Soccer skills do not develop overnight. Bettering yourself requires consistent practice and playing competitive games as often as possible. Indoor soccer is how many top-level players keep their game strong and make improvements in the off-season.
Indoor soccer is also quite different from traditional outdoor soccer. The field is smaller, and the game moves quicker. These are elements that can add a more rapid increase in skill.
Here, we’ve outlined the benefits of playing indoor soccer for anyone who wants to improve their game.
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A common reason soccer players choose “indoor” during the off-season is for physical conditioning. Indoor soccer pitches are smaller than outdoor ones. The game is played at a faster pace, causing players to move more often and more quickly.
Players find that indoor soccer rapidly increases conditioning. The fast pace of the game is challenging for players who aren’t ready. However, players realize they quickly improve at handling intense and consistent play.
Indoor soccer requires players to increase speed, endurance, coordination, and power. There are minimal stoppages because the field is boundless; keeping the ball is (almost) always in play. A dominant advantage of playing indoor soccer is that it’s fun. Players don’t often realize the extent of the workout they’re getting.
Soccer is a year-round sport in some parts of the world. However, areas that experience extreme hot or cold weather have specific seasons more desirable for playing the sport.
Indoor arenas are climate-controlled, allowing the game to continue no matter what the weather is doing outside. The consistency of playing in all seasons aids endurance and skill development.
Forced Skill Development
One of the most significant advantages of indoor soccer is that it practically forces players’ skills to develop. The game plays in a tight space, and players must learn to play all parts of the field.
Indoor soccer players must use more technical skills to escape opponents because the turf is drastically smaller than an outdoor field. To succeed at indoor soccer, players must learn to control the ball, dribble more securely, shoot and pass more accurately, and remain aware of the ball’s position.
More pressure is applied on a smaller field, encouraging players to become more confident and accurate in stressful game situations. Due to the speed of the game, players must make fast decisions.
Superior Understanding of the Sport
Playing soccer in a confined space and at the constant pace of an indoor game increases a player’s understanding of the game. Players are more scattered on the traditional outdoor pitch. They are not always aware of exactly what is happening when the ball is at the other end of the field. Indoor soccer requires a 360-degree understanding of the pitch.
Indoor soccer requires every player to have their head in the game at all times. Players must relocate to where they can help defend or attack. All players on the indoor soccer field must be proactive even when the ball is not in their possession.
Soccer is a team sport, and victories are impossible if players think only for themselves. Indoor soccer makes the importance of teamwork even more evident with just six to eight players on the field at once.
This smaller group of players must interact more often than the larger number of more spread out players on a larger pitch. They must communicate and support each other in multiple roles on the field, including defense, offense, and even stopping goals.
Indoor soccer leagues often take place in the same arenas every off-season. That means players can develop camaraderie over the years. It’s not uncommon for players to begin playing indoor as peewees and continue into their teens or even beyond. The relationships developed through indoor soccer transmit to outdoor games and throughout life.
Indoor soccer emphasizes the importance of playing together as a single unit working toward a common goal.
More Practice on Goal
The smaller field typically means more goals and shots on goal. With just six to eight players on the field, each player has more opportunity to score.
This allows players who may not have been goalscorers before indoor soccer to practice their shooting skills and gain confidence. Players who were defenders during outfield learn to improve their attacking skills. It’s not uncommon for skills developed during indoor soccer to result in position changes when the outdoor season comes around.
Brings Undiscovered Players to the Limelight
Indoor soccer requires several different skills than outdoor soccer. The sport values awareness, game understanding, and ball skills. Players with more technical knowledge of the sport become team leaders in indoor soccer, as athleticism and power take a back seat.
Indoor Soccer Is Fun
Most importantly, playing soccer indoors is fast-paced, adrenaline-pumping fun. Everyone, from preschoolers to professionals, can play indoor soccer.
It’s just as exciting to watch for parents and bystanders. The ball changes possession in seconds, and many, if not dozens, of goals, are scored. Those who think watching traditional soccer is boring will bite their tongues when they attend an indoor game.
Players are Encouraged to Play Indoors and Outdoors
The benefits of indoor soccer are numerous, but they don’t negate the importance of outdoor play. Indoor soccer is fun, but it’s also a tool to develop skills in a tight space with increased pressure.
The goal is to take the skills acquired playing indoor soccer into the outdoor soccer season. Speak with your coach or athletic director about youth and adult indoor soccer leagues in your area.