Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Soccer Fever!

If there is one event that is capturing the world's attention right now it is the Euro2012 Soccer Championships!  Fast, furious and very-very action packed, this game has it all.  While watching these elite athletes on the field, it's easy to forget that they were children once, testing out their mettle on their hometown field.   

What are Small-Sided Games? 

Small-sided games (SSG) are any games played with less than eleven-a-side teams.  The objective of small-sided games is a stair step approach for young players to grow into the adult game.

When you see kids playing, remember they are there to have fun, so parents and coaches should try to take it easy with them.  Children are essentially self-oriented and naturally relate to one or two others, not to large groups, that is why many people are seeing the benefits of a small-side soccer game.

Some great reasons for having a small-sided game:
  1. More time is spent with the coach
  2. Increased playing time
  3. More space to be successful
  4. Increased contact with the ball
  5. Energetic workouts due to increased participation
  6. Children have more opportunities to make quality decisions
  7. Kids have more fun!
The object of the coaches/parents is to make the soccer experience of every player and their families as enjoyable as possible and to provide and open and fun environment for their kids to run around and play.  Who knows, by introducing a love of the game at a young age, you might be watching one of those kid's grow up to play in a Euro Championship game of their own!

Resources from the SIRC Collection

1. Caruso A. The value of small-sided soccer. Soccer Journal [serial online]. January 1987;32(1):43-45.
2. Chen R, Yi X, Yang S. Experimental Study of Small-Sided Games in Youth Soccer Training. Journal Of Beijing Sport University [serial online]. 
3. Hill-Haas S, Dawson B, Coutts A, Rowsell G. Physiological responses and time-motion characteristics of various small-sided soccer games in youth players. Journal Of Sports Sciences [serial online]. 
4. Jeffreys I. Coaches guide - classifying and using small-sided games for soccer endurance. Performance Conditioning Soccer [serial online]. 
5. Köklü Y. A Comparison Of Physiological Responses To Various Intermittent And Continuous Small-Sided Games In Young Soccer Players. Journal Of Human Kinetics [serial online]. 
6. Rudolf P, Václav B. HEART RATE RESPONSE AND GAME-RELATED ACTIVITY OF YOUNGER SCHOOL-AGE BOYS IN DIFFERENT FORMATS OF SOCCER GAME. Ovidius University Annals, Series Physical Education & Sport/Science, Movement & Health [serial online].

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