Storm recognizes that children do not perform the same as adults in a soccer game. Therefore a modified version is required to meet the developmental needs of young players while maintaining all the features and essence of the full game. Small-sided soccer is recognized by every governing body in the game, such as the USSF, Royal Spanish Football Federation and the English FA, as the only form of soccer for children under 9 years of age.
What is Small-Sided Soccer?
Small-sided soccer is a modified version of the 11-a-side game played in a small group format such as 3 v 3 or 4 v 4. It gives children the chance to play real soccer, whilst experiencing an enjoyable and fun introduction to soccer.
Meeting the needs of children
All available research shows that children have more fun and learn more playing a game within smaller teams. Small-sided soccer is therefore ideal for girls and boys in terms of maximizing their enjoyment and technical/skill development.
Small Sided Soccer benefits
- There is more contact with the ball in Small-Sided Soccer leading to better technique. With large numbers of players the ratio of ball to outfield players is very high. Due to fewer players in Small-Sided Soccer each player has more regular contact with the ball thus repetition is constant. More contact with the ball helps players develop technique into skill.
- Decision making is easier and occurs more often because of the small numbers involved. As a result, the players will gain a greater understanding of the game. The basic soccer situations are easier to see and simpler to solve.
- Due to the ball never being far away from the player the chance of developing concentration is greatly increased. Playing with large amounts of players many children lose interest in the game because the ball goes out of their immediate vicinity and they quickly become bored spectators.
- Fewer players, more space and simpler decisions will encourage more movement of players whatever the situation.
- More contact leads to more participation and usually, more enjoyment, success is easier to achieve.
- Small-Sided Soccer will also be the most useful tool to incorporate set-piece play. Free-kicks, throw-ins and goal-kicks will be applied at the appropriate age groups.