Improving your game is about much more than just hours of conditioning and practices. To truly enhance the way you play soccer, you need to experience different styles of play. That is where small sided soccer comes in. Playing in a 3v3 or 5v5 format is a proven way to change and develop the way you play soccer.
There are major benefits of playing small-sided footy. Players having the chance to get “more touches of the ball” and more importantly soccer players “learn more quickly and have to make more decisions during the match (greater concentration is required because the ball is never far away)” (fifa.com). Not only is quick decision making a key factor in small-sided soccer but players “are also more involved in the attacking and defensive movements, and in this way they are more often exposed to a wide range of football situations” (fifa.com).
The Stats Speak For Themselves!
Players touch the ball 5x more in small sided games than in 11v11
A 1v1 situation is 3x more likely
Goalkeepers are involved in action 2 to 4 times more than in 11v11
Passes are increased 135%
Shots taken increase to 481 more shots per game
How about advice from the Pros?
“During my childhood in Portugal, all we played was futsal. The small sided playing area helped me improve my close control, and whenever I played I felt free. If it wasn’t for futsal, I wouldn’t be the player I am today.” – Christiano Ronaldo
“In futsal, you see whether a player is really talented. You notice the small details in quality, class and tactical understanding.” – Xavi
“A lot of the moves I make originate from futsal. It’s played in a very small space, and the ball control is different in futsal. And to this day my ball control is pretty similar to a futsal player’s control.” –Ronaldinho