Mini-Soccer: The Best Introduction to the World’s Greatest Game
September 1999 saw the implementation of Mini-Soccer for all children under 10 years of age in England. As a result of nearly three years consultation and co-operation between all bodies involved with children’s football, boys and girls were introduced to the game on smaller pitches with scaled down goal posts and fewer players. In attempting to provide quality experiences for all young players at all levels, The English Football Association deemed Mini-Soccer the most appropriate and fun introduction to football. It allows greater involvement in the game, with more touches, dribbles and passes. It is the belief of all involved in mini soccer that The Children are more important than the activities in which they are engaged. The game is not the thing, the child is. As an FA Charter Standard Club Saltdean United embraces the principles of Mini Soccer.
The main theme throughout Mini-Soccer is to meet the needs of children. We agree with the FA that eleven-a-side football does not meet those needs. Too often children are modified to meet the requirements of a game whereas Mini-Soccer modifies football without losing the essence of the game. At Saltdean United we take many different approaches to meeting those needs. As an example, our existing under 10's coach is qualified to UEFA B Level and acts in an advisory capacity to all of the coaches at the club. Our Under 9's coach has a preference for a little known Brazilian method of football called Futebol de Salao, a game played with size two footballs that are weighted the same as a size 5 ball but with minimal bounce so that players get more opportunities to touch the ball.
The FA believes that Mini-Soccer is the appropriate introduction to football. All available research and observation shows that children will have more fun and learn more playing a game with smaller teams and modified rules. Mini-Soccer is, therefore, a game children can actually play rather than struggling to understand a game created for adults. It is more flexible to meet a childs needs and it is encouraged that different approaches are taken to meet the needs of the children that are being supervised within a particular coachng environment.
It is our underlying belief that for children to enjoy and take part in soccer they need to:
The FA's Mini-Soccer programme sets out to meet those needs, but the policy of Saltdean United is to go beyond those boundaries and explore methods of coaching that will allow individuals not only to enjoy the game of football but to also build key social skills that will help our children develop through their younger years so that they are able to excel in social situations now and later in life. Saltdean United is commited to mini soccer as we believe it is a game which keeps all the major features of the game, while allowing children to succeed and take part in something that is still recognizable as football. It recognises that children do not perform as adults and therefore its Laws meet the needs of children.
Please browse through the different age groups on the site to get a flavour for the diversity that can be found in methods of coaching mini soccer at Saltdean United. We also hope to regularly provide coaching drills that other coaches are able to take away and use in their own development cycles for the children under their supervision. After all, with Mini-Soccer it is not the winning that counts but the taking part. The more people that we get involved in football at all levels will meet with the FA's commitment to Long Term Development.
To find out how Mini Soccer could benefit your child, or to get involved in coaching at the club then please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .
For more information on the FA position on development of football in England at all levels then visit http://www.thefa.com/GetIntoFootball.aspx