How a different format gives players a different challenge

Scroll down to content

To provide the players with a deeper learning with a given topic, we can provide different challenges to them using a range of formats and conditions.

In doing so we allow the players to experience a gentle transition from what they are familiar towards something with increased difficulty and game realism  that in time will continue to improve their skills. The point is to provide the right level of challenge based on the individual needs of the player and adjusting the difficulty. The best way in which to constantly keep challenging players is done through simple observation. Simply monitor the ratio of success the player is experiencing with a given challenge in relation to their failures and adjust accordingly. It is important to note that every player will have their own competency levels and rates of improvement so let us remember what works for one player may not work as well for another.

An effective means of creating stimulating challenges but keeping things game relevant and realistic can be done easily by manipulating familiar formats of the game. There are a range of fun and challenging games that can then be played to form the practices of any session no matter the collective theme.

For example, let’s assume the individual focus of the team session is on developing the technical skill of executing turns that will feeds into the collective focus of switching the play by changing direction. Well, we can see this come out in a series of small sided games starting with 1v1s and finishing with a full sided game.

Belgians getting turned inside out, back to front, upside down all with one Cryuff turn.

1v1s with 2 goals – here players have the choice to score in 2 goals that are set wide apart creating an opportunity for multiple changes of direction.

3v3s with 3 goals – here with the use of vertical channels, we increase realism and choices on the ball. Using a condition such as ‘the ball must travel through at least 2 of 3 vertical channels’ will not only encourage build up but potentially switching play also.

5v5 futsal with a bonus for a switch of play before shooting – finally in a complete team format we can see the players making positional decisions off the ball based on the ball, the space, the opponent and their teammates. The bonus is in place to reward scoring after manipulating the opposition from one side to the other.

So there we go, from one micro to macro we can continue to keep our desired collective theme and manage to provide a level of challenge along the way.

What do we think?

Love to hear how you guys play with different formats to get the returns you want.

Until tomorrow,



Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: