At FC Wisconsin, the winter season is another great time for personal development for players that want to maximize their potential and ability. Playing indoors in the winter - whether it is indoor soccer or futsal - is a different training and competition format with new challenges and new excitement.
The primary topic of the last 2 weeks of training has been “defensive techniques and awareness of spacing and the opponent" to help players become more aware of space, time and pressure - and compare the concepts in attack (from the previous weeks) with application of the same concepts in defense. The u11/12 girls had the opportunity to showcase their abilities during 3 futsal games in competition in the u14 age bracket this past weekend. While significantly undersized, the u11/12 girls held their own. In each game, their ability to quickly establish quality pressure and cover to compact space got better as the weekend went on as the players took pride in our ability to defend well and protect the center of the court. This ultimately resulted in forcing many turnovers, which allowed the players to regain possession quickly - and then demonstrate the "flip-side" of the concept of maximizing space quickly in attack. Once in possession, the players took pride in connecting passes and playing through the opponent and breaking lines. After a great weekend, we began the week of March 12 shifting focus back to decision-making in attack, with the emphasis on recognizing pressure, identifying where space exists, and deciding how to exploit the opponent. This cycle of repeating concepts every few weeks, and layering on additional detail and sophistication each cycle, is core to internalizing concepts and individual learning.
After coming off a successful weekend at the FC Wisconsin Indoor Tournament the first weekend in March, the u13 girls went back to training attacking decision-making. As the team is not currently playing in a league this session, the team has been using Monday sessions as competition days and discussing these decision-making concepts within competition. This past week, the team began the second phase of tactical decision-making of the cycle. Players were placed into teams of 5 and competed in a two formats: (i) 2v2 to 2 High Targets; and (ii) 3v3 + High Targets and 4 small goals. While the competition was close, one team found a way to prevail over the others with Courtney, Elsa, Lilliah, Sophie and Sarah. The u13 girls are looking forward to competing in their first outdoor competitions the weekend of April 7-9.