use cones to set up goals a few feet apart. After you have set up your goals, divide your group of players into two equal teams. If you have an odd number of players, just designate one player as neutral.

Teams can shoot on either goal in order to score a point. Players should focus on moving the ball quickly and passing across the field. This will open up space and keep the other team chasing the ball. Try implementing a rule that forces players to make at least 10 passes before they can score a goal. This will encourage ball movement, which is a core part of the drill.

Offense vs Defense

Using offense vs defense drills is a great way for players to get position specific training. Set up this drill by having players divide themselves into attackers and defenders. The defenders will position themselves in front of goal, while the attackers will stand outside the 18-yard box. Start the drill by having the goalie or another player pass the ball out to the attackers.

The attackers will then begin to work their way towards goal. It will also be useful to implement a 10 pass minimum rule in this drill as well. Passing the ball before shooting will force the offense to break down the defense, rather than just shoot from outside the box. If the defense gains possession of the ball, have them clear the ball outside of the area. The drill can then be restarted by playing the ball back to an attacker.

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