Life-Skills Small Sided Game Task
The below task try's to work to the model of Tactical Periodization, and train every moment within a Small sided game, the usual moment, will be the training of 'Life-Skills' for young people. The task itself is very simple, the players compete within a 6v6, inside a 40x20 Space. However there is a task twist that influences this practice.
The constrain is quite unique, when players score inside the 6v6 they are posed with a decision, which has three answers that are listed below
Keep the Goal and the game remains at 6v6. This is the no risk option and shouldn't be encouraged against as the players must make their own decision.
The second option is to take a life style question from the coach, this can be a political question, an environmental question, or anything that relates to the normality of life. If the player answers the question correctly, they double their goal (the goal they scored becomes 2). However if the question is answered incorrectly. The opponent gains two goals, and you lose your goal.
This poses a risk, but the reward is evident. Players must asses the risk, the reward in the unique situation. The challenge can be manipulated for the age, but can also be complicated. The player can choose from a range of difficulties like a computer game. For example a difficult question can be worth 4, mid range 3, and low 2.
The third option offers a physical challenge, this can change dependent on the physical demands associated to the individuals, however in this example we have used a 'Strength penalty challenge. This challenge involves making 6 repeated high intensity runs back and forward from the box, before instantly running in to a penalty. If the player scores they score a triple goal, if it's missed the opponent gains 3 goals.
This is obviously the most rewarding scenario for one of our players to take, however they must balance the game situation, the risk and the reward.
This is a demanding session for players when making decisions, at all times players must be comfortable making decisions on the pitch in a highly transitional small sided game. But there are also additional decisions for players to make, these decisions will have huge influence on the game due to their goal-swing effect. The challenge to players will be to understand the situation, the risk and the reward and make an effective decision.
However we do know that during the period of adolescents, young people are unable to effectively balance the demand of risk and reward. During adolescents neuroscience has proven that young people can't effectively balance the risk v the reward, they see the dangling carrot and the opportunity to gain from the reward. But don't effectively see the risk's this is why in wider society, we see children make mistakes that seem unexplainable to us post-adolescents. However during this period we must effectively understand these moments.
Physically the players are challenged to work hard within a 6v6, naturally this will create lots of change of direction, and a large amount of accelerations and decelerations. However with the addition of challenges players at times will be competing in 5v6 moments, this will increase the demand for players with out the ball, and further more increase the intensity.
The physical challenge will offer further physical challenge with the penalty challenge.
The important factor for the coach here, will be to effectively manage the work-rest ratio.
It is important that coaches are willing to let players experience these moments for themselves, it is full of high-intensity football that will naturally challenge the players as they are making more decisions per minute than a full sided game. But with the addition challenge players must be aware of the game moment, the demands and the challenge ahead.
Small sided games naturally create a high technical demand on players because of the variety of technical challenges, the amount of time spent in possession as well as the small spaces making technique an even more important factor because of the tightness of the practice.
Tactically the players are posed with a challenge with the game moving constantly from 6v6 to 5v6 to 6v5. This tactical challenge will need acute adaptation from players through out the game. The players will also need to be tactically aware of the game situation.
These fantastic psychologically developed games are all part of our work with a renowned Football Psychologist whose working with us to develop a new book for this Christmas... Stay tuned for more