Training & Planning Futsal

Setting up a training program

We are going to suggest some guidelines to coaches when planning a training program. It is important to understand that these are just guidelines that should be flexible and adaptive to the reality of the coach and team. There is no perfect program model, and we all know that you can not guarantee the quality of training sessions simply by writing plans. But we cannot ignore the fact that having a written program gives us a better overview of training sessions.

1. Diagnostic – The first step when organizing a program is to identify the characteristics of the group you are going to work with: level of skills, physical qualities, tactical knowledge, level of involvement of the team (leisure, school, club, rep, junior, elite). Player profiles will be always useful: address, phone numbers, parents name and occupation, date of birth, medical background, Futsal experience. It is important to put together all the general information such as venues, number of sessions, gear, and competitions to be played. If necessary, this topic can be split up into sub-items.

2. Main goals – Once you complete the diagnostics for your team, then you should be able to establish your goals for the season. Your goals could include competition goals such as the position you intend to finish in a tournament, or reaching a certain ranking within the sport. They could include technical goals like being able to perform the basic skills or to apply specific systems. It is important to have realistic goals and not to under or over estimate the limits of the team.

3. Calendar – Sometimes it is hard to organize a calendar because of player availability, venue availability and change of dates of competition. But it is important to have a reference for you, players and parents about dates, times and hours of training.

4. Evaluation – Coaches should be able to evaluate the whole program in its different phases: the plan itself, training sessions, competitions. We can use various evaluation instruments like statistical control of training and games, film training and games, personal observations of the coach, parent’s evaluation and player’s self evaluation.

Planning a session

The habit of planning in advance gives consistency to the practical session and facilitates the assessment and graduation of the yearly program. In the appendix you will find a Training Session Plan sheet extracted from the Coach’s Record Kit (Australian Coaching Council, 1998). The main topic for planning a session are:

Session aims – to identify your session aims, you are going to consider your main goals for the season ad the stage your team has so gar advanced.

Training outline – you are going to plan activities to achieve the session aims. On the outline you are going to describe each activity from the warm up to the cool down.

Training session model

The model below is just a suggestion that could be adapted to training conditions and group characteristics:
Briefing – welcome players and explain the session and its objective.
Warm up – activities to prepare players for the session. It should include dynamic activities and stretching e.g. motivational games (contests, challenges, tags, two balls game, numbers game, line catcher), laps, individual stretching, callisthenics exercises, etc.
Specific activities – activities related to the session aims: mini games, skills, drills, tactical movements, conditioning.
Full game – the game itself. As mentioned before, these are some interesting situations that can be practiced during the full game: 1 or 2 touches, 4 against 3, court player as keeper, just left or right foot, losing the game, winning the game, coaches time out, freezing game.
Cool down – activities to cool down, e.g. walking, stretching, breathing exercises, massage, checking the pulse.
Evaluation – brief evaluation of the session with the players.