Fort Wayne, IN Saturday February 25th, 2023 – Indiana Futsal recently implemented another successful Futsal for All clinic, this time in Fort Wayne. Hosted at Optimum Performance Sports (OPS), the clinic was attended by more than 30 physical education teachers from around the city.
Director of Indiana Futsal Justin Becht and Director of Coaching Education Steve Franklin facilitated the exciting and engaging course for the participants, including 9 female youth players from Fort Wayne Sport Club.
All 36 physical education teachers walked away with futsal goals & balls courtesy of Indiana Soccer. The equipment and lessons will impact kids at more than 42 schools in the area.
Also in attendance were prominent individuals including Indiana Soccer Hall of Fame inductee Greg Mauch, representing Canterbury School, Trine University Head Coach Phil Downs, as well as clinic coordinator Cody Drake.
“We are now able to bring this game to all the kids in the community and schools that may not have had the opportunity providing them with the equipment and the knowledge is going to be great” stated Greg Mauch.
The event kicked off with some exciting and fun icebreakers to warm up the group. This was followed by a hands-on approach to the sport of futsal and how to integrate it into the various school physical education classes, as well as after school programming. what the game of futsal entails as well as game rules.
With the help of the youth players from Fort Wayne Sport Club, educators jumped in and reviewed the technical aspects of playing the game as well as activities that could be utilized to enhance their current curriculum.
“Playing futsal indoors forces you to work on your touch in an environment that is real – you get a lot of touches on the ball, and it just makes it easier when you move outside” - stated Phil Downs.
A major component of the instruction centered on coaches allowing players to take initiative. After learning a variety of skills and scenarios, players picked a partner from the crowd (parents, friends, etc.) to join them on the court. They were able to learn and try out skills together, a task that proved extremely fun and engaging for all involved.
“My takeaway from today’s futsal exercise is anyone can to play futsal, it would great to have it gym classes and just expand the game with people that might not have played futsal before and give them an opportunity to play futsal” stated Cody Drake, Ft Wayne Futsal Coordinator.
Before the event ended, educators & players were split up into two teams for a friendly scrimmage that saw both groups put into practice all the skills they learned throughout the day.
For many, receiving the futsal gear that they will be able to use at their school was a highlight of the day.
“The is tremendous value physical education teachers receiving futsal gear from Indiana Futsal because it will get more kids involved in Futsal and also get them interested in soccer and get more kids outside playing on a daily basis” stated one parent whose daughter attended the event.
The intended “leave behind” was for educators and coaches to see the value in introducing futsal in schools to give youth another opportunity to learn a new sport as well as diversify that physical education portfolio.