If you’ve ever wondered where the great players in the game came from, you may be surprised to learn that many of the world’s best coaches share the same answer: the streets. Rinus Michels, FIFA’s coach of the century and the architect of "Total Football" said "My position is: street soccer is the most natural educational system that can be found…In Africa and South American countries, where the conditions for street soccer are favorable, you can immediately notice that youth players have a head start."
But how do we create the environment for street soccer in today’s culture? Luckily, we have an answer. Burke AC is committed to an ongoing street soccer system. We call it the BAC Festival.
What began in the fall of 2005 as an experiment for one age group run by a single coach has continued to grow and thrive. In the spring of 2007, the festivals were expanded to include all U6 and U7 players as well as many U9, U10 and U12 girls teams. On average, more than 110 children have participated each week. The only thing that held us back from providing this experience to all players has been field space. For the fall of 2007, that issue has been solved.
Beginning in the fall of 2007, all players from U6 through U12 will be able to participate in a street soccer festival once per week. This weekly 90 minute festival is designed to maximize each child’s playing time and ball touches. Typically, each game is played as a 4 v 4 or 3 v 3 game and lasts approximately eight to ten minutes. After each game, players are given a quick water break and then they are assigned to new teams to play another game.
Age groups are often mixed with U8 players sometimes playing with U10 or U12 players. Similarly, U6 players often play with U7 and U8 players.
In the pages that follow you’ll find everything that you need to start your own street soccer festivals at practice. These festivals bring maximum enjoyment and create an ideal climate for learning. So, if you’re really interested in learning more about "the most natural educational system that can be found" simply click below for the .pdf files:
Introducing Festivals - A primer on small-sided games and a guide to putting together your own "festival."
Scenarios for Festival training. Ideas that help make Festivals a bigger part of the clubs picture.
Festival control sheet - Sample schedule - A blank schedule to use in scheduling your own tournament.
Festival score sheet - Sample score sheet - A blank score sheet to use in keeping track of individual scores.
Article: Confessions of a Reformed Coach.
Article: The Evolution of Small Sided Play.
Article: Deconstructing Youth Soccer.