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With it beginning to look and feel more like fall is passing and winter is approaching every day, thinking about staying in soccer shape during the colder months can often be overlooked. Right now most teams and players focus on stretch runs in their leagues or competitive seasons, but leave a little time to consider what you will be doing after the season.

More and more opportunities for winter soccer are available nowadays with specifically designed indoor facilities and leagues. Some of the most fun I’ve had on a soccer field the past few years has come indoors. Playing at least once a week during the off-season not only helps you keep in shape, but it will make you a sharper player when your spring team begins preparing.

For most, indoor soccer is just a different experience overall. The field is smaller, the play is faster, the ball has to stay on the ground and scoring dramatically increases. To improve you have to play and playing indoors forces you to improve your on-ball and passing skills. You’re not going to lose the ability to boot the ball down the field during the winter, but playing closely-confined games will help improve decision making and force you to pick up your speed of play.

In Brazil, young players are not even allowed to play outside on a field. They play futsal indoors to build players’ individual and technical skills up before moving on to the team phase. No wonder no country’s players, save for Argentina, can touch the level of on-ball skills held by Brazilian players. Just check out Ronaldinho indoors as a kid.

So when the ground freezes in a month and the temperature dips into the single digits, don’t hang up your cleats. Toss on a pair of indoor soccer shoes and get playing.


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