How to Keep Your Indoor Soccer Team Energized Through a Game
Indoor soccer can be a tricky sport to keep up energy. Although it is a shortened game on a smaller field, indoor soccer requires players to sprint more than outdoor soccer. There are fewer players on the field and an abundance of scoring chances. Therefore, players will constantly be sprinting which can lead to fatigue surprisingly fast. In a sport more similar to basketball, wise substitutions enable players to catch a breather and can go a long way to helping your team stay energized enough to get through a game and earn a win. Here are some tips to help the team run well in these games.
Since indoor soccer is often played during the winter months, it is imperative that your players arrive early for a game. The cold weather will make running harder, and you actually will need extended time for warm-ups so that the players don’t get that winded feeling in their chest. Light jogs and stretching before the match can be very beneficial in keeping the team running at a high level throughout the match.
Also, the longer that a player is simply inside and away from the cold will help their body be prepared for the game. Arriving a full half-hour before kickoff is really a good way to achieve this.
Also, be sure to have an abundant supply of water on the bench. Players will need to have tons of water through these games to keep them cooled down, so make sure your bench is well-stocked. Don’t be the team whose players are wandering around the complex looking for a water fountain because they should be focused and ready to come on the field when called upon.
During the game, a coach will need to be smart with his or her substitutions. Ideally, a player shouldn’t be on the field for more than five minutes at a time, and definitely not for ten minutes. Your ability to sub players in and out will depend on what options you have on the bench. If you only have two subs it is going to be a long and hard game for everyone, but if there are five members on the bench you can get it going very well.
Typically it is best to employ a rotation of players at first, so every two minutes shift out one or two players so that everyone is getting several minutes of break. Also, don’t do full team changes as it will take a moment for players to get into the intensity of the game. If you switch out the entire team after five minutes, your team might get scored on because the subs haven’t settled into the game yet. By only subbing off a few players at a time, there will be a continuous level of high play from your squad.
Later in the game, take note of which players look tired. If someone simply cannot make a run at full pace, sub them out and give them a break. Some players can go the full distance while others will need longer rest in the second half. It is up to you as the coach to make the correct calls in these late-game substitutions, which are vital if the game is close.
Indoor soccer places a much higher emphasis on quick and smart substitutions, and as a coach you need to be on top of the game and focus on the task at hand. Although you want to be ordering instructions off the pitch, it may be better to use the time instructing your subs since they will be on the field shortly and can better listen to your ideas. Let the players on the game focus on their task at hand.