Bring It In: An Ode to Mini

Why Small-Sided Games Are Great

Campers compete at Session B of NUTC 2018.
Campers compete at Session B of NUTC 2018. Photo: Kristina Geddert —

Bring It In is a coaching-focused column by Keith Raynor.

There have been a lot of trends in my coaching career. There are ideas that have become central parts of my coaching style, techniques that are core to my fundamentals, and structures that are the foundation of my playbook. One thing that has been on the uptick from when I started to now: my love of mini.

While the stock price on mini in my personal market is way up, back when I was a player, it was in the red. I found mini an annoyance, tiring without actually providing “real ultimate” playing opportunities. There was no stack, no hucks; there was barely a break side. I liked to play in big spaces and mini was, by definition, small. That aversion carried over into my nascent coaching career.

But as team skipper, I’ve come to see the virtues of small-sided games and rely heavily on them, particularly at the beginning of the season when introducing new players to ultimate. The benefits as I see them:

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