Want to keep learning?

This content is taken from the University of Birmingham & The Football Association (The FA)'s online course, Youth Football Coaching: Developing Creative Players . Join the course to learn more.

Task for practice

Futsal and other small-sided games must be used for players to express their newly acquired skills, abilities and decision making within this carefully crafted “playful environment”.

The game of Futsal is perfect for a more playful approach. The game itself challenges the player’s ability to cope with limited time and space and the high levels of repetition in the areas of ball contact, physical literacy and decision making make it ideal for Foundation Phase players.

The game of Futsal will also provide many tactical challenges. Under the guidance of a knowledgeable coach the players can experience; pressing, zoning, counter attacking and rotational movements all with a game that is highly motivational to the young player.

“As a little boy in Argentina, I played futsal on the streets and for my club. It was tremendous fun, and it really helped me become who I am today.”

Lionel Messi (www.FIFA.com)

“During my childhood in Portugal, all we played was futsal. The small playing area helped me improve my close control, and whenever I played futsal I felt free. If it wasn’t for futsal, I wouldn’t be the player I am today.”

Cristiano Ronaldo

Next week you will read more about the importance of play to a young player’s development.


Drawing on some of the characteristics of futsal, design a practice that encourages creativity. Deliver the session with your players and reflect on how it went.

  • What did you do?
  • Why was it creative?
  • How did it go?
  • What went well?
  • What could have been better?
  • What would you do differently next time?
  • What did the players think?

Further reading

The football greats forged by futsal

Share this article:

This article is from the free online course:

Youth Football Coaching: Developing Creative Players

University of Birmingham