The Benefits of Futsal for Soccer Players

Futsal is the younger, quicker cousin of soccer. The origin of the name comes from “football” or “futbol” and was invented in Uruguay in 1930.

The games are shorter, on a faster surface, use a special futsal ball, and are on a small field. Futsal can be a great training ground for soccer players to improve their skills, quickness, and soccer intelligence.

Check Out the 4 Benefits of Futsal for Soccer Players

kids playing futsal

1. 5 v 5 Means There’s Nowhere to Hide

Let’s be honest, we as soccer players, have all had an off-game. It happens! 

Part of being great at 11-a-side soccer is being able to contribute in a secondary role when you’re not at 100%.

A key difference between soccer and futsal is that futsal is only five a side. 

You can’t “hide” on the futsal court. You can’t take minutes off or rely on clearing and passing. You’ll have to dribble, you’ll have to find the open space, and you’ll have to play defense.

This is a great change of pace for soccer players and will help to encourage that endless engine mentality when they get back out to the pitch. 

I remember filling in on a friend’s futsal team in a recreational league, thinking it wouldn’t be any more work than a regular friendly soccer match, and wow, was I wrong. Every minute you’re on, you’re either working with or for the ball, or you’re marking your man, no breaks!

2. The Fanciest Footwork

As a soccer player, every game of futsal will put your footwork to the test. 

The tight spaces and 1-on-1 match-ups mean you can’t require entirely on speed to beat defenders: you’ll need to mix in your best feints, body turns, and step-overs to take your game to the next level.

Need to brush up on your footwork fundamentals? Check out this tutorial which emphasizes 5 tight space dribbling drills:

3. Developing Game Vision

While futsal can help you develop so many physical skills, it’s also a great place to upgrade your mental game. 

In your first years of playing outdoor soccer, it may be hard to imagine the whole field of players and their movement, but that’s normal. It’s hard to keep track of 10 people who are running at full speed! 

Part of getting better is developing your game vision, or your ability to see the open space and ultimately make plays. 

Futsal gives you the opportunity to first develop your game vision on a smaller scale so that it’s easier to understand and apply once you’re playing soccer.

Playing futsal will put you on the fast track to changing the way you see the game!

4. Maximum Touch in Minimum Time

Even if you’re not trying to be the star of your futsal team, you’re still going to get nearly twice as many touches (passes to you, opportunities to dribble or shoot) as you are in a regular game. 

Having that much experience in such a short window of time is going to allow you to see how quickly your game develops. This is one of the reasons that futsal is especially great for young soccer players. 

Futsal keeps you engaged for the entire time by maximizing active participation (remember, no hiding!) and minimizes inactivity so that each player feels their contribution to the team is significant.

This makes futsal a huge benefit to young soccer players for building confidence with the ball at their feet.

Picture of Bryan Coe

Bryan Coe

Bryan is the founder of The Soccer Handbook. He has been playing soccer since he was 8 years old, continues to play, and has also done his share of volunteer coaching over the years. Bryan’s mission is to help coaches coach better and help people enjoy the beautiful game throughout their lives.


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