Here are 10 tips for coaching indoor soccer. Playing soccer on an indoor surface requires a different strategy than outdoor full field soccer. The pace of the game is much quicker indoors, so it is important to have a backup player at each position, since substitutions are frequently needed.
- Try to get as much practice on the indoor surface as possible. Unlike the outdoor game, where only a large grassy field is needed for practice, the indoor game is often difficult to practice due to the availability of the facility. Try to book at least one day each week for practicing at the indoor location, if possible.
- Make sure each player has the right kind of footwear for the indoor surface. There are many soccer shoe brands to choose from for indoor playing. The shoes should not have rubber cleats, but should instead have a rubber sole that provides the player with some grip.
- Use a variety of ball control drills during practice. Maintaining possession is critical in indoor soccer, since one mistake can lead to a quick goal. Drill the players on how to use their body to protect the ball, and show them how to dump the ball back to their own goalie if necessary.
- Have the players get used to the walls. The wall can be a great asset in indoor soccer, if the players know how to use it. Spend some time teaching the players to pass the ball off of the wall, and also show them how to pin an opponent against the wall to try and steal possession of the ball.
- Work on transition during practice. Unlike outdoor soccer, where the team usually has to build up once they gain possession of the ball, indoor soccer is much easier to switch from defense to offense. Teach the players how to look for the outlet man, much like basketball players do on a fast break.
- Use drills to teach players the proper indoor shooting technique. Indoor goals are smaller than outdoor goals, so players must learn to use a low trajectory on their shots. Work with the players on their shooting, and use the stronger shooters at forward and midfield during a game.
- Get the players in shape for indoor season. Indoor soccer games do not usually last as long as an outdoor game, however there is a lot more sprinting involved due to the pace of the game. Have the players do a lot of fitness work during practice, which will help them to maintain their energy level for an entire indoor game.
- Choose the starters and backups as the season nears. Have the starters get used to playing with one another on the indoor surface. Also work on substituting in players, to make the changes seamless for the team.
- Decide on a field formation to use during indoor games. If the team plays in a 6 on 6 league, you may want to have one forward, two midfielders, two defenders and a goalkeeper. Identify which players to use at each position, and also find a backup who can step in if the starters become fatigued.
- Show the players how to protect a lead. If the team has a lead late in the game, teach them how to pass the ball around to kill time. Being able to make quick passes is crucial when the team needs to protect a lead in indoor soccer, so work on receiving and passing skills during practice.
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