Coerver Coaching Munster started a trial programme last year looking at the SSG structure. Together with clubs from Cork Schoolboys League we took 7v7 & 5v5 games and we introduced some basic rules and tried various interventions with the aim to give the kids the best possible experience whilst offering a structure to aid the players development. We take 8 squads of 10 players and they play a number of matches between each other for approx 90 mins.
The results and feedback has been very positive and as coaches we have at times had to go against our better judgement and take the feedback from the players.
Results so far, what the kids said…
In essence they want the game to be a similar to what they see on TV, so they wanted the larger 16 x 7 goals and 7v7. So we took away the smaller goals and 5v5 pitch’s and developed rules to encourage teams to play soccer.
Strictly no coaching, but encouragement for both teams is allowed, all parents, coaches & players are brought together at the start and told this and the reasons why. The vast majority of the kids stated that they liked it when no one was shouting at them,and to be fair to the coaches once they understood the format they used the breaks very well to make clear concise communication rather than commentating for the whole game.
The ref (coerver’s own coaches) may at times offer advice during the game, this will tend to be initially at the breakdown when the goalkeeper is trying to play the ball out.
The rules and interventions provide structure as expected in a full size game but will ensure that the scoreline remains respectable and all players have full inclusion and a fun time.
After this weekend over 60 teams will have played and we have not had one flash point and have seen an improvement in how the kids perform in the games.
To date with has been worked with Under 9 & Under 10 with Under 8’s this week,
will be interested to see how they work with the structure…