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My Thanksgiving holiday week was full of family, american football and too much food. It was a great break and chance to reset.
I usually have my teams take the first week of Futsal off because that gives them a two-week break between the end of the outdoor season and our first Futsal game.
This also gives me a chance to have more practice time with them before our first game. It also compresses our season so that we have fewer midseason breaks which keeps us in the flow of the game.
This week’s question comes from Issac. He asks getting more engagement from his team.
“I coach a U11 boys team. I’ve coached pretty much this exact same group since U9. Typically, our fall seasons start off rough but improve steadily into spring. This fall has been extremely challenging. Our technical abilities continue to progress while our on field play has been extremely inconsistent.
When our players are locked in, everything goes well. We don’t always win, but they have energy, the intent is there and the kids are having fun. But far too often this season, they has been a lack of engagement in games. We seem to be doing a lot of watching. Our reaction to passes is getting worse.
At first, I chalked this up to the move from 7v7 to 9v9 or moving from a 1-2-3-1 to a 1-3-4-1. Now that the fall is coming to a close this problem doesn’t appear to be getting any better.
Our training this fall (3 days a week) has been focused on passing patterns, combinations in the back and middle thirds, and pressing high now that the build out lines are gone. I’m not sure what to do at this point. What would you suggest for getting the players active, anticipating passes and stepping into spaces to win balls? How do we limit the amount of ball-watching going on?”
Thanks for your question Issac!
First U11’s are going to be inconsistent – Get used to that.
Second, Whenever I’ve done a lot of work on passing and possession, the way you’ve described, I almost always see my teams lose a step because they’re thinking too much. I find that putting them in competitive situations like 1v1 and 2v2 in training will help to speed up their thinking and playing.
In This Episode
As I move into the Futsal season I always spend some time planning my approach to season. This year I’ve been really focused on the different skills and ideas that are specific to Futsal. Today I want to talk about how the different Futsal skills and tactics can add weapons to my player’s arsenal.
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Next week I’ll look at the pregame routine. I’ll discuss everything from when to have the kids arrive to what activities should be included in the warm-up and how to adjust your routine to different environments.
Has it been a hard adjustment for your players who are trained to receive with their back foot in outdoor to switch over to receive on the front foot for futsal?
What are your thoughts on coaches who have their teams play futsal for the speed of play and ball control required but don’t necessarily coach the futsal specific techniques?
It’s always an adjustment that takes a couple of weeks. Then in the spring it will take them some time to think about using their back foot more often but then they have an understanding of when to use each technique.
I used to be one of those coaches! It took me a few years before I saw the benefit of teaching futsal specific techniques. I was missing an opportunity to add skills to my player’s ‘tool box’ because I wasn’t seeing how teaching the different techniques would benefit the overall development of the players.
I actually talked more about this to another coach last weekend and I can see how teaching players the different skillsets can help their soccer brain. They learn the different techniques and then have to make decisions about when’s the right time to use them. thanks!