Futsal - Vic Hermans - ebook

Futsal ebook

Vic Hermans



The book gives a comprehensive overview of the history of Futsal, its greatest moments and its contribution to the development of soccer idols like Ronaldo and Ronaldinho. The numerous practical descriptions of match and exercise drills that focus on technique, training and tactics are clearly illustrated with photos and diagrams. Detailed examples of how to structure training sessions and lessons are explained from a pedagogical and learning psychological perspective. The book concludes with strategies and tactics used in top matches as well as the official FIFA rules. This book can also be used as a guide for the introduction of this version of indoor soccer in schools and clubs.

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For the sake of simplicity, we have decided to use the masculine form of address throughout the book which, of course, includes the feminine.

Gregor Gdawietz, Wolfgang Schwehm (Editors)

Vic Hermans & Rainer Engler


Technique – Tactics – Training

Sports Pedagogical Contributor: Horst Nelles, Duisburg

Meyer & Meyer Sport

Original title: Futsal: Technik-Taktik-Training

© 2009 by Meyer & Meyer Verlag

Translated by Heather Ross


Technique – Tactics – Training

Vic Hermans/Rainer Engler

Maidenhead: Meyer & Meyer Sport (UK) Ltd., 2011

ISBN: 978-1-84126-860-6

All rights reserved. Except for use in a review, no part of this publication maybe reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means now known or hereafter invented without the prior written permission of the publisher.

This book may not be lent, resold, hired out or otherwise disposed of by way of trade in any form, binding or cover other than that which is published, without the prior written consent of the publisher.

© 2011 by Meyer & Meyer Sport (UK) Ltd.

Auckland, Beirut, Budapest, Cairo, Cape Town, Dubai, Graz, Indianapolis, Maidenhead,

Melbourne, Olten, Singapore, Tehran, Toronto

Member of the World

  Sport Publishers’ Association (WSPA)


Printed by: B.O.S.S Druck und Medien GmbH

ISBN: 978-1-84126-304-5

E-Mail: [email protected]




1 What is Futsal?

1.1 No more walls!

1.2 Futsal is different

1.3 The ball is still round

1.4 The rules promote fair play

1.5 The advantages are clear

2 How to Plan Training Sessions

2.1 How to structure training sessions

2.2 Training session setting

3 Futsal – Basic Techniques

3.1 Ball reception

3.2 Dribbling and ball control

3.3 Passing

3.4 Shooting

3.5 Feints and tricks

3.6 Goalkeeping technique

4 Age Group Training

4.1 Training for 6-8 year-olds

4.1.1 Basic technique drills

4.1.2 Small-sided games and training games

4.1.3 Basic tactical rules

4.1.4 Conditioning drills

4.1.5 Coordination

4.2 Training for 8-10 year-olds

4.2.1 Basic technique drills

4.2.2 Small-sided games and training games

4.2.3 Basic tactical rules

4.2.4 Conditioning drills

4.2.5 Coordination

4.3 Training for 10-12 year-olds

4.3.1 Basic technique drills

4.3.2 Small-sided games and training games

4.3.3 Basic tactical rules

4.3.4 Conditioning drills

4.3.5 Coordination

4.4 Training for 12-14 year-olds

4.4.1 Basic technique drills

4.4.2 Small-sided games and training games

4.4.3 Basic tactical rules

4.4.4 Conditioning drills

4.4.5 Coordination

4.5 Training for 14-16 year-olds

4.5.1 Basic technique drills

4.5.2 Small-sided games and training games

4.5.3 Basic tactical rules

4.5.4 Conditioning drills

4.5.5 Coordination

4.6 Training for 16-18 year-olds

4.6.1 Basic technique drills

4.6.2 Small-sided games and training games

4.6.3 Basic tactical rules

4.6.4 Conditioning drills

4.6.5 Coordination

4.7 Training for over-18s (seniors)

4.7.1 Basic technique drills

4.7.2 Small-sided games and training games

4.7.3 Basic tactical rules

4.7.4 Conditioning drills

4.7.5 Coordination

5 The Goalplayer

6 Organizational Tips

6.1 Organizational tips for training

6.1.1 Planning a training session

6.1.2 Organization forms in training

6.2 Organizational tips for match day

6.2.1 The coach’s duties before the game

6.2.2 The coach’s duties during the game

6.2.3 The coach’s duties after the game

7 Abridged Rules

8 Contact addresses


Photo credits


After I finished my career in 1990 as a player, I was convinced that Futsal would have a great future. As I had just been proclaimed best player of the World Championships, I was allowed to promote the game as a FIFA instructor all over the world. I have visited all the continents in the last 20 years.

I have been National Coach of Hong Kong, Malaysia, Iran and the Netherlands and presently I am on the magnificent island of Malta.

I usually work at the final tournaments as Technical Observer for UEFA and FIFA.

The UEFA has set up a splendid competition over the last years, which is attended by almost all of the 52 European countries. However, I think that some important steps still need to be taken if we are to succeed in maximizing the global reach of Futsal.

In my opinion, we lack a qualification tournament where games will be decided by playing home and away. There is no 0/21 tournament and no women’s competition. Finally, and, most importantly of all, we are not an Olympic Sport.

I strongly urge UEFA and FIFA to address these issues, as well as working on development and training forms for Futsal. Everywhere I go, people ask me for exercises, training methods etc.

After I wrote my first book for FIFA, “Youth Futsal” with my Spanish colleague Javier Lozano, I received a lot of inquiries. After that I worked jointly on a Futsal book in Hungary and published this book together with Rainer Engler first in the German language.

In view of the above, we have decided to also publish this book in the English and Dutch languages.

I hope that this book will inspire you and your players to raise training sessions, which are very necessary for developing Futsal, to a higher level.

Vic Hermans


What is Futsal?


No more walls!

Futsal is a variation of indoor soccer, but not just any old variation, the official FIFA and UEFA variation, the version of indoor soccer that has taken the whole world by storm. There are many reasons for the worldwide popularity of Futsal. Firstly there is the lack of walls or boards that completely or partially delineate the playing area. They benefit a few technically adept players and enable ice-hockey-like play. They are not a good idea for kids and school pupils who want to improve their technical proficiency. Even professional players sometimes find it difficult to control the ball on a small pitch (ideally a pitch measuring 20m x 40m (22 x 44 yd). Then there is the size of the ball, which is supposed to correspond to the size and weight of a normal soccer ball, i.e. a size 5 ball pumped to 1 bar over-pressure that rebounds on a hard indoor floor like a super ball if not kicked flat enough. This makes it really difficult to receive high and semi-high balls and makes truly attractive, fast combination passes the exception rather than the rule.


Futsal is different

Futsal, originally ‘Futebol de Salão’ (indoor soccer in Portuguese) is the most attractive version of indoor soccer. The pitch, the size of a basketball court, becomes the manageably-sized setting for teams of five including a goalkeeper, the stage to show off lightning fast ball technique, feint-packed dribbling, with almost no contact yet aggressive soccer action. Futsal has incredibly fast passing, and is the epitome of a team sport that still allows room for individual demonstrations of skill, tricks and feints that are relished by players and spectators alike. But of course it’s more than just a fun sport; Futsal is an ideal youth and high school sport. Nowhere can the classic soccer techniques from safe passing to ball reception to goal scoring be learned as fast as in Futsal. This was scientifically proven by the University of Frankfurt at the end of 2006. And if you don’t trust the science, note that world-class Brazilian players like Ronaldo and Ronaldinho played only Futsal in their youth and it was there that they learned the technical skills that they were later able to deploy on the full-size pitch. This is not surprising as Futsal is part of the basic school curriculum in Brazil.

“I learnt my technical skills in Futsal,” said the soccer star Juninho. “Futsal requires split-second decisions, fast attacking with few players and good positioning, as well as being very physically demanding. Every player who started out playing Futsal is one step ahead of the game.” Futsal is also one of the fairest team sports; the founders of the FIFA rules have combined sensible indoor soccer rules with proven ideas from other sports, which not only speed up the game but above all minimize the risk of injury to players.


The ball is still round

So, what’s so different about Futsal compared to indoor soccer with boards? Quite simply: the ball. It is quite different from the conventional soccer ball designed for the full-sized pitch and also the ‘indoor soccer’ ball, which is usually covered in nylon or smooth synthetic velour.

The Futsal ball was especially developed for the official FIFA version of indoor soccer and has less bounce than a conventional soccer ball. If it is dropped from a height of 2 m (2 yd), it only bounces gently two or three times and then comes to a stop. A conventional outdoor soccer ball would bounce like a rubber ball on the indoor floor surface. The reduced bounce of the Futsal ball makes it much easier to control on the hard indoor pitch surface and is therefore conducive to attractive, technically skilful soccer.

The ball is either made of leather or another high-quality material. The long-time supplier and partner of the Brazilian national Futsal team, DalPonte, manufactures its top-of-the-range Futsal ball from microfiber. Other high-profile manufacturers like Nike or Puma also offer excellent Futsal balls. For a long time, the original Puma Futsal ball was the official ball of the Spanish National Futsal League, the best league in the world.

All Futsal balls have the same size, weight and pressure. The circumference of the ball should measure between 62 and 64 cm (20-21 inches). At the start of the match it must weigh at least 400 g (14.1 oz) but not more than 440 g (15.5 oz). When pumped up, the pressure should measure between 0.4 and 0.6 atmospheres (400-600 g/cm2). The ball should not break due to match wear and tear unless it is intentionally destroyed. It should retain its fantastic properties for a long time without significant signs of wear and tear. Its reduced bounce and small size make it ideally suited for technically less-skilled children and young people in schools and clubs.

The fact that this ball lends itself perfectly to the celebration of soccer was demonstrated conclusively by Nike in February 2006. The firm started a campaign in Berlin, Germany, with a massive 3 v 3 tournament, which focused on attractive soccer instead of aggressive or boring tactics. The name of the campaign was “Nike Joga Bonito Futsal” (Nike plays attractive soccer – in Portuguese). Brazil is now not the only place where attractive Futsal is played!


The rules promote fair play

Unlike traditional indoor soccer, the Futsal pitch is a standard size, i.e. exactly the same dimensions as a basketball court at 20m (22 yd) wide by 40 m (42 yd) long. The great advantage of this is that the pitch is already marked out on the floor of any sports hall. The goal dimensions are 2m (2.2 yd) by 3m (3.3 yd).

Also unlike traditional indoor soccer, the pitch is not partially or completely walled; the external boundary is just a line. If the ball goes outside this line, the ball is not thrown or rolled in but kicked in.

But what is it that makes the game of Futsal so incredibly fast? Take these three sample rules for starters:

1. The goalkeeper may only be passed to in his own half by his four teammates under certain conditions, thus precluding tactical, boring passing back and forth in front of the goal.

2. The playing time of 2 x 20 minutes per half is net playing time. As in handball, basketball or ice hockey, the timing is halted every time play is stopped, thus eliminating unattractive playing for time.

3. Set plays must be performed within.

4 seconds; otherwise the opposing team gains possession of the ball, so that the whole game is dynamic and fast.

Why is it that injuries are so rare in the sport of Futsal? Maybe these two example rules can give us a clue:

1. Piling into an opponent from the side or from behind is absolutely forbidden for as long as the opponent is in possession of or passing the ball, which significantly reduces the risk of injury.

2. Whereas in conventional soccer only the perpetrator is punished for fouling, in Futsal, individual fouls can hurt the whole team, as the fouls of all the players on a team are accumulated. From the sixth team foul per half there is a 10 m (11 yd) penalty kick, even if the foul began in the opponent’s half. And such a penalty kick is almost always converted, which makes every player strive for fair play at all times, thus protecting particularly the technically skilled and fast players. But Futsal is not a completely non-physical sport as it is characterized by its aggression and intensity, although in Futsal, aggression is no compensation for technical weakness.


The advantages are clear

The advantages of Futsal over indoor soccer played with walls should by now be obvious.

Futsal is a fast, dynamic game played on a small pitch.

Futsal is an attractive, highly skilled game.

Futsal is a high-scoring game suitable for players of all abilities.

Futsal is an ideal introduction to the game of soccer to learn basic soccer techniques.

Futsal is an aggressive but fair game with a low risk of injury.

Futsal can be played according to official FIFA rules in almost any sports hall.

Many clubs discovered the excitement of Futsal long ago. And also clubs who initially struggled are increasingly changing from a rubber ball to a Futsal ball, from banging away at walls to the controlled, fast game with touchlines. Internationally, indoor soccer has been heading in the right direction for years. FIFA and UEFA manage Futsal as second only to conventional outdoor soccer. Nations like Brazil, Spain, Argentina, Russia and the USA are leading the way.


How to Plan Training Sessions


How to structure training sessions

The classical training session is divided into three sections:

Introduction and warm-up

Main section, with technical and tactical content and match-specific situations

Final cool down

Introduction and warm-up

The first section of the session consists of simple but multi-faceted drills or game forms, which warm up the main muscle groups to be used during the main section of the session. The aim is to activate these muscle groups, the cardiovascular system and the metabolism and to raise the body temperature. The training load should gradually be increased from a low to a medium level; the players should not approach a state of exhaustion. These reserves must be preserved until the main section of the workout, when the players must have sufficient concentration and strength to be able to learn and implement technical and tactical tasks.

The exercises chosen for the warm-up must be relevant to the main section of the session that follows, and the training condition of the players must also be taken into account, not least for the purposes of injury prevention and the creation of optimal motivation.

In order to also engage the players cognitively in the learning process, they must be informed of the goals and tasks at the start of the session. This makes the players more willing to learn as they are clear about what is expected of them and it is naturally motivating to accomplish goals.

The appropriate stimulation of the nervous system leads to a mindset that promotes concentration and motivation. Special, situation-specific movement sequences should therefore be prepared.

After this first section of the session, the players should be optimally prepared both physically and mentally for the main section.

The first section can also be sub-divided into three phases that can be described as follows:

1st phase: activation of the cardiovascular system to improve blood flow (about 35% of total warm-up).

2nd phase: activation of the main muscle groups by light strengthening, stretching and loosening exercises (55%).

3rd phase: preparation of the nervous system and the sensory organs to cope with the coordination and speed demands of the main section (10%).

Main Section with Technical and Tactical Content and Match-specific Situations

The main section of the workout is all about accomplishing specific goals on a certain day within the context of the whole training plan. The priority is the development of physical skills and the learning and ingraining of movement sequences and techniques. Technique is improved by means of targeted drills, and a focus on tactics improves players’ understanding of the game (should be age-appropriate). The training load is significantly increased and can even approach maximal levels. The players should be allowed a partial or complete recovery between the individual activities, depending on the training goal. The higher the training load, the more important is an adequate recovery.

Technique training, speed and speed strength drills should be performed during the main section as players still possess the required high concentration and neuronal resilience.

Towards the end of the main section, when concentration is starting to flag, training content should be simple and familiar, but can still include match and strength endurance.

Cool down to finish

The muscle groups prepared during the warm-up and most solicited during the main section must also receive special attention during the final third section. The training load must be reduced and a recovery process introduced. Activities should be performed at low to very low intensity that bring the pulse rate back to normal and promote the players’ oxygen supply. Stretching exercises ensure a quick recovery for all solicited parts of the body.

Children and youngsters should not perform any further technique drills in the final section of the workout, as a fatigued neuromuscular system prevents the correct performance and learning of movements. Technical elements should therefore always be performed either at the end of the warm-up or the beginning of the main section.

It is perfectly acceptable for adults to perform different versions of the drills when fresh and when tired, as this reflects the different phases of a match.


Training session setting

For a training session to be carried out successfully, the coach must first ensure that the setting is appropriate. He must, for example, know how many players will be taking part, which facilities are available in the sports hall and what equipment can be used in the workout.

The optimal number of players for a training session is twelve. A higher number would mean that the coach has to concentrate on ensuring that the activity is performed than on a qualitative evaluation of the players’ performance. Depending on the size of the sports hall and the equipment available, a larger group would also reduce the intensity of the drills and the effectiveness of the training time.

The coach should also subtract from the total training time the time needed for explanations, for setting up the drills and activities (equipment, forming groups, taking up starting positions, etc.) and recovery breaks and time for drinks.

Particularly in the case of young players, the coach should always try to make the most effective use of the training time.

On the other hand, with a smaller number of players, many drills cannot be performed correctly, particularly those that are intended to simulate match situations or which involve the study of tactics. In a smaller group, the training load could also exceed an acceptable intensity.

However, should the optimal group size of twelve players not be possible, the coach will be required to demonstrate his creativity and flexibility. He must make the best of the situation, e.g. by using variants, lengthening/shortening drink/recovery breaks or by differentiating within the group according to ability.

The duration of the training session depends on many factors. Firstly, and something that is usually out of the coach’s control, is the time that the sports hall is available. Other sports (e.g. basketball) may take precedence and training may have to take place in less popular slots.

Once the setting has been correctly organized, the duration and frequency of training sessions naturally depend on the age and ability of the group. On average, a good starting point would be 1-2 workouts a week, lasting between 1 and 2 hours.