Is Futsal Good for Soccer Development? An In-Depth Guide

Soccer leagues everywhere support players of all skill sets, with those players constantly looking to develop their skills to become the best they can be. With soccer being one of the most popular sports globally, many younger players are starting to set their sights on becoming much more skilled than ever before.  One way this lofty goal has recently become more manageable is with futsal. 

Futsal is a great way to sharpen soccer skills quickly. The fast-paced, smaller play style forces focus on small-ball techniques that can greatly enhance your performance in a traditional soccer game. Futsal can be great for soccer development.

If you’re interested in learning about the factors that make futsal beneficial in soccer development, this article is for you. We’ll discuss how futsal strengthens common skills needed for soccer and how to work futsal into a soccer development routine. Keep reading for our in-depth guide to futsal for soccer development. Also, if you want to learn more about what futsal is or how it compares to indoor soccer check out Futsal vs. Indoor Soccer.

Challenges for Developing Soccer Players and How Futsal Can Help

Many of the problems that result in poor performance during a soccer game spring from lack of skill in small-ball situations. Small-ball situations in soccer involve ball control, tight offense or defense, quick thinking, and agility

Developing these essential skills will give you a huge advantage over other players. Below we break down these skills and explain why they are so important for soccer players to hone.

Ball controlGood ball control makes it much more difficult for your opponent to intercept a pass, steal the ball on a fast break, or beat you in a one-on-one matchup. A good soccer player must learn the skills necessary to keep smooth and steady footwork while also avoiding the opponent.
Tight, one-on-one playWhether you are on offense or defense, if you find yourself in a one-on-one circumstance with your opponent, you must be able to manage tight encounters efficiently and effectively. Winning the fight in these instances can be essential for close-game situations.
Quick thinkingSoccer is a very fast-paced game. You can have no one around you one moment and suddenly find yourself surrounded the next. Being able to execute in these situations is essential to soccer success. Quick thinking helps to avoid panicking during an important moment.
AgilityWhile soccer can involve loads of sprinting up and down a field, close encounters also require sharp agility. You have to move quickly and smoothly to stop attackers, avoid defenders, and get out of any tight situation. If you do not have the skills to do this, it does not matter how fast you are. Lateral quickness is just as important as velocity.

Developing these skills will help you perform successfully against your competition. Fortunately, there is an excellent way to hone these skills and consistently improve your soccer ability. Continue reading to learn how futsal is one of the most efficient ways to develop and sharpen your soccer skills.

How Futsal Helps Develop These Skills

As you might have guessed, the skills that futsal develops are the same as the skills discussed above that all developing soccer players should focus on. It is important to keep in mind that these small-ball situations are vital to the entire game of soccer

For successful players, a soccer game does not simply involve running around and kicking the ball. Small-ball situations can be the deciding factors in your team’s victory or defeat.

Ball Control

One of the biggest things that futsal develops is ball control. As you probably know, futsal is a spinoff of soccer in which a game is played by two teams of five, generally in a small, indoor field or arena. 

The field is much smaller than a normal soccer field, but similarly shaped. With such a small area to play in, futsal requires you to develop the skills needed to keep the ball within your reach while also being able to quickly pass it to your teammates. 

Though this is done on a much smaller scale, futsal helps you develop the skills needed to keep the ball close, even on a traditional field. 

Tight Play

Futsal also puts you in one-on-one situations that require precise skill execution. A one-on-one encounter in a soccer game can be the deciding factor in whether or not a player can break free for a potentially game-winning goal. 

With futsal being played in such a small area, it allows you to gain more experience in this aspect; with fewer players on the field, you have more opportunities to take responsibility and immerse yourself in tight playing situations.

Quick Thinking

Another way in which the small-scale play style of futsal benefits a developing soccer player is the way that it creates more quick-thinking situations. All aspects of futsal require you to predict oncoming situations — where the ball is going next, which opponent you are going to have to cover, and how quickly you are going to have to make adjustments. 

This is beneficial when applied in a traditional soccer game because it encourages you to stay more actively aware during a game. Of course, it is not good to overthink in-game situations, but futsal allows you to focus on specific aspects requiring quick reactions.


Again, due to the small space of a futsal court, you will be able to effectively develop your agility in more compact situations. Having to make sudden cuts and bursts of speed continuously will make you more accustomed to such movements in an actual soccer game.  Of course, it helps to have the right shoes for futsal — see Are All Soccer Cleats Good for Indoor Soccer.

The agility needed for small-scale defense or attacking in futsal translates well to a true soccer game. Even though you will be on a larger, traditional field, the agility developed through futsal will give you more confidence to operate in the tight situations that arise in a soccer game.

Overall Comfort

Futsal encompasses numerous skills at once in soccer situations and forces players to use these skills much more often than traditional soccer.  This frequency and repetition will make you more comfortable on the big field

Futsal will help you  incorporate all of your small-ball skills into a normal soccer game without hesitation and will sharpen all aspects of individual and team play.

Futsal is a great developmental technique to take your soccer skills to the next level. Small-ball situations are important even in large scale situations, and having the skills to execute these instances properly will give you a major advantage against your opponent.

If you find that futsal proves beneficial for you, it can be a great technique to incorporate into your normal soccer training routine. You do not have to play futsal every day in order to improve. Playing it once or twice a week in place of a typical practice is an efficient way to sharpen your small-ball skills.


As you can see, futsal is a great use of your time if you want to develop your soccer skills. In a world of sports where players are constantly looking for the best ways to better their game, futsal allows you to focus on multiple small-ball situations that allow you to gain experience and refine your skills.

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