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It was great to have a week off from coaching for the Thanksgiving Holiday here in the U.S. It’s always fun to catch-up with family and friends, eat WAY too much foot and watch WAY too much (American) football.
But as always, I looked forward to getting back on the field and preparing my players for the winter leagues that are just about to start.
I decided to make this week’s Q & A the subject of the entire episode because it’s timely and I’ve received a number of emails asking for my opinion on the subject.
“Like Kansas, we have prolonged cold winters here in Salt Lake. We typically have three types of indoor facilities to choose from for matches for my U12 team.
- Indoor Soccer facilities (indoor hockey rink style where you can play the ball off the walls)
- Futsal courts with out-of-bounds lines
- Full indoor turf fields (far fewer of these)
A lot of coaches I know frown on indoor soccer (hockey style) and prefer futsal. They insist indoor brings about bad habits, but I never hear more than that simple dismissal, although using the walls is generally referenced. There are very few full indoor facilities to choose from, so it is the least likely option for us.
I’m curious on your thoughts for indoor vs Futsal vs full field.”
So today I’ll talk about the key aspects of these formats. The pros and cons of each as they relate to development. My opinion on how useful each one is in improving your players technically and tactically as well as my pick for the best format for over all development.
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In the Next Episode
I’ll describe how I think we are stealing our player’s learning opportunities. I think this may be the most important topic for coaches and parents to discuss as we reach the midpoint of the soccer year here in the States.
In the UK we play ‘indoor football’ in a sports hall with hard surface (basketball court surface), using the ‘furry’ yellow (think big tennis ball) indoor football, 5-a-side and off the walls and under head height. That for me is the most exciting and best form of the indoor game and sounds like a hybrid of the ‘arena’ and ‘futsal’ games you describe. I coach futsal now and can see some merits of it but for young kids having fun and still learning techniques for me, the hybrid indoor version I’m used to is the best.
I remember those ‘big tennis balls’. I haven’t seen one in many years. I can see how that would be a fun game.