Horst Wein’s ground-breaking development game Mini Football has been around for a long time now. The basic game of 3v3 with 4 goals has stood the test of time as a quantum leap in youth football development, being used in training for some of the top clubs in the world.
Having four wide goals immediately introduces width and helps to prevent the familiar swarming at the younger age groups. Also having two goals to attack with three defenders means that one goal is usually less-defended, which means there is always a better option available. Both of these factors encourage young players to look before they act and to think before they execute – so game intelligence is introduced naturally from the earliest ages.
However, now in 2012, Mini Football has grown from a handful of games using the basic set-up to a complete programme which includes 28 official games with 35 variations, and also 24 preparatory/corrective games. As we are about to launch this new programme of development for 7-9 year olds, we figured a new name to reflect better its standing in world football development was necessary and we are delighted to announce this whole new programme – introducing…
The Beautiful Game for Kids
We believe that young children all round the world with a passion for football have been waiting for over 150 years, since the inception of the game, for a game that suits perfectly, their mental and physical requirements and their specific needs as children, summed up in one word – FUN. If Nature were to design a football game, much like Street Football of old, it would come up with – the first age-appropriate game programme specifically designed to meet the needs of young players, boys and girls, under 10 years of age. We hope that this holistic, game-centred approach will give millions of children around the world the most positive start to a lifetime of enjoying, as kids, The Beautiful Game, just as do the best players in the world!
The programme is the result of 27 years of innovation, practice and continuing improvement and is part of the Horst Wein Youth Football Development Model, which is the official textbook of the Spanish Football Federation since 1993 and is used by FC Barcelona, Athletico Bilbao and many top clubs around the world.
This unique modern coaching programme includes:
- A player-centred approach to coaching, where the child comes first.
- A game-centred approach, for optimal, holistic learning. (No more lines, laps and lectures). All aspects of the game: technical, physical, tactical and game intelligence are developed in an integrated manner for greater transfer and effect.
- A Guided-Discovery approach to learning, where the coach stimulates the players’ game intelligence through effective questioning.
The programme is designed for all ability levels, but encourages inclusivity.
has many advantages over other small sided games especially 4v4 and 7v7. Horst’s unique use of simplified games that are appropriate to each age group, both for their competitions and their training, makes this programme far superior to the traditional offerings for youth development in football. In total, counting the 28 official games, their 35 variations and the 24 preparatory games the complete programme effectively includes 87 games to keep both coaches and their players stimulated throughout, while also covering all the important aspects of the game for this developmental stage.
The Game is the Teacher!
(along with the other elements of the Developmnent Model) has been proven to nurture intelligent, creative players, as witnessed by the emergence of the home-grown talent on display, recently in the Europa Cup by Athletico Bilbao. In 2011 three young Mexican boys who played this game went on the win the U17 World Cup.
– Enjoy the “renaissance of street football”
– Be the best coach you can be, creating a player- centred environment where young talent flourishes.
– Introduce your players to game intelligence, and establish their technique through games not drills
– A complete easy-to-use manual to unlock the enormous creative potential of young children…
Everything needed for coaches and players to get started on the right road to a great future in football:
24 Preparatory/corrective games
Over 40 colour illustrations
Easy to read and implement
A season programme of competitions
Games and tests your players will love
A clear guide to coaching this age
Optimal pitch size and player numbers, 4 goals out wide and simple rules means:
- The game is easy to understand and improve at
- Experiencing success brings greater confidence, enjoyment and motivation
- More touches on the ball, more goals, more 1v1s and 2v1s
- Lots of dribbling, then when they get tired, lots of passing
- Establishes all the basic skills – controlling, passing, dribbling, shooting and tackling.
- The player has plenty of opportunity to “be in love with the ball,” to improvise and to take risks without fear of making mistakes.
- Greater participation as each player is vital in a 3 person team
- Goals out wide improves perception, peripheral vision and spatial awareness
- Reduces crowding or swarming
- More time and space to think and make decisions
- Great variety of games within a familiar structure keeps it interesting for everyone
- The positive environment of discovery instead of instruction is much more stimulating than traditional coaching style
- Smaller players make up for their physical disadvantages through clever play
- Everyone usually scores a goal!
- Rolling substitutions and equal playing time benefits everyone
- Frequent repetition of basic game situations gives greater opportunity to master them
- The two goals create options which stimulates creativity and improvisation.
- Develops support play and off-the-ball play
- Learning takes place in a fully-integrated holistic environment, just as in the game itself. There is no isolation or separation of technical, tactical or physical elements.
More goals, more action, more FUN!
Lifestyle and character benefits:
- Active Lifestyle – combats the impact of sedentary lifestyle and obesity
- Confidence/Self Esteem – through more successful actions and positive environment
- Endeavour/Perseverance – learn to never give up
- The Ability to Think – invaluable for education and life
- Emotional Control – contentment and satisfaction through play
- Social Relations/Friendships/Teamwork – a place to belong
- Fair Play – respect for other children, adults and regulations
Coaches, from the earliest involvement in the game, get to learn a modern player-centred, game-oriented, guided discovery approach and can grow with their players in their understanding of the game. The coach becomes a guide stimulating the players through his skilful use of the games, variations, effective questioning and constant encouragement.
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