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Goalkeeper in Futsal: Making decisions

Dusan Matic is a Professional Futsal Goalkeeper Coach, Assistant Coach, UEFA Futsal Instructor since 2015, Analyst and Consultant. Currently, he is the Goalkeeper Coach and Assistant Coach for the Finland Futsal Men’s National Team (2013 – present). So far, he’s trained hundreds of Goalkeepers and coaches and held many workshops, seminars, camps and webinars. With Finland National Team he was five times winner of Nordic Futsal Cup, one time of Baltic Futsal Cup and Futsal week.

The text "Decision Making" is the second chapter of Matić's new (second) book "Goalkeeper in Futsal" that will be in sale soon.

In his new column, Matić is writing about very important skill for modern futsal goalkeepers - decision making.

"Experience is an advantage if the accumulated information is used to improve future decision making. Otherwise, the experience means nothing! Decision making is a learning process, not a natural gift".

-Mićo Martić-

Futsal is changing at a rapid pace. Therefore, the role of the goalkeeper in it as well.

In the early beginnings of futsal, the movements and actions were far slower. Just like the intensity and volume of running, as well as the choice of tactical variants, which was much narrower compared to today. Therefore, the role of the goalkeeper at that time was significantly different.

The goalkeepers were concentrated mostly on stopping the shots of the opponents, without significant participation in other phases of the game as is the case today.

Back then, few teams had a goalkeeper coach in their professional staff. Therefore, everything was left to the goalkeepers themselves. They had to learn from their experience as best they knew and could.

However, modern futsal brings greater dynamics and speed, and especially a larger number of tactical solutions that directly affect the goalkeeper's role in it. Goalkeeper's decision making has an increasing impact on the overall tactics and way of the team's play. In short, goalkeepers had to evolve!

>> Book: Goalkeeper in Futsal!

It has become necessary for modern goalkeepers to have more and more characteristics of players in the field. They have to be able to play with both feet equally. They have to understand the game and have more and more participation in both defensive and attacking plays. To reach that level, it is necessary to dedicate oneself to professional work with the goalkeepers, acquaint them with the tactics of the whole team and actively involve them in working with the team.

The most important thing to note about this topic is: successful decision-making is directly related to the freedom to make mistakes!

The importance of decision-making for goalkeepers in futsal

In addition to repeating certain situations in training and corrections in the process, we must keep in mind that giving freedom to make mistakes (even in matches) is an extremely important step on the path of goalkeeping development.

When we talk about training methods between goalkeeper and his coach, to improve goalkeeper's decision-making skills, training should be conceived in a way that coaches add new tasks in exercises with which the goalkeeper has already become acquainted. The routine repetitions of individual elements that are inherent in improving the performance of a technical element should be avoided at all cost. Therefore, the emphasis should be placed on activities and tasks that include the goalkeeper directly in the decision-making process. It should be emphasized that the requirements of the exercises should be adjusted depending on the quality level of the goalkeeper.

>> Futsal Goalkeepers: Game in a free space

Also, those exercises should be applied in training as often as possible in situations when the goalkeeper is physically tired. Goalkeeper's physical fatigue directly affects the quality of decision-making, and by getting used to training under pressure, he or she increases the level of success in this area and makes it easier for goalkeepers to apply them during the match when they find themselves in a similar situation.

On the other hand, when we talk about ways to improve decision-making in the training of the whole team, it would certainly be necessary to adequately acquaint goalkeepers with all the tactical ideas that the team should implement - to be able to understand not only their own but also the role of each teammate in a particular situation.

>> Exercises for Goalkeepers and Coaches

According to each exercise, the level of "pressure" to which the goalkeepers should be exposed should be adjusted, to bring them as close as possible to the situations that await them in the match. Above all, these can be certain sudden tasks from the coach or the goalkeeper's coach, which they should overcome successfully.

Also, I should mention that one of the most successful types of training to improve the goalkeeper's decision making is a video analysis of match situations.

By analyzing the matches, we conclude that decision-making from the position of the goalkeeper is more pronounced when we talk about the defensive phase of the game. With a good understanding of the game, the goalkeeper can help his team a lot.

>> Why Futsal Goalkeepers don't wear Gloves?

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Dušan Matić


Dušan Matić


The article was written by Dušan Matić, Finland's national team goalkeeper coach, UEFA instructor and author of the book Goalkeeper in Futsal.