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PART THREE: WHY ARE SOME UNDER-12 YEAR-OLDS GOOD IN SEVERAL SPORTS?


In the final part of this three-part series we explain the connection between futsal and football and its importance in developing footballers. The topics covered in these features form an important part of our coaching methods and philosophy at MnM Coaching.

Futsal & Football - What is the connection?

The first connection is the top players that have played both sports: Pelé, Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Xavi, Ronaldinho, etc.

All of these players as well as numerous others have started out by playing street football and futsal where they picked up the base of their skills.

The second connection is the current trends in the development of player in top level football's. These technical and tactical trends are high-tempo pressing, quick transitions, collective counters, attacking mobility, combo goals, building from the back, significant soloists, and less time and space.

All these elements are realised when playing futsal or when harnessing your skills through street football. Argentina's 1978 World Cup winning coach César Luis Menotti expresses his thoughts on football by saying: "Football is about three things: time, space, and trickery. But there is no time; people don't look for space; and there is no trickery."

The third connection is playing several games of futsal/street football as part of players' personal and team training sessions:

1) Attacking play is based on good ball control in all areas of the pitch, with the aim of creating one-on-one situations (possession style of play).

2) In defensive play every player's tactical role is very important, because if one player out of four does not react in time their mistake will be realised immediately on the scoresheet (5v5 - 11v11).

3) Limits and circumstances (rules, playing conditions, etc.) affect the nature and shape of the game as well as the speed. Players have less time and space, which forces them to make quick decisions and to take more touches. This also leads to a higher tempo of play (less time -> quick decision making /less space -> increasing amount of touches/high tempo, intensity).

4) A player's technical performance must be spot on because the ball is heavier than in football, so their touches and control of the ball must be good (passing skills / receiving and controlling the ball / dribbling / shooting).

5) Learning the tactics of the game and understanding different game situations is easier for youth players because the number of players in futsal is less. This makes observation of the game easier (5v5 - 11v11).

By bringing the fundamentals of futsal and street football back to daily training you will get better footballers.

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