When winter descends and the pitches freeze, it is terrific to be able to transfer training sessions indoor to the Futsal arena.* However, while working indoors is great in terms of comfort for the players, as well as their safety, it can be difficult to transfer the skills needed for the outdoor game to playing indoors. That’s why we need proper futsal strategies.
We feel that the key to success is to maximize the advantages of indoor play, rather than try to replicate what would be done outdoors. That means concentrating on skills to develop first touch; passing firmly and quickly on the ground, maximizing rondo type drills which encourage communication and movement, as well as touch, and improving physical fitness through playing the faster indoor game.
Tip One: Create Space with Width
This rondo drill is both easy to set up and hard work to play. Therefore, it works well with a small group and regular rotation to keep the players fit and performing in bursts, like in the outdoor game. Change teams after every two minutes. That gives the players off the opportunity to change bibs and such like whilst they are off so everybody can play in all positions.
Set up 5 v 2 plus a goalkeeper. The goalkeeper is not permitted out of their penalty area. The two wingers must hug the touchline to create space. The defensive player on the five-man team must remain in their own half. They cannot be tackled but can be pressurised. They receive the ball from the opposition every time a play breaks down.
Operate the three second rule; that requires movement at least every three seconds to encourage the creation of space.
The attacking side aim to create the opportunity to score, the defense must simply stop them.
Tip Two: Work on Feints
Use lots of drills without opposition. A very simple drill, ideal with kids but one which works well with adults as well is to set up three lines of four, two at one end, one at the other. Four balls are used, and players dribble at speed to their opposite player. However, in the middle of the run (shown below in the yellow rectangle) players must introduce a trick; a step over, drag back and turn, feint, or two footed dribble for example.
This is a fast action drill and is ideal as a warmup. With bigger groups simply add extra lines of players.
Tip Three: Transition Games
This is great for developing defensive communication and movement during transition to defence. Simply play a normal 4 v 4 game, including goalkeepers. However, the two spare players (in yellow) always play for the attacking side.
When the ball is lost, the coach insists that attacking players, except the ‘spares’, drop back into position behind the ball, with two deep and one acting as central midfielder in front of this defence.
Tip Four: Work on Fitness and Touch with Small Sided Games
While a five, or if the space is big enough, even a six a side game can be great fun to end a session, use the time to develop touch and fitness with two a side games (no keeper) and three a side games. These should be short – change after every two minutes or when a goal is scored. Young players in particular love to play mini tournaments like this. Points can be awarded for games played, rather than games won, since the winner can stay on. (Exhaustion can quickly catch up with any team!)
So, those winter months playing indoors can provide a great opportunity for our teams and does not need to be second best to playing outdoors. For those keen to develop their indoor team skills even more, the following clip is handy:
*Futsal is growing as a game across the football playing world, especially where inclement weather is common. However, the drills here can easily be adapted to normal indoor 5 a side football, or even on mini artificial grass pitches.
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If you like this blog post, you’ll like our post on futsal drills to escalate your game.
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