In some areas of the country, soccer players have the luxury of playing outside all year. In states like California and Arizona, the winter months are actually preferable to the sport’s typical fall season: The mild, sunny weather makes for a perfect outdoor soccer setting for players and spectators alike.
Unfortunately, winter wreaks havoc on most of the U.S., forcing youth and adult teams inside and off the frozen, snowy open-air fields. While indoor soccer may not be the preferred way to play or enjoy the sport, it maintains several benefits that make it a worthy opponent of its outdoor counterpart. Before you miss this season’s enrollment period, consider the list of pros that make indoor soccer a wonderful way to spend your winter.
Outdoor soccer players are constantly at the mercy of the ever-changing weather. Fall conditions often range from scorchingly hot to frigidly cold, and spring temperatures are no different. Sweltering temperatures can result in dehydration and heatstroke, while chilly weather increases injury potential due to cold, inflexible muscles. Luckily, indoor soccer facilities have the benefit of climate control. This advantage ensures the participants and fans remain dry and comfortable. No need to apply sunscreen: The rays can’t harm you inside!
Outdoor soccer games are canceled often due to inclement weather. This worry is eliminated for the indoor players, as most facilities are equipped with heaters and air conditioning systems to manage the temperature. Further, for even the harshest of weather, an uninterruptible power supply is available to ensure the lights remain shining in the event of an outage. While others may be in the dark, you will still be taking shots on goal at your Friday night game.
Indoor soccer fields have four walls surrounding their perimeter. This feature prevents the ball from traveling out of bounds and keeps game stoppage to a minimum. With fewer breaks and time-outs, both the athletes and spectators enjoy constant action. The quick pace allows players to achieve peak conditioning levels and improve their cardiovascular fitness. Indoor soccer is a fun and effective way to advance your endurance and develop your skills in the off-season.
The Extra Player
Indoor soccer players fondly refer to the wall as their “extra player,” and this bonus member is often named the MVP. Because the ball is not considered out of bounds when it touches the side walls, players learn to use the barriers in their favor. Athletes utilize the wall to strategically pass to their teammates, carefully avoid defenders and more.
Because fewer competitors are positioned on the smaller indoor field, soccer players can develop their individual skills better than they can when playing outside. Skills such as dribbling, first touches and passing become increasingly important on the shorter fields. Further, the ball bounces higher and rolls faster than it does on grass, forcing the players to master ball control and timing.
Whether you’re a veteran starting forward or a spectator in the bleachers, everyone agrees that indoor soccer is remarkably entertaining. The fast pace of the game and the contagious team camaraderie make this sport incredibly fun to play and fabulously exciting to watch. Typical indoor arenas encompass several fields, allowing numerous games to occur at once. Consequently, the energy inside is palpable. Players revel in the loud cheers echoing throughout the building, and fans enjoy walking from game to game, acquiring new favorite teams and players.
From the tiny soccer tots to the seasoned adult athletes, indoor soccer appeals to all ages. Leagues are often arranged by gender but can be co-ed, making it possible to add team diversity and variety in the offseason.
While outdoor soccer is an irreplaceable classic, indoor soccer is a wonderful and exciting complement to the sport. With the smaller fields and focus on individual skill, competing in indoor soccer makes any player a more adept, well-rounded athlete. Give it a try this winter, and see your skills soar next spring!