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Small Sided Games in Soccer | 10 Best SSGs

Small Sided Games in Soccer

Small sided games, also known as SSGs, are a popular training method used in soccer. These games involve smaller teams playing on a smaller field, with fewer players on each side compared to a full match. The number of players can vary, but typically ranges from 3v3 to 7v7.

What are small sided games?

Small sided games are designed to maximize player involvement and increase the number of touches on the ball. By reducing the number of players and the size of the playing area, players are forced to make quicker decisions and improve their technical skills. These games are often used in training sessions to enhance specific aspects of a player’s game, such as passing, dribbling, and decision-making.

Are small sided games effective?

Yes, small sided games are highly effective in soccer training. They offer numerous benefits for players of all ages and skill levels. A Systematic Review: Physiology of Small-Sided Games Training in Football

Here are some of the key advantages and benefits:

1. Increased participation:

With fewer players on the field, each individual has more opportunities to be involved in the game. This leads to increased engagement and active participation, as players are constantly in the thick of the action.

2. More touches on the ball:

Small sided games provide players with more touches on the ball compared to a full match. This helps improve their ball control, dribbling, and passing skills, as they have to make quick decisions in tight spaces.

3. Improved decision-making:

Playing in smaller teams forces players to make quicker decisions, as they have less time and space on the field. This helps enhance their decision-making abilities, as they learn to read the game and react accordingly.

4. Enhanced fitness:

Small sided games are intense and fast-paced, requiring players to constantly move and work hard. This improves their cardiovascular fitness, endurance, and overall physical conditioning.

5. Tactical awareness:

SSGs provide players with the opportunity to work on their tactical awareness and understanding of the game. With fewer players on the field, they have to constantly adjust their positioning and make smart decisions to create scoring opportunities.

6. Fun and enjoyable:

Small sided games are inherently enjoyable for players, as they offer a more fast-paced and dynamic experience compared to a full match. This helps keep players motivated and engaged during training sessions.

10 Best Small Sided Games Examples Used By Top Coaches

Lets start ahead with these examples illustrated with videos:

1. Possession Game 🔥 (3vs3 +3)


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🔵Blue team vs 🔴Red Team
🟡Yellow player are neutral and play with the team that has ball in possesion!
⚡️Touch limit
⚡️ After coach give signal, game need to be changed in the next area of play.
⚡️When the ball get lost outside the box, coach pass the ball to the other side to the opponents.

2. 5 vs 5 +1 Neutral

Game to develop ball possession, attacking transition, defensive phase and creativity of players based on real game situations🔥


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Blue team (5🔵+1 gk) vs red team (5 🔴+1 neutral 🟡)
⚡️Yellow Joker has specific role:
🔴He help red team in attacking phase, like a playmaker, just to build-up! The other five work on attacking transitions
🔵 Joker can be ‘passing supporter’ or ‘passing point’ for the blue team but he cant score.

3. High pressing & rondo! 4vs2 to 3vs1


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⚡️2 Players starting with a sprint in the main rondo 4vs2
⚡️After winning the ball, they go sprint in 3vs1 rondo
⚡️And after getting the ball in small rondo the go once again sprint to the ball and finishing to small goals!
Improve players Endurance and High pressing! 

4. Rondo Pairs


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3 Pairs and a Joker | Improve ball possession
1/2 touch allowed! 

5. Transition Game | 4vs4 +3


Two teams (red & blue) playing rondo with jokers, and when coach gives signal, the team who has the possession of the ball are going in a transition to attack 7 vs 4! ✅ You can set the time of exercise and rules depending on the focus of training session!!

6. 7vs7 +3 neutral Possession Game

Used By Xabi Alonso Lately at Bayern Leverkusen


7. 4vs4 + Transition | Crossing and Finishing


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8. Small-Sided Game | 1vs1 to 4vs4 


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Transition Game 1vs1 to 4vs4 with finishing💥

9. 6vs4 +1


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Transition: Rondo 6+1 vs 4 to action

10. Transitional Game 5vs3


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Rondo 5vs3 | Change of Game + Crossing and Finishing 3vs3. 

In conclusion, small sided games are an effective and enjoyable training method in soccer. They offer numerous benefits for players, including increased participation, more touches on the ball, improved decision-making, enhanced fitness, tactical awareness, and overall enjoyment of the game.