It would seem to make sense to introduce a sport by first teaching the basic skills of the sport and then the tactics of the game, but we’ve discovered that this approach has disadvantages.
A traditional approach teaches the skills of the sport out of the context of the game. Players may learn to pass, dribble, and shoot the ball, but they find it difficult to use these skills in the real game because they do not yet understand the fundamental tactics of the sport and do not appreciate how best to use their newfound technical skills.
In its basic form a small-sided game is exactly what it sounds like, a game between two teams of fewer than normal players.
Studies show that young athletes derive increased enjoyment from playing sports in smaller teams and with adapted rules. Players get involved in the action more often, learn more quickly and make more decisions during the course of a small-sided game.
The goal is to help players gain a better understanding of the game. Tactically players get to learn tactics with less distracting information and fewer visual stimuli. This can enhance players’ vision of the game and their understanding of defensive and offensive tactics.