Regular indoor football, sport and other activity for working adults in Singapore

Footballing Abilities

Posted by rajiv on 16 November 2008

In a comment in August 2008, Tom listed several footballing abilities.

In futsal, like in everything else, each person has different strengths and weaknesses. Some of the more significant abilities include:

  • First touch – The ability to bring the ball under control quickly upon receiving it.
  • Awareness – Knowing what is going on around you on the pitch, especially when in possession of the ball, including where your team mates are, how much space they are in, and whether you, your team-mates or the space between you and them is about to be closed down by an opponent.
  • Passing – The ability to pass the ball accurately to a team, with the right amount of pace, and at the right hight, so that the ball eludes any attempt by an opponent to intercept, but not so much as to hit it beyond the reach of your team-mate, or to make it difficult for your team-mate to control (thus putting him at risk of losing the ball).
  • Dribbling – The ability to get past opponents while keeping possession of the ball, either with speed or trickery.
  • Shooting – The ability to get good quality shots on goal, and to keep them on target.
  • Tackling and closing down – The ability to close down an opponent in possession of the ball or seeking to receive the ball, and to deprive him of the ball, or win the ball off him.
  • Positional sense – The ability to move into space (if necessary, at pace), especially into positions which threaten the opposing team, in order to receive a pass from a team-mate, or in more defensive positions, in order to intercept the opposing team’s attempt to pass the ball or to shoot, or to tackle or close down an opponent in possession of the ball.
  • Communication – Highly under-used at our FIOFAFI sessions.  Calling to a team mate to assist him in passing the ball to a fellow team-mate (including the person makig the call, either for the ball to be passed to himself or another team-mate in a better position), in order to enable the team to retain possession of the ball, or launch an attack, or to co-ordinate the defence when the opposing side is attacking.

Like most other physical activity, fitness and determination are also very important.  Many of us are playing regularly in order to improve or maintain our fitness.  At FIOFAFI sessions, being able to pace ourselves so that we perform at an optimal level over the whole game is becoming increasingly important.

Communication also serves to encourage team-mates to keep up with the pace of the game, and to perform as best they can.

We all try to play to our strengths, but we should aim to work on our weaknesses as well.

With further fine tuning, the use of rankings to determine line-ups should give rise to more evenly contested games.

However, to better co-ordinate each team, so that we play as a team rather than as five individuals who happen to be wearing the same colour, the highest ranked player in the team who has played in at least one-fifth of the FIOFAFI sessions taken into account in the rankings, will be the team co-ordinator.  The team co-ordinator can either appoint himself or any other player in the team as captain.  The captain’s role is to organize the team in some fashion, and to promote communication between the players.

From next week onwards, the co-ordinator will have an asterisk next to his name when the line-ups are announced.

25 Responses to “Footballing Abilities”

  1. Gilbert said

    These abilities mentioned above are essential for a good outfield players. Besides having good communication abilities, the goalkeeper has another set of good-to-have skills:

    Agility – the ability to stretch, reach and dive

    Handling – good confident handling of the ball when dealing with shots at goal

    Positioning – strategic placement of the body to cover the goal or limit shooting angles available

    Reflexes – quick reactive actions to stop close range threats

    Anticipation/Judgement – read where the ball will end up or when to rush out

    One on one (optional) – ability to deal effectively with one on one situations

    Throwing (optional) – being able to throw the ball accurately to a team mate or to exploit open spaces

    To my knowledge, most of us are outfield players and do not excel at our goalkeeping duties. We do not clock much airtime in between the posts (besides Sze Kuan). In fact, most shun this position as we are afraid of injuring our fingers or only assume this role when we get too tired running around. But in reality, the goalkeeper (in my opinion) is the most important player as he has the responsiblity to keep the opposition from scoring. Defenders can effectively keep opposing players from entering the D but when a shot is released, the goalie has to deal with it. I think one of the reasons for the recent high scoring games is that our goalies are not able to deal with the ever increasing technical skills of strikers.

  2. rajiv said

    True Gilbert. Most of us avoid going into goal, unless we’re very fatigued, and even then, some of us still would rather not.

    Also, some of the long range shooting is frightening to be on the receiving end of, for example, when you or Andy C have a go. Perhaps it would encourage more participants to take their turn in goal if we introduced a rule that a team cannot score from its own half.

    Both goalkeeping and defending are often undervalued at our sessions. When a player is too tired to keep running, instead of merely loitering in the opposing half, it makes more sense to go in goal or stay back in defence.

    One of the worse aspects of FIOFAFI sessions is how in some games, there are too many cheap or soft goals conceded. The appointment of a team captain will hopefully clamp down on that.

  3. redseason said

    Although it will not solve the problem of a lack of goal-keepers (and goal-keeping skills) in FAFI, one possible solution is (a) to have everyone serve equal periods in goal or (b) have a “goal scorer plays in goal” rule (whereby the guy who scores plays in goal until the next goalscorer takes over). The advantage of (a) and (b) is to share the work-load and, who knows, we might even discover the next Ben Foster.

  4. rajiv said

    I know Clive is in favour of everyone serving equal periods in goal. He raised it with me earlier in the year, and brought a stop clock along for the next session!

    The “goal scorer in goal” method would be fair, except that goals tend to come in little batches, rather than to be spaced out over the course of the game.

    For now, I’d rather leave the method of substituting goalkeepers to the teams themselves, in particular, the captains.

    Tom, you and Clive are the team co-ordinators for tonight’s session, so if you appoint yourselves captains, you can choose your preferred method.

    • rajiv said

      Neil S raised with me today that some players seem to spend more time in goal than others, and whether each player should have a fixed time in goal.

      I’d rather leave it to the teams themselves. However, unless a player volunteers to spend more time in goal, everyone should take turns in goal. It’s highlighted under “Routine Session Rules”.

      I’m not assigning team captains or co-ordinators any more, but anyone who is regular and is prepared to speak his mind can ask that the next player go in goal if the player in goal has been there for a while.

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  7. rajiv said

    I’m not sure why games at East Coast are significantly higher scoring than those at The Cage, even though we play to the same rules.

    Tom might put it down to playing off the side nets (which they don’t do at The Premier Pitch), but I think there is a preference amongst those who play regularly at The Cage and East Coast to do so, as it keeps the pace of the game high, and most are looking to improve or maintain fitness (unlike at The Premier Pitch, where it’s all about finesse, with a meaure of robust tackling, and less about fitness).

    In fact, Andy P and Geoff weren’t too keen when we started playing to the goal lines at The Cage to slow the game down a bit, but I think they’re used to it now.

    It’s a lot to do with what we’re used to.

    There is the option of playing to the side-lines at East Coast as well, as there is a fair bit of space between the side-line and the side-netting. I don’t think it will work at The Cage, where the side lines run along the side walls.

    It will slow the game down significantly though.

  8. rajiv said

    To ensure that the captains for Monday’s sessions are sufficiently familiar with the players, I suppose it makes sense that they have played in at least one-fifth of the sessions (as is the case with the team co-ordinators for the rest of the week).

    It also makes more sense to call them selectors, and leave the appointment of a captain to the selector or the team.

    If anyone would like to suggest any other method of appointing team selectors, feel free to do so.

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  12. rajiv said

    I haven’t been appointing team captains because I think we now know each other well enough to know who can perform the role, without anyone having to be specifically appointed.

    Each team can select its own captain.

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