Small-sided game - 5 v 5 - Staying in your zone

Divide the playing area into thirds and create two teams. Each team will attempt to score a goal in the opponents goal. Red team into the blue goal and vise versa. Players are restricted to their zone and should concentrate on passing and spacing to progress the ball to score in the opposing teams goal. Goals can be scored from any part of the playing area. Teams will have 2 defenders, 2 midfielders, and 1 attacker.

small sided game 5 v 5 zonal thirds.jpg

Coaching Points

  • Spacing

    players should hold their positions and create passing lanes for teammates.

  • Vision

    Players need to use their vison to find the open player and to keep proper spacing from opponents.

  • Passing

    Players should concentrate on looking up to find open player rather than using the dribble to advance the ball.

  • Shape

    Each team should concentrate on keeping a triangle or square shape as much as possible


If you have more than 10 players utilize a Rondo or player to create creativity on the attacking side. Rondo player or players should not be restricted by the zonal thirds. Rotate Rondo players into the small sided game.

Small Sided Game - Zone Restrictions - Using Rondo.jpg

 The Coaching Manual Version