United Soccer Association

Myth #1


Children want four things from games and sports: 1. Action 2. Involvement 3. Excitement 4. Friendships

Children cannot get these when their opportunities to participate in meaningful ways are negated by an adult-imposed format.

On playing 11 a side, Michels says, "We won," but so what, when (s)he touched the ball three times today. Our responsibility is DEVELOPMENT. So we must play 4 v 4 and 7 v 7 with plenty of time and space - to learn combinations, skills, awareness, and "smartness."

- Rinus Michels, Dutch Master Coach

"As a kid you need to touch the ball as much as you can. You should always be with the ball. You should have a feeling that wherever the ball is, you can do anything with it. No matter where it is, where it is on your body, how it's spinning, how it's coming at you, the speed it's coming at you, anything………."

- Landon Donovan

Benefits of Short Sided Soccer vs. 11 a side Soccer

Players touch the ball five times more in four-a-side football and twice as much in seven-sided games.

Players are involved in three times as many one-on-one situations in four-a-side football and twice as many in seven-sided games.

On average, in four-a-side football goals are scored every two minutes and every four minutes in seven-sided games.

Goalkeepers make two to four times as many saves in seven-a-side football than they do in 11-a-side.

The ball is out of play for eight per cent of the playing time in four-a-side football, 14 per cent of the playing time in seven-sided games and 34 per cent in 11-a-side football.

Myths Continued