Soccer coaching in a small gym

With 9 players we played 3 v 3 with 3 teams so that one team was always resting. In the gym where we were training there were two wooden benches without a back (just the seating area), which we used as goals by laying each bench on its side on the centre of the end lines (under the baskets). The boundaries for the game were the outside lines of the basketball court.

The rules to the game were simple. The game lasts three minutes. Anytime the ball goes out of bounds, the other team (the team who it didn’t go off of) gets a “kick in”. A “kick in” starts by the player stopping the ball with her hand and then either passing the ball or dribbling into the field. The reason for the use of the hand is to make sure the ball comes to a complete stop and also so there is no confusion when the player takes the first touch. To score a goal, the ball has to hit the front of the bench (the part where if the bench was upright, people sit). If a goal is scored the team that scores the goal gets the ball and immediately attacks the other direction.  At the end of the three-minute period whichever team has scored more goals wins and stays on the court and the losing team switches with the resting team for the next game. In the case of a tie, the team that last won stays on (this creates an atmosphere where you have to beat the champion to become the champion).

For this to work the real key is to use a Futsal Ball instead of a regular soccer ball. On a gym floor, a regular soccer ball can be too bouncy which results in it being too difficult to control. A Futsal ball is “deader” ball that works much better indoors than a soccer ball (more on the game of Futsal)

The advantage of this type of a game is that it is less physical and less dangerous than the regular indoor soccer played here in the US because there aren’t walls to worry about plus it requires a softer touch in order to keep the ball under control and in bounds. Plus it can be played anywhere there is some open floor space. By playing 3-minute games the players work really hard for a relatively short period of time as opposed to pacing themselves so it’s a great cardiovascular workout. Also, there are the tactical aspects of this game since the “defending champion” can play differently in the last minute of the game than the “challenger” since one team can play for a tie and the other team has to win to stay on. If one team is stronger than the other two teams you can either switch the teams around or just let it go because the longer they stay on the more tired they will become which will equal out the differences in the teams.

This is a great game for the players to work hard, have a lot of fun and learn more about becoming better soccer players so it’s something I would strongly recommend you give it a try.