Monday, September 28, 2009

Futsal Practice

Accelerated Learning

80 Possessions A Player

In a 50 minute Futsal match, a field player on a team using a dynamic system of play with rotations and player exchanges (a 3-1, 4-0, Roof or 1-2-1 system, for example) to create and take advantage of space will touch the ball once every 29.5 seconds . . . that's just over 80 possessions per player per match, if the player plays the entire match. This compares to only 30 to 40 possessions per player in a full 90 minute outdoor soccer match (number varies by position and the style of soccer the team plays).

The majority of possessions in Futsal are quick 1 or 2 touch combinations with teammates. In Futsal players who put their head down and try three or more touch combinations usually find themselves double teamed and losing the ball. The game rewards players who keep their head up, who control the ball, who support their team mates and who use one and two touch combination play to work with team mates.

Faster Speed Of Play

Speed, Agility, Quickness

The benefit to a Soccer player, of playing Futsal matches under the pressure of restricted time, space and pressure, is an improvement in:

  • Speed of locomotion (speed of sprint)
  • Speed of action/reaction with the ball
  • Speed of action/reaction without the ball
  • Speed of decision-making
  • Speed of anticipation
  • Speed of perceptional and visual processing
  • Speed of performing soccer specific skills
  • Speed in changing directions
  • Speed at which feints can be performed
  • Speed at which defense is played
  • Speed of fast breaks
  • Speed of transition from Attack to Defense
  • Speed of transition from Defense to Attack
  • Speed of goalkeepers reactions
  • Speed of team combination play
Speed of action converting all other aspects of speed into simply playing faster.

Preparing For The Spring Soccer

Physical Conditioning

A typical high school soccer player runs 3 to 5 miles (click here) in a full 90 minute outdoor soccer game on a narrow football field (distance run varies by position played and style of play of team). The same player in a 40 minute Futsal match, with a team playing a dynamic system of play, will run 2.5 miles as striker, 3.1 miles as defender and 3.7 miles as a wing midfielder.





















Safe Learning Environment
Player Safety
Futsal is FIFA's game for the development of player's skills, speed of play and knowledge. FIFA's position is that players focused on physical play are not focused on learning. FIFA's official Laws of the Game of Futsal prohibit physical contact including shoulder charges and slide tackles.

There is significantly less risk of injury in Futsal than in FIFA's outdoor game. An American Academy of Pediatrics clinical report finds the indoor game with walls has an injury rate that is 6.1 times higher than the injury rate in FIFA's 11 a side soccer game (click for report). Futsal is great for player conditioning. Because there are no walls and rules restricting physical contact playing Futsal reduces the risk of a pre-season injury that might prevent a player from being ready for the spring season.

Improved Attacking Psychology
The Creation Zone
Virtually all coaching courses, clinics, soccer text, video tapes, training CD's and Internet training sites in English promote the concept that soccer in all it's forms, including Futsal, is played in the Defensive Third, the Midfield (Transition) Third and the Attacking (Scoring) Third of the Pitch.

To encourage players to be more creative a different psychological approach is used to encourage youth Futsal players in many other countries. This alternate view defines four areas of play on the pitch. The Defensive Zone is the quarter of the pitch closest to the goal your team is defending. The Transition Zone is the quarter of the pitch from the Defensive Zone to the midfield line. The Attacking (Scoring) Zone, form which most goals are scored, is the area in front of and closest to your opponent's goal. The rest of the attacking half of the pitch is the Creation Zone . . . the area where a team creates attacks on their opponent's goal. Players taught to use the Creation Zone to create scoring opportunities have a much better concept of which areas of the pitch can be used to create successful attacks

Teaching Creative Attacking Play
Dynamic Attacking
While most coaches and trainers credit Futsal with improving skills, teams that use any of Futsal's dynamic systems of play learn to play creative attacking soccer.

Prior to the 1950's Futsal was played with a single defender and three attacking players. This system, referred to as the 1-3 is still used in the last few minutes of matches when a team is behind and willing to take risk to score goals. Because the defender didn't go forward to score and the attacking players didn't come back to defend this was a very static style of play.

In the 1950's teams started playing a 2-2 system with 2 defenders and 2 attacking players. Because the two defenders stayed in the back and the two attacking players stayed closer to the opponent's goal this was also a very static style of play. This style is still used by very young teams just learning to play the game.

In the very late 1950's the first of the dynamic styles of play became popular with the introduction of the 3-1 system with three defenders and a single attacking player. This system was the first of many dynamic systems that allow a team to creatively attack an opponent and force the opposing defense to make mistakes. The creative attacking concepts used in Futsal's dynamic systems of play also work well in FIFA's traditional soccer game.

The easiest way to see the possible patterns of movement and rotations that can be used to create attacking opportunities in the 3-1 is to draw a Futsal court on a sheet of paper and then play "what if". Put a coin on the paper close to the opponent's goal and label it target player. Then place three coins at the mid-court in the 4, 6 and 8 o'clock positions for three teammates. Now if the target player moves to the left side of the court what space is created and which player(s) can move to use it? If the target player checks back to their teammate with the ball what space is created and which player(s) can move to use it? What happens if the target player checks back towards their teammate with the ball and the ball is simply chipped over the target player to the space that has been created? There are over a hundred creative attacking options that can be used by a team using movement, rotations, exchanges, takeovers, chip passes, cross court movement and passes, feints and other techniques to create and effectively use the limited space available on a Futsal court.

There are many dynamic systems of attacking play including:
• 3 - 1 with a static target player
• 3 - 1 with different players rotating through the front as target player
• 4 - 0 with any combination of the four back court players attacking in an almost unlimited number of combinations, rotations and patterns
• Roof system with five court players (including the keeper)
• Carousel with constant rotations
• 1 - 2 - 1 with players playing more like the diamond on a playing card with the target player static
• 1 - 2 - 1 with players playing more like the diamond on a playing card with different players taking turns rotating through the target player position
• 2 - 1 - 1 with two defenders, a midfielder and a attacking player
• Y or 1 - 1 - 2 with a defender, a midfielder and two attacking players

Futsal Teaches The Game
From Court To The Field
Futsal is FIFA's official 5 a side game because the Laws of and the game of Futsal rewards players for the same skills, concepts, decision making and basic knowledge of the game that is required to play FIFA's traditional 11 a side game.

For example, many of the patterns of movement and rotations in the exercises in "Futsal Guidelines for Coaches", © 2005, Set Sport Corporation, Brazil, are used in the movement and rotations of field players in FIFA's traditional soccer game. For example:
Futsal Practice Exercise #1

Futsal Practice Exercise #2

Futsal Practice Exercise #3

The following outdoor practice sequence was found on a web site posted by a coach in São Paulo, Brazil. It incorporates almost all of the same match concepts taught in "Futsal Guidelines for Coaches" to create and use space in the Creation Zone on a full size field in a traditional outdoor soccer game.
Soccer Practice Exercise #1

Soccer Practice Exercise #2
Soccer Practice Exercise #3
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