Soccer Small Sided Game Training Drill

Small Sided Game

This drill is great to focus on 1v1 play. It is flexible and can be used to work on the offensive side or the defensive side.

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Basic Information

Age Group: (5-7yrs) (8-11yrs) (12-15yrs)
Number of Players: 4+
Difficulty: Easy-Medium
Time: 10-20 min.
Emphasis: Dribbling

Field Preparation:

  • 2 teams
  • cones to mark off area
  • 2 mini goals
  • pinnies
  • repeat setup to accommodate the entire team


  • play 1v1
  • two groups of players next to the coach on the side line
  • coach feeds the ball in and first player from each group play 1v1
  • scoring player stays on and other player leaves and is replaced by another player from his group
  • a ball is immediately played onto the field
  • if ball goes out of bounds both players are “not in my house”


  • start with 1v1 and progress to 2v2, 3v3, 4v4
  • players can only score from the attacking half
  • adjust spacing depending on the age and ability of the group

Coaching Points:


  • deception
  • set up defender
  • change of speed & direction
  • protect the ball
  • vision
  • close control


  • angle and speed of approach
  • body shape, balance, and foot positioning
  • control and restraint
  • delay and channel
  • deny turn
  • timing and decision to tackle

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