Beach Soccer, To the Sand We Go!

beach soccer, soccer training

What Is Beach Soccer?

Aaaaah beautiful beach soccer, I can feel the sun bronzing my skin as we speak. Many people don’t know much about the sport and that’s okay because it’s still in the early growing stages.

The sport much like it’s father is played with a ball and two goals, same old same old. The only difference with beach soccer is it’s 3v3 plus a goalie, games are shorter and there’s one more thing I know I’m missing what is it again? Oh ya it’s played on SAND!!

This version of the game makes for exciting acrobatic goals, players and keepers throwing themselves around trying bikes and scissors all over the place leaving those less death defying players in the dust, or sand should I say.

Is Beach Soccer Popular?

Depends what you consider popular, in relation to the outdoor game we all know then no it fails in comparison but if you consider how far it’s come, then ya it’s getting there, especially in recent time.

Beach soccer has grown in popularity especially in the past five years so seeing leagues in Europe developed and national teams competing in major competitions worldwide.

Obviously it’s not as easy to play as grabbing a ball and jumping on a patch of grass with some pals but its popularity on the world scene is growing and growing. Don’t be surprised if one day your kids are asking you to play soccer in the sand (hey one less pair of cleats to buy).

Is It Similar To 11v11 Outdoor Soccer?

Welll… ya knowwww…… kkindaaaa sortaaaa. NO. Not really to be fair. It’s only normal for it to resemble the game from which it stemmed and yes it is more similar to 11v11 soccer then basketball let’s say but there are some obvious differences.

Not only the fact that’s it’s played in sand, with less players and smaller goals there are other differences that can go unnoticed. The style of play obviously is quite different then your regular outdoor game. It’s run and gun on the beach with less passing and more direct and more risk taking involved all game long.

How Will Playing Beach Soccer Help My Outdoor Game?

If you play beach on the fries (the side) then there are certain aspects of it that will help your out door game such as:

Improving Your First Touch

In beach, balls come at high speeds from all different areas of the pitch with little room for error so your first touch to control a ball will be tested more often. This happened when only three players are on a team allowing for more touches on and tests of that first touch.

Comfort With the Ball in Awkward Tight Spaces

Playing with your back to the goal, being doubled and having to serve a ball while it’s waist high are examples of different awkward situations that come up. Learning to deal with different situations and escaping them is an important lesson to be learned that translates to outdoor as well.

One Time Strikes on Goal

The game on sand requires quick strikes on goal end to end meaning you have a split second to have a go at goal. These small windows of opportunity to shoot develop great habits of hitting a ball first time.

How Will Playing Beach Soccer Hurt My Outdoor Game?

Although soccer on the beach has it’s pluses in terms of raising your technical ability it also can be counterproductive in a couple ways if you’re not careful and intentional in the way you play. Some things that may hurt your game may be things such as:

Developing Bad Habits

Playing simple, passing and moving and taking players on at speed are staples of the modern outdoor game. Beach sometimes develops poor habits doing just the opposite of these, trying to dribble too much, staying stationary and putting your foot on the ball.

Full Field Fitness

Although it does provide a certain level of fitness in a slightly different manner you can’t compare beach fitness to full field 90minute fitness outdoors. If you’re thinking playing on the beach is going to develop your conditioning for outdoor then you have some issues you need resolving.

Positional Awareness

Another thing that may hurt you transitioning from sand to grass would be positional awareness and soccer understanding. Knowing when to step, when to drop and when to stay home can get lost in a 3v3 oriented game like beach is.

Which Attributes Make a Great Beach Player?

Well now after reading the previous few paragraphs you tell me. Okay in case you skipped that part the top 5 qualities of a great beach player are:

1. Extremely gifted technically

2. Ability to play in tight areas of the pitch

3. Athletic

4. Creative in the final third of the field

5. Ability to create your own shot

Do A Lot of Pro’s Play Beach Soccer in the Off Season and After They Retire?

No not typically. Beach players generally haven’t played at high levels outdoor 11v11.

Very few players’ dreams are to play beach as a young boy/girl. Usually the dream is outdoor soccer and sometimes somewhere along the road an opportunity to play beach comes by and they grab it.

There It is the tall and skinny of beach soccer, in case you missed it take the sand out of your eyes and take a second look, you never know maybe one day you’ll playing the sandbox with all the other children.

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