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Monday, November 23, 2009

How to Play Indoor Soccer: Team Tactics, Part 3

  1. Step 1

    Involve the defenders in the attack. If your defenders are skilled with ball control or shooting from a distance, they can create havoc by beating the opposing striker who’s covering them or by creating just enough space to one side or the other to rip a shot that will create a rebound opportunity or a goal. Even your defenders with mediocre skills should be able to receive a drop back pass from a well-marked teammate and redistribute the ball to a teammate who is moving to open space. Keep one defender back if your backline has a big speed disadvantage against the competition.

  2. Step 2

    If you have a keeper with foot skills, try letting him/her bring the ball up field. This is high risk and completely dependent upon your keeper’s skill and the ability of your people to get open to receive a pass from him/her. If nobody challenges your keeper and marks your other five players, your keeper earns a one-on-one shot against the opposing keeper. That won’t happen much, but it’s a nice concept. What will happen is that an opposing player will rotate off the person he/she is marking to challenge your keeper. That leaves somebody open on your team. However, one errant pass leads to an open net opportunity for the opposing team. Optimize this by letting the keeper make one pass that allows a teammate to beat an opposing player, creating a temporary five on four scenario while the beaten player tries to recover. After making the pass, the keeper hustles back to your net.

  3. Step 3

    Use long ball once in a while to keep the opposing defenders out of the attack against you. The walls make this a little easier since you have little risk of giving up a goal kick. This can create opportunities if you have a speedster for a striker.

  4. Step 4

    Force substitutions. Nobody can sprint for minutes on end. Athletes can pace themselves to optimize shifts of 5-10 minutes or longer, but it’s an advantage to use substitutes liberally.

  5. Step 5

    Consider line substitutions. Like hockey, if you get a group of players who play many games together, you can have dedicated lines where the same two defenders substitute in and out together. Same for your front three or front two/one, depending how you line up. This allows for lines getting used to each other’s play, and it helps monitor the shift schedules. If, however, guys show up to games randomly when they can and have different conditioning levels, keep it simple and let them rotate in one at a time.

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