Beating The Opponent & Individual Marking

One on one. One against one, scoring in the same goal. Keeper starts the game facing the goal and throwing the ball back over his/her own head. The two court players will challenge for the ball and try to score. If a player scores, he/she stays in court while a spare player replaces the other one.

In order to introduce basic principles of teamwork into the game, we are going to gradually add players to this situation starting with an extra attacker. In this way the skills of passing and receiving the ball will be present in the game and we will be covering all the basic skills of Futsal.

One on one with a neutral player. The same principle of the game above, but with a neutral player to assist the player with possession of the ball. In this way we introduce passing and receiving into the game. The neutral player can not score.

Variation :- 2 on 2 with a neutral player

2 on 2 with mini goals. 2 against 2 in a quarter of a court with mini goals of one to two meters each. No keepers.

Variation :- 3 on 3 in half court

Beating the opponent and ball control

In Futsal we understand beating, or skinning, or taking on the opponent as go around the defender through the use of individual skills and ball control. There are several of these movements that can be coached, but it is also important to give the opportunity ti the players to create new movements. An important aspect of coaching these individual skills is to ensure the player has the confidence to know when and where is the proper time to beat the opponent rather than passing the ball.
The use of different type of balls like bouncing balls and tennis balls is helpful in the development of these skills.

Activates to improve individual skills and ball control

King of the “D” 5 to 10 players inside the goal area with a ball each. Players will try to keep the control of their ball and at the same time kick the balls of the other players out of the area. When a player has his/her ball kicked out he/she loses a point. The king of the “D” is the player who loses the fewest points after 3 minutes.

Dogs and bone. Players split up into two teams. Each team stands on opposite sidelines. Each player is given a number at coach’s call they have to fight for the ball thrown by the coach and score.
Variation :- Players can only score from inside the goal area.

- Play the game with goalkeepers in goal.

Beat the statue. With passive markers (do not tackle), players will practice special dribbles under the orientation of the coach or using the players themselves to demonstrate.

Special dribbles: flick over the head, 360 and Nutmeg.

Individual Marking

Young players sometimes don’t have the same eagerness when marking and because they don’t have the ball, they just stop and watch. Coaches have the hard task of making players realize that they have to protect their goals and regain the possession of the ball. Individual marking is more a question of attitude than a specific technique, but there are some basic principles that should be taught:

A – Goal side- Defenders should position themselves between the attacker and his/her own goal.

B – On your toes- Players should be in a position of attention all the time (low centre of gravity, on his/her toes, ready to move quickly).

C – Look for someone- Pick someone to mark once the opponent has the ball. If you do not have an opponent close to you, it means someone is free and therefore able to damage your team.

D – Follow the runner- Follow the runner unless someone is already marking him/her.

E – Attention on the player and on the ball- Defenders should always pay attention to the player they are marking and to the ball. It is very common mistake of beginners to follow the ball and forget about the runners.

F – Do not dive- Another common mistake of beginners is to rush in to tackle the attacker. Jockey and wait for the best moment to tackle.

G – Delay- Try to anticipate the movement of the attacker and the movement of the ball without premeditated actions.

I – Block- Always be ready to block the shots of the attacker.

Activities to improve individual marking

Protect the chair. 3 to 5 players can participate in this game. A chair is put in the middle of the players and one player is chosen to protect the chair (we recommend a plastic chair). Players will pass the ball to each other until they have the chance to hit the chair. If the chair defender blocks the shot, they swap positions.

Follow the runner. One keeper in each goal. A line of players in pairs beside the goals. Pairs are made of one attacker and one defender. Keeper throws the ball to a deep target. The defender has to follow the runner and prevent him/her from receiving the lay off.

Lines man game. One or more players positioned on each sideline. These players can only move on the line not entering the court. They can not score and their role is to assist the attacker. An attacker starting from half way will try to beat the defender and score. The attacker can pass the ball to the line players who have to pass it back to the attacker. The defender has to concentrate on the attacker and must not worry about the line players. The intention is to force the markers to follow the attacker, not the ball.
Variation :- The lines man can only do wall passes or one touch passes to the attacker.

Target and Pivot Work

In Futsal we call “target” the position of the player that plays up at the front as an attacker and “pivot” the one who plays at the back as a defender. These is a particular situation that is typical of the game which is when the target receives the ball having his/her back to the goal and the pivot is behind him/her marking. This situation usually happens close to the goals. It is important for every player to practice it as an attacker (target) and as a defender (pivot) due to the versatility necessary for Futsal players.

Target work: In order to protect or shield the ball the target should bend his/her body back, keeping the ball away from the pivot. Once the target is holding the ball he/she can use his/her body to turn or lay the ball off to runners.

Pivot work: The pivot should try to anticipate the pass before the target receives the ball, but once the attacker has it the main task of the pivot is to avoid the turn of the target or block the shot if he/she turns.

Activities to improve Target and Pivot Work

10 seconds. A ball between 2 players. The game is about the target protecting the ball from the opponent pivot for 10 seconds by shielding the ball. If the target is successful he/she gets a point; if the pivot touches the ball they swap positions

10 seconds target / pivot game

Receive and turn. A target and a pivot on the edge of the goal area line. The target receives the ball and tries to turn and shoot for goal while the pivot will try to block the shot. Players swap positions after three tries

Receive and turn to finish is one of the main attacking options for the target.

Target/pivot game. Two targets playing against two pivots. Targets have to receive the ball thrown by the keeper after half court or as deep as possible. If the pivot steal the ball they attempt to counter attack.

Target / pivot game


In Futsal we can use the head, chest, thigh and foot to receive the ball. An important point in all of these techniques is to cushion or absorb the impact to keep the ball under control and be ready for the next action that can be pass, dribble or shoot. A tip is to relax the part of the body that is going to touch the ball one second before the contact, “killing” the movement of the ball.
Trapping the ball using the sole of the foot is the most common and recommended way to receive the ball in Futsal (this is a difference that soccer players will feel). A detail in this movement of trapping the ball is to teach players to trap and then roll the ball a few inches forward to execute the next action rather than stepping back to rearrange the body position.
Another important point which coaches should consider when practicing receiving is to do it not just in a static position but also when moving and under the pressure of an opponent or in a limited space.

Activities to improve Receiving

Traditional trap, pass and move. A ball between two players. Players pass and move all over the court. It is compulsory to trap with the sole of the foot before passing.

Receive and finish. A line of players positioned wide close to the corner. First player in the line will do small sprints of 3 to 5 meters towards the opposite goals. Between each sprint he/she turns back to the line, receives a pass from the next player in the line and passes it back. When he/she crosses half court he/she will turn and finish.

Vary the reception: ground balls, high balls and hard passes.

Foot tennis. One or two players a side, 10 x 5 meters courts with a one to one and a half-meter height net. A plastic ball can be used for beginners and the number of times the ball can bounce can vary according to the level of skills of the players.
Variations :- Vary the serve: drop kick, flick, volley.
- Vary the use of the body, only thigh, head, left foot.
- In every reception players have to trap the ball and then flick it to the other side of the net.
- Play foot volley. Players can pass the ball to each other 3 times before sending it over the net.

Control. A ball between two. Players will try to keep the ball in the air as much as possible. The pair that does it for the longest time is considered the winner. It is compulsory that the players receive the ball, control it in the air and pass it back to their partner.
Variation :- one bounce allowed.


Passing is certainly one of the most important skills in Futsal. If we get to develop a good quality of passing in our players we will be giving them the instrument to play consistent and efficient Futsal. Passing in another skill that should be practiced always in a dynamic condition. A good combination of skills in Futsal is receive, pass and move. Here follow some important characteristics of passing:

A – Part of the foot that touches the ball – as with shooting we can pass the ball using the inside, shoelace, outside, toes, back heel, sole of the foot or even the head and the chest. It is important to practice all of them, but emphasize the inside because it is the one that has the most accuracy.

B – Ball conditions – we can pass on the ground or in the air. When passing the ball on the ground, the most common pass is the inside of the foot but when passing the ball in the air the player can use the shoelace, usually for long passes, or the toes. Players can use their toes to pass in the air like a chip pass, sharp and fast, or lifting the ball like a flick. The second one is recommended for beginners because it is easier to execute.

Activities to improve Passing

One touch game. Three players against a keeper and other players waiting outside the court. Keeper starts the game throwing it out of the goal area. Players have to do one touch passes to each other and score. If a player touches the ball twice consecutively or misses a shot he/she is replaced by the keeper and the waiting player comes in as a keeper. If a goal is scored the waiting player replaces the keeper.
Variation :- The game can be played with a three points system. Players are replaced when the keeper or the field players score three points.
- Corners can be played as in the normal game or as a point to the keeper.
- Keeper can play only inside the goal area and if he/she touches the ball outside the area it is a penalty.

Between the legs. A ball between two. One player will stand still with the legs open and his/her partner will try to do a long pass that goes between his/her legs. The distance between the players can be gradually increased.

10 goals (Lammich, 1984). 10 mini goals of one meter spread out in each half court. Two teams of 5 players at each half court. Players will pass the ball to each other and every time a pass is done through the mini goals it is a point. The team that scores ten points is the winner.

Hit the ball on the horse (Lammich, 1984). A medicine ball (ball full of sand) over a gymnastics horse. Each player with a ball trying to hit the medicine ball. The aim is the accuracy of high passes.

Mobile goals (Lammich, 1984). A ball and a broom stick between three players. Two players will hold the broomstick as a mobile goal and try to escape from the third person. The third player will chase them with the ball and try to score in the mobile goal.

Figure eight. A ball between three players positioned at all the end of the court. The drill starts with the player in the middle who passes the ball to one of the flanks and goes to his/her spot. This player then passes the ball to the opposite flank and goes to his/her spot. They spot they keep doing this figure of eight to half court from where they have a shot. Timing and flanks positioned wide on the court are important points in this drill.

From here we are going to step up on the player’s skills and knowledge to work as a team. The focus is going to be game situations where players can experience and comprehend the various forms of interaction between them, in order to optimize their performance as a team.