“I play football. But futsal will always be what I enjoy most” – Cristiano Ronaldo
“In futsal, you see whether a player is really talented. You notice the small details in quality, class and tactical understanding.” – Xavi
Eagleclaw Futsal not only teaches players how to play futsal, but also helps players develop critical technical skills to make them a more confident, skillful and intelligent player in the outdoor game of soccer. Our program teaches not only the rules of the game, but also critical ball control techniques and and team tactics kids need to play, compete and really enjoy the game. At Eagleclaw, we believe futsal is a critical component for the comprehensive development of a soccer player.
Eagleclaw Futsal is a year-round training program (Aug-May) divided into two sessions, Fall and Spring. The program focuses on the rules of the game, individual ball control techniques, principles of play and team tactics. At each training session, approximately 30 minutes is devoted to learning fundamental concepts and techniques and 60 minutes is devoted to actual game play. In this way, we are able to create a learning environment that is fun for the kids and allows them to learn the game by playing the game. Eagleclaw Futsal does not include playing on a competitive futsal team in league competition, as that is pursuant to a separate registration.
In conjunction with the Eagleclaw Futsal, we also form futsal teams for competition in the Pacific Futsal League. Players register for the Futsal Draft and become part of a pool of players. Teams are then formed by the Eagleclaw staff based on player age and the staff's view of a player's abilities and developmental needs. It is strongly recommended that players wishing to play on a futsal team also enroll for Eagleclaw Futsal to work on the technical and tactical futsal skills. The Futsal Draft is offered seasonally, so check back often for registration.
Futsal, or Futbol Sala, is a brilliant, small-sided soccer game that originated in South America and spread quickly to Europe. In Spain, “futbol sala” is a highly evolved and competitive sport with dozens of youth leagues and a professional league featuring fustal teams from FC Barcelona and other famous Spanish soccer clubs. At the organized level, futsal is played indoors, but the real heart of futsal in in the streets. In Brazilian cities, kids play futsal everyday on courts squeezed into anywhere there is space. In Spain and other European countries, futsal courts are mainstays in school playgrounds and city parks.
And why do kids play futsal? Because its fun, action-packed and allows kids to really use and develop their ball control skills. Futsal is a five-a-side game where technique, craftiness and speedy decision-making matters. Players often face 1v1 situations in tight spaces and need to use all their abilities to help their team keep the ball. The emphasis on possession helps players develop great passing skill and vision. All the best players in the world began as kids playing futsal, such as Pele, Ronaldo, Messi, Kaka, Iniesta and Xavi.
Futsal training will be indoors on a hardwood gym surface. The ball used is not like a regular soccer ball. A futsal ball is a bit heavier and has much less bounce. Official futsal games are 5v5. In training we will often use small sided games that involve fewer than 5 players per side, as well as 5v5 scrimmages. The training will feature exercises that are similar to those we use at Eagleclaw, but the techniques will be a bit different. For example, in soccer trapping the ball with sole of the foot is less helpful or important than using the inside or outside of the foot. In futsal, however, trapping the ball with the sole of the foot is a critical skill and we will spend time focusing on that skill.
If your player wants to get a head start using the sole of their foot for ball control (and we recommend they do!), click here for a nice video of simple exercises players can try at home.
The Futsal Ball. At training sessions, Eagleclaw will have futsal balls so there is no need for players to bring a ball to training. However, we strongly recommend players consider getting their own futsal ball for home practice. This way, they can get used to the weight and reactions of a futsal ball. For players between the age of 5 and 10, U.S. Futsal recommends a size 3 ball. For 10 to 13, a size 4 is recommended. A size 5 ball is recommended for players age 14 and older. At Eagleclaw training sessions, we will mainly use size 4 balls, but we will have some size 3 balls available for use by our youngest players.
Futsal Player Positions.
In futsal, the five players are (1) a goalkeeper (Goliero), (2) a defender (Fixo), two wingers (Ala) and (5) a forward (Pivo). The names in parentheses are the Portuguese names of the positions as commonly used in Brazil. In training, we will not worry about whether players know the positions, and we provide this information only for reference purposes. Feel free to share this with your player. It’s always good to be a student of the game.
Futsal is the only indoor soccer game officially recognized by both UEFA and FIFA. This year, Argentina won the 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup with a 5-4 victory over Russia! However, in recent years Spain has dominated international futsal over the past 20 years and part of the reason is their commitment on a national level to have all youth players training and playing futsal. This commitment leads to the development of amazing futsal players, but it also develops extremely technical and intelligent players like Iniesta, Xavi and Fabregas, all of who played futsal during their youth player development.