In many ways, indoor soccer is the oddball twin of outdoor soccer. On the surface they look the same, but get a little closer and some significant differences appear. Players wear different shoes, for example. The turf is different, too, and sometimes there isn’t even “turf,” just a gym floor. Additionally, the field is a lot smaller.
The smaller indoor playing field means goalies see a lot more action indoors than outdoors. In addition, because there is no out-of-bounds, defenders cannot kick the ball out of play. All in all, the indoor goalie plays a much more active, and you might say exciting, role. As such, it requires some different skills. Here are a few tips for the indoor goalie.
Because they don’t need to clear the ball such long distances, strong legs aren’t nearly as important to an indoor goalie as fast hands. The ability to respond to the slightest change in the offense’s position and quickly block the ball is paramount.
Beware of boundaries
Because the penalty area, where the goalkeeper is allowed to use his or her hands, is smaller indoors, the goalie needs to be especially aware of leaving it. This also means that the indoor goalie will have to switch from fast hands to fast legs in case they need to step out of the penalty area to clear the ball.
No offsides rules mean the goalie can see a quick pile-up of coordinated offensive players and find himself or herself stuck in a shooting frenzy. To avoid this, indoor goalies need to communicate and coordinate with the defense. There should be a general strategy that everyone is on board with during the game. The goalie needs to take ownership of this and, in addition to watching the other players, make sure the defense is working together to get the ball to the other end.
Overall, the basic skills an indoor goalie must develop are similar to those of an outdoor goalie. They need to position themselves in order to cover as much of the goal as possible, communicate with other players, clear the ball, and more.
Though playing indoors may feel strange at first, these skills are transferable. It takes some getting used to, but with enough practice and experience, even a stubborn outdoor player can feel at home on an indoor field.
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