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US Youth Soccer has thought long and hard about the answer to the question, "Why Small-Sided Games?"
What does "Small-Sided Games" mean? These are soccer games with fewer players competing on a smaller sized field. These are fun games that involve the players more because fewer players are sharing one ball.
All ages can play "Small Sided Games", but it has a definite developmental impact on our younger soccer players. US Youth Soccer recommendations for "number of players" at the various age groups are as follows:
U6 | 3 against 3 no goal keepers U8 | 4 against 4 no goal keepers U10 | 6 against 6 with goal keepers U12 | 8 against 8 with goal keepers U13+ | 11 against 11 with goal keepers
Warming up prior to playing and training is a matter of routine for any serious player. A smart warm-up not only improves your performance, but also helps you to prevent injuries. "The 11+", the new injury prevention programme from FIFA's Medical Assessment and Research Centre (F-MARC), provides a complete, football-specific warm-up and can easily be integrated into a daily training routine."The 11+" is divided into three parts: it starts off with running exercises (part I), moves on to six exercises with three levels of increasing difficulty to improve strength, balance, muscle control and core stability (part II), and concludes with further running exercises (part III). The different levels of difficulty increase the programme's effectiveness and allow coaches and players to individually adapt the programme. "The 11+" takes approx. 20 minutes to complete and replaces the usual warm-up before training. Prior to playing a match, only the running exercises are performed, for about ten minutes."The 11+" has proven to cut injuries by up to half - if performed correctly and regularly. When it is adopted together with the values of fair play, it enables you, as a player or coach, to protect yourself, your team and your opponents and thus increase everyone's enjoyment of the game.
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