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This week I talk about how using different scoring methods can change how your players approach small-sided games.
I talk about more than 30 different methods including ones that change the number of goals, the location of goals, different types of goals, alternatives to goals, the idea of using different methods of scoring for each team. As well as one way to set up your small-sided game that you may not have thought of.
The method of scoring has a HUGE impact on the way your players approach the game. By adjusting how goals are scored you can focus your players on the areas that they need improvement and help them quickly see how being better in that area will help them be more successful in their match next weekend.
Methods of Scoring in Small-Sided Games
Back in episode #30 I looked at more than 20 different adjustments you could make to small-sided games. They included adjustments to the shape of the field, limitations on number of touches, methods of restarting play and some unique adjustments.
Each rule change or requirement forced the players to adapt in an area that the coach wanted to focus on. For example, if the players could only play two-touch, they were forced to have a plan before they received the ball set up their pass or shot with a good first touch.
One of the best ways you can influence the behavior of your players in a small-sided game is to change the method for scoring. This changes the entire focus of the game since the players are trying to score in order to win the game.
Number of Goals
Locations of Goals
Four Goals in the Corners
In the Middle
One Each Side
Types of Goals
You can use small, medium, full sized or even over sized goals. The small goals will focus the players on passing and switching play to create goalscoring chances.
The larger goals will switch the emphasis to shooting as the goals get bigger. The over sized goals are great to use with young players to increase their confidence to take shots from further out.
Alternatives To Goals
Number of Passes
You can give the teams points for a certain number of passes, say five, rather than a regular ‘Goal’. This moves the focus to combining and connecting rather than trying to go to goal.
You can also use them together. The teams are attacking a goal but they also receive a point if they connect a certain number of passes. This forces the defending team to come out and press the ball rather than just sitting back.
Different Goals for Each Team
When I use different goals as shown above I often play the game where the team that scores keeps the ball and then attacks the other direction. This provides a transitional element and gives both teams the opportunity to attack the different type of goal.
Adjusting the type, number and locations of goals in your small-sided games can help you highlight specific areas of the game. Rather than go straight into a regular game following the technical or tactical work you have done with your team and see if the aspects you focused on come out. I’d suggest you adapt the game to force the players into the types of situations you just trained for.
This will give you more opportunities to evaluate their progress in a certain area and show the players how what they just worked on can impact their success in a competitive environment.
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In the Next Episode
Next week I have a training session that made my players much more confident and creative with the ball in just one practice. It was a lot of fun and I can’t wait to tell you about it.