With the outdoor season coming to an end in the Midwest of the United States, I’m turning my attention Futsal training. For anyone not familiar with Futsal, it’s played with a ball that is one size smaller than the ball the players use outdoor (U9-U12 play with a size three ball while U13 and above play with a size four). The ball is also constructed to have a low bounce to help keep it on the floor. The game is played on the same surface as a basketball court so the ball moves very quickly. These characteristics mean that it is sometimes easier to control with the sole of the foot rather than the inside of the foot.
During the outdoor season I discourage players from using the sole of their foot to receive the ball because of the uneven surface and the bounce of the ball. So during the first couple of practices I spend a lot of the time working on receiving and dribbling the ball with the sole of the foot.
This is a simple exercises to get the players comfortable with the different ball. To begin with they dribble with both feet, then only with their favorite foot, then with their not-so-favorite foot. I do this instead of right foot and left foot so that the players always get to start with their stronger foot before trying with the weaker foot. I encourage them to use the inside, outside and sole of their foot.
Next I introduce three sole of the foot moves: pull back behind the leg, pull back and go (also called a ‘V’ by some) and finally a stop, hop a go. The last is basically a hesitation move where the player drags the ball back as if to stop but then keeps their foot on the ball and rolls it forward. To begin, the players use the space between the cones to practice the moves. Eventually, they use the cones as defenders.
As a progression you can have three or four players stand on the cones with one foot and try to tackle with the other. Once this is easy for the players you can remove the cones and add an active defender to pressure the players.
Passing in Pairs
This is also a simple exercise. The key is to teach the players how to properly receive the ball with the sole of their foot.
- Toe up, heel down
- Roll the ball out of your feet to set up the pass
Stepping on the ball is often the best way to control it as moves quickly across the court but it is also important to keep the ball moving to protect it from pressuring defenders.
I finish the session with a long scrimmage to go over the different rules for Futsal such as kick-ins, goalie throws and substitution rules.
How do your sessions change when moving from outdoor to indoor?
Have a great day!