Have you ever considered allowing your child to try Futsal?
With the decline of street football in recent years, parents should be looking for other ways that they can fill the void that is left from this form of play.
Many have forgotten the benefits that children used to receive from just playing freely in the streets without adult interference.
I remember playing hours on end on hard playing surfaces just outside my home. We would use anything for goal posts and just play and the space was extremely limited.
But Kurtis you cannot learn anything from just playing games, can you? Of course, you can!
When a baby takes their first step do, they have a coach instructing them how to stand then move their feet?
No, a baby learns from their surroundings seeing others and will take risks on occasions trying to first stand then take their step.
Yes, they fall many times but eventually, they master the art of walking.
This is simply what street football did for many players of the past.
So what is Futsal and how can it help your child you ask?
I will explain all in this article.
WHAT IS FUTSAL?
Futsal is an indoor 5 a side game that is played with a heavier ball (size 3-4).
There are touchline boundaries, and the game is played at a fast pace with a high emphasis on skill and close control.
In Futsal, if you are not comfortable on the ball you be found out and long ball tactics are discouraged with there being less space and the ball being heavier.
Many assume that the game is all about fancy tricks and juggling but when you watch and play the game you realize there is a lot more to it than that.
The players have to be very responsible in their roles because if they are not, the opposition can succeed with quick counter-attacks.
What you will also notice about the game is how much the player’s value possession of the ball, yes having high levels of skill is required to play the game but also high levels of tactical awareness.
How Futsal can Benefit Your Child!
As mentioned earlier in the post, players do not play in the streets like they used to.
There is now an over reliance on organized coaching sessions with many varying in quality. I see many coaches in these sessions prefer to use overly structured training methods that do not allow the young player to show their individualism on the ball.
I am a huge believer that if you want to improve a child’s ability on the ball and increase game understanding then they must learn in realistic situations constantly.
Street football brought this in abundance.
In the game of Futsal, you have limited space, so you have to think of different ways to protect the ball by either screening (arm out to keep the defender away) or shifting the ball to safe side (keeping the ball on the side away the defender).
As there is limited space, quick close control is a must, or you will face losing the ball on many occasions.
Does your child spend too much time looking at the ball and not enough time looking at what’s around them?
In futsal, it is required that you recognize space quickly or again you will likely lose possession of the ball.
In Futsal, there are boundaries, so the players must utilize the space effectively as they can’t just operate anywhere like in street football/free play.
And finally, what a lot of people don’t realize about the game is the importance of understanding your role!
It is important that you understand how to play your position effectively or risk giving an opportunity to the opponent.
As you can see from what is mentioned above, to play this game well high levels of skill are required.
And with the game being played at a space due to the area size and playing numbers (5v5) things must be done quickly!
Things to Be Aware Of!
As with anything that involves organizations or outsourced coaches make sure you do your research before committing to the sessions.
Some believe any practice is good practice if they are playing, I don’t share there this belief.
Yes, playing the game is great, but if they are in an environment where bad habits are not corrected, and the core skills are not developed then it is wasted practice.
As with anything, realism should be clear throughout the practice!
Without it, players will find it difficult to transfer their skills to the game.
Yes, all skills and techniques need to be introduced gradually (no pressure-limited pressure-full pressure) but at each stage it must be realistic!
I have seen many freestylers who are fantastic at executing skills but put them in a game situation where they must make decisions on time & space, it becomes difficult for them to implement their skill to a high level.
There are still many coaches who love this sort of practice or ‘drill’ as many like to call it.
It can look pleasing on the eye and very organized, but will it improve your child? This is what you need to ask yourself.
I don’t know about you, but I am still waiting to see my first ladder or hurdle in a game of football or futsal.
Remember to choose quality practice over everything, not the latest gimmick!