6. Different sized futsal balls bring different returnsU7s should play with a size two or three but also might benefit from some time playing with a size four, as it will help with control as the ball will move slower. The trade-off is that all the passes will have to be short. Similarly, older players working with a size two may find it more difficult to control the ball because of the decreased surface area.
7. Working indoors can provide a wider variety of learning opportunitiesAn indoor facility allows you to put the learning objectives and session plan up on the wall. If you want the players to write feedback or ideas up on a chart you have the opportunity to do so. Sometimes the weather outside can rule out these aspects of the coaching process. Working indoors also allows the coach to take their time rather than just feel they need to rush through the session to keep the players warm.
8. Sometimes lots of footballs in an indoor facility can be chaoticGiven that futsal balls don’t bounce - and you don’t need many of them to set up the game and start playing - it can be much easier to manage the environment. Also, by working indoors means you can manage your equipment better. Balls aren’t continually being kicked out of the area meaning you can have more action and play.
9. There is very little stop and stand still
Because futsal is such a dynamic game, one of the ways to get the main learning messages across is by letting the game ‘run’ and to coach during breaks in the play. We don’t encourage much stopping and standing whilst the game is underway. One of the key messages from the new futsal awards is to let the practice or game run, have a quick chat with the players when they are on the sideline (see below), and then let them go again.
10) Opportunity to coach the players who are restingBecause there are lots of changes to the personnel on court at any one time there is an opportunity to coach the players who are on the sideline. Sometimes football coaches are uncomfortable with all the players not being involved in all parts of the session. But with futsal being such a dynamic game, the players want - and need - to rest. It affords the coach time to talk to the players about their own individual targets and challenges and also what they have observed in the game. Players might only work in two or three minute blocks so the intensity of the game stays consistently high.
Ian Bateman is an FA youth coach educator specialising in futsal.