Step 1: Shield the ball using the sole part
The first part of futsal individual training series begins here.
The first step in futsal is to focus on ball control and apply it with movement. This chapter breaks into 5 basic skills in futsal:
- Control Orientated
- Off-the-ball movement
- Ball Protection
This short post will be teaching on how to improve our ball control in Control Orientated.
A Brazilian futsal player
Futsal goes way back in 1989 in the Netherlands for the very first competitive World Cup held. Lately, futsal grows as a sport in England and Scotland in the form of five-a-side football, according to FIFA. The difference between futsal and five-a-side football is that futsal is on indoor surface whereas five-a-side football is on artificial grass surface. So, the focus of this post will be on futsal.
Juggling the ball is certainly one of the best practice method for improving you first touch and ball control, and not to mention, the basic aspects of most freestyle air moves. What many might not know is that juggling does not necessarily mean you have to use a standard soccer ball.
One of the greats of the game, Ronaldo (Luiz Nazario De Lima), once said that practicing with a smaller sized ball, such as a tennis ball or a mini (size 3) skill ball was one of the main contributors to his phenomenal touch and control. Remember, this was a player that started out playing Futsal, before moving onto standard 11-a-side football.
Okay, tried it a couple of times, but then again 70% of the time, the tricks don’t work. Yes, soccer tricks are ‘cool’, eye catchy and sometimes very satisfying, but sometimes during a real match, it is somewhat risky to be pulling of tricks – even for the pros. Imagine when a player like Sol Campbell, Lucio or Patrick Vieira coming after you to get the ball. Physical players like these can often cause injury to a player who tries to mess around with tricks. Well, back to our level then. Trying tricks like step-overs, flip-flaps and other similar tricks is quite risky during a game and can cause a team to lose to a goal or even worse, causing injury, and further embarresment. Players such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Robinho have been, in the past, injured partly because of trying one trick too many when trying to get past opposition players.
Ajax Amsterdam’s world famous youth academy, or perhaps better known in Holland as ‘De Toekomst’ Academy, which translates as ‘the future academy’, has very few competitors when it comes to producing world class footballers. Located outside the Amsterdam Arena, the youth academy has a state of the art training facility and 7 full sized pitches. With a massive budget of 4.5 million euros, the Ajax youth academy has an impressive 240 youth players which are divided into 7 different teams ranging from the seven year old age group, up to the under 19’s. Even more impressive is the fact that Ajax have 7 youth teams playing in a number of national leagues in Holland.
The 8th generation in adidas’ five a side futsal footwear range, the super sala 8 has certainly evolved a lot since the first sala series that was released a few years back. The super sala 8 is mainly targeted at futsal / 5 a side players as a mid range futsal shoe. The current sala range has two models available, the mid range ‘super sala’, and the high end ‘top sala’ series.
Weighing a mere 278 grams, the super sala 8 is the lightest futsal shoe that we’ve ever tested. The lack of weight is mainly due to the fact that there is a generous amount of nylon mesh used on the side surface and the upper tongue. The nylon mesh provides maximum ventilation and which would cool the player’s foot, which is especially useful on a hot day. On the other hand, on of the disadvantages of the nylon mesh is a lower level of durability, compared to other materials such as leather or synthetic leather. The textile lining is much more prone to cuts and tears compared to leather or synthetic material, although some would not mind this as the ventilation provided might be well worth it.
The rest of the upper and side surface area is covered by synthetic leather, as opposed to pure kangaroo leather which is available on the more expensive ‘top sala’. Regardless of the lowered level of comfort, the new synthetic leather material is certainly much more durable than the earlier sala versions, and has a thick padding on the inside section which touches the player’s foot.
The midsole area is made up of a pre-molded EVA cushioning which is accompanied by the adiPRENE heel insert which provides a decent amount of support for the heel area. There is also a rubber toe cap which is particularly useful when performing a toe poke shot or pass, which is quite common in the game of futsal.
Lastly, the outsole on the bottom surface is made of a standard non-marking rubber resin, which we found to be very rough and stiff, compared to the slightly sticky and flexible surface found on the Nike T3 we reviewed here. The grooves on the bottom sole means that the shoe even be used on a an astro turf surface without causing any slippage or loss of grip. All in all, we feel that the super sala 8 would be at home on both the astro turf surface and a hard polished surface. With a competitive price, a large variety of colour schemes, and dual usability features, the super sala 8 is certainly high on value and comfort, especially for the casual / intermediate level player.
+ Good Ventilation
+ Lightweight & Hight Quality Synthetic Leather
+ adiPRENE heel support & Rubber Toe Cap
– Stiff / Hard bottom sole surface
– Low Durability (depending on usage)
Our Rating: 3.5/5