It may still be summer, but as the school year fast approaches it’s time to start thinking about how you’ll be spending the cooler months of fall. Any child or teen currently enrolled in a summer soccer camp may be reluctant to give it up once the season draws to a close. After all, 96% of summer campers say that the programs help them make new friends, and 92% say it helps them feel good about themselves.
Fortunately, soccer training programs run all year long, and an indoor soccer league could be the motivation your kid needs to keep up with training throughout the off-season. Or, for kids who need a break from their hyper-competitive school or club team, indoor soccer can offer a chance to kick back and actually enjoy playing the game, just because.
To get ready for the indoor soccer months, here are a few key ways the sport tends to differ from regular outdoor play:
- More footwork. Whether or not your indoor soccer field has a wall, indoor fields tend to be much smaller than full-length soccer pitches. This gives players more of an opportunity to focus on their footwork and dribbling moves like scissors or the Maradona.
- Wall play. For pitches with a wall (think a hockey rink with grass), the fast pace of indoor soccer allows for exciting new possibilities. Players can pass to themselves by passing off the wall, and missed shots suddenly come back into play by bouncing off the back wall.
- A smaller, enclosed field space. The exact size and scope of your indoor soccer field will vary by location, but most of the time, the area around the field is walled off, not leaving a lot of space around the sidelines. That can lead to a few differences in rules and play.
- No out of bounds. A wayward ball will usually just bounce off the wall and back into play, so many players prefer to keep the game rolling without stoppage. That can really affect a player’s endurance. Even a regular game requires running, sprinting, walking, and jumping for a full 90 minutes, and in indoor soccer there might not be any breaks at all.
- More free kicks. There are times when play does stop, such as after a foul or when the ball gets kicked high enough to clear the enclosing wall. In these cases, kick-ins or free kicks are generally used over throw-ins, again because of the limited sideline space.
- Different shoes. You most likely want to have indoor soccer shoes — not cleats — for inside play, as the ground surface is harder and less permeable than grass.
An indoor league or camp can keep soccer players on top of their game, no matter the weather outside. To build skills, character, and strength, there’s no better way to work hard and have fun than a sport like soccer.
So as the summer season draws to a close, start looking into indoor soccer programs for kids and teens.