” A coach who accepts the philosophy that players should
learn to play soccer by participating in real soccer situations
must also accept that this has consequences for the manner in
which his training sessions are organized.”1
Bert van Lingen
One area that the Dutch excel in is insight. Reading and understanding the game is of high importance. So it’s not surprising that they would turn this ability on to the different elements of the entire learning process. This insight into the game, who is playing it, who is teaching it and how it is learned provides the philosophy behind the Dutch Vision. These four elements are viewed together. They are dependent on and effect one another.
In order to appreciate the structure behind small sided games an understanding of their philosophy is helpful. A sound philosophy will save time and provides continuity. It will have a consistent structure and include a set of assumptions upon which the decisions are based. The following are a few of assumptions and the decisions that follow when using small sided games.
A: Soccer is a leisure activity.
It is voluntary. Children play soccer because they want to.
D: Enjoyment must be the primary goal of the activity.
The motivation for playing will vary among individuals.
D: Emphasize the elements that appeal to the majority of participants.
Winning maybe, scoring goals maybe, being with friends maybe.
D: Playing soccer must be at the center of the activity.
Always keep one eye fixed down the road.
D: Balance the expedient with the long term.
Soccer is in competition with many other past times.
D: Create an environment that they will want to return to.
The learning process has changed between generations.
D: Coaching must be efficient and effective.
Winning is the final objective.
D: Coaching moves children towards this objective.
These are the proficiencies which must be mastered.
D: Coach specific objectives.
Learning is measured by a permanent change in behavior.
D: Coach doing.
Without the players there is no game.
D: The environment is built to the children’s needs.
The game embodies principles and structures.
D: Evaluations are made by meeting the needs of the game.
It takes place over time and increased resistance.
D: Repeat basic activities and adjust the obstacles.
They don’t learn by doing something else.
D: Coach soccer.
Children will grow, the coach must also.
D: Education in the game, children and methodology is on going.
“So what, it’s not my fault.”
D: Get them to take responsibility.