Top soccer players control the ball with the sole of their foot no matter what surface they play on or what format, 11v11, 7v7, 5v5 – even if the ball is coming really fast they will take it with the sole of their foot.
Being able to use the sole of your foot is more than just a precise way to stop the ball; it also gives you options to instantly move the ball in any direction. It’s a point that you really need to understand.
What are the reasons most of us don’t use our sole enough?
In the US almost every single youth soccer players begins playing soccer on grass or turf surfaces by most often volunteer soccer coaches and when players try to control the ball with the sole of their foot, it's encouraged by the coaches to use their instep leading to the sole being coached out of the players.
Some coaches might say that using your sole in an outdoor game is backward-thinking mentality and there are good reasons for not using the sole (or at least using it more sparingly) in the full 11-a-side game mostly for the following reasons:
However in a futsal game the use of the sole is vital.
Futsal sets your foot sole free
The sole of your foot can be used for trapping, receiving, rolling and passing the ball, and it doesn’t have the challenges of the outdoor soccer game. You’re wearing flat soled boots, plus the futsal court will be even and consistent all over.
If you’re playing outdoors, however, the one thing you do still need to watch out for is the rain. That little bit of extra moisture on the ground will make contact between your boot and the ball a bit more unpredictable.
The huge benefits of using the sole
The foot sole provides a larger surface area with which you can control the ball, than any other part of the foot, and allows you to move the ball around the court while still keeping contact with it.
What that means is that you can move the ball forwards, backwards or to either side quickly in order to get you out of any tight spots. It’s what makes the really good players look so tricky.
One look at the top players will make you realize how much they rely on using the sole of the foot. Watch the great Ricardinho play futsal and every other touch seems to be with the sole of the foot.
Because of how unique the sole of the foot is, it allows movement to any direction, opens up many different moves like spin, faint, sidestep, roll. You can pretty much use it for anything.
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Niko is someone who believes passionately that futsal should be intentionally used as a tool for developing soccer players year-round and come first in the developing process at the younger starter age groups of 3-12 years of age. He has a massive amount of experiences, observations, thoughts and ideas from being submerged in the futsal community as a player, coach and operations director waiting to be released that could truly benefit the futsal community as well as the soccer coach that is just getting into the futsal methodology as a soccer development tool as well as the futsal game itself