Beach soccer is arguably one of the best aspects of the sport! It is really really fun and helps you become even more creative while playing …
… However, Playing Barefoot Soccer on Sand is quite different from doing it the regular way on an actual pitch.
That’s why being aware of some tips and tricks is extremely important to be able to do so properly!
This article breakdown 15 helpful and actionable beach soccer tips to perform at the best of your abilities!
1. Work on Long and high passing game
Beach soccer is all about getting the ball up in the air. Unlike regular soccer, due to the specific sandy surface and its unevenness, it is extremely difficult to control the movement of the ball.
That is why this game is mostly played with high and long balls. In addition, as beach soccer is played at the court with smaller dimensions, goalkeepers can send long passes to teammates directly in front of the opponent’s goal.
Practice by simply putting the foot below the ball and quickly lifting it up. Do this move as much as possible, as this is the basic playing technique in beach soccer.
You can add kicking the ball with your second touch to this exercise. This drill can be done by yourself, or in a pair, with your teammate passing the high ball to you.
Your task is to receive the ball and kick it, first practicing with two touches, and then with one touch.
2. Flicking the ball is Essential
Due to sand being uneven and playing surface, it is sometimes impossible to move around with the ball at your feet.
Especially if the ball ends up stuck in a depression in the sand.
This makes dribbling a Herculean task! One technique that helps the ball move around is flickering. The player slides his foot under the ball and slightly lifts it out of the sand with quick movement of the lower leg.
Therefore, instead of running with the ball like in regular soccer, here you have to “flick” around with the ball.
3. Control the ball by juggling it
When you play soccer on the turf, grass, or indoor playing surface, juggling is the technique you rarely use!
Mostly it is used to establish a better position for a shot or to deceive an opponent, but in general, it is not often a used technique as it slows down the game.
When it comes to beach soccer, the situation is completely different. Having the ball on the sand actually makes moving around more difficult.
Due to this, players look to avoid having the ball on the surface, but rather juggle it in the air. Juggling in this case actually makes the play much faster because the player has the ball under his control all the time.
If needed, he can send the ball to his teammate or take a shot at the goal much faster than he could do it if the ball is stuck in the sand. Players can even move around with constant juggling faster than they would with classic dribbling.
4. Heading is key!
Header requires great technical skill and coordination. If performed correctly, it can be a massive advantage in beach soccer.
You should consider it, not only to score goals, but also to pass the ball to your teammates and even to go past an opposite player.
One of the most effective and simplest ways to improve it is by practicing with your teammates to keep the ball in the air, only with headers.
That way you will feel more comfortable with using it and it will surely help your team in the game.
5. Shoot whenever you get the chance!
In beach soccer, most goals are scored through long and average range shooting, that’s why you should make the most out of any shooting opportunity you get!
To achieve a powerful and precise shot, players tend to flick the ball first, and then take a kick. This technique is used not only to get a more powerful shot, but also to prevent potential injuries that may occur while shooting the ball directly off the sand.
If the ball is in depression of the sand, taking into account the amount of power applied to a single shot, it is easy to hurt yourself.
Special care must be taken before each shot, so players often flick the ball up first. Shooting is specific also due to much smaller dimensions of the field in beach soccer. That allows each player directly to jeopardize the opponent’s goal.
Practicing shooting from various positions and from each side of the court will make players more versatile. Especially work on improving the shooting skill with both feet.
In addition, goal dimensions are also smaller than in regular soccer. That requires working on precision of your shots, so you can endanger the goal from all positions.
The most important kick you should practice is volleyed shot, as beach soccer demands the ball to be in the air most of the time.
6. Free kicks are always a chance to score
Unlike regular soccer, here defense is not allowed to put up any kind of obstacle. If you take into consideration much shorter distances due to smaller playing fields, you can conclude that a free kick is a serious threat to the opponent’s goal and significant goal scoring opportunity.
Practicing this skill is not only important because of this fact, but also because of the preparation phase, as players are allowed to prepare the sand with their feet before taking a free kick.
7. Make use of throw-ins
Throw-ins are also great potential to score. Due to court dimensions, you can throw the ball directly in front of the opponent’s keeper area and endanger the goal.
Throw-in can be taken with hands or feet, so you have plenty of options. Considering the possibilities to create a dangerous play from throw-ins, you should practice throw-in drills frequently with your teammates.
8. Bicycle kicks … Why not!
Bicycle kick is among the most attractive shots in soccer generally. The player jumps high, spins backward and moves his weaker leg at the ball at first.
Then lowers that leg quick, cycling motion, and accelerates his stronger foot to strike the ball. We have seen many goals scored this way and always remained speechless.
When it comes to beach soccer, bicycle kicks are often used. It is sometimes performed by setting up the ball in the air by yourself with your chest or head.
Experienced players can perform bicycle kicks directly from a pass from a teammate, and directly and quickly endanger the goal.
However, when you fall afterwards it is essential to be turned slightly on the side, in order to avoid potential injury. Due to all of these factors, it is essential to practice it, whether by yourself or with your teammates.
9. Strength and endurance makes a huge difference
Because of the structure of the sand, movement is much more difficult. In order to overcome this, you have to invest bigger force than you would need in playing regular soccer.
That largely burdens your ankles, joints, hips and knees. Due to this, it is essential to work on building your muscles and getting stronger.
Having enough power to cope with the structure of the surface is mandatory here and specific for beach soccer.
Much larger effort and muscle load is present in beach soccer, especially on players’ legs. Player must completely trample in the sand in order to make the next step.
Every step requires great effort. Regardless of this, players must be ready to endure and play at the same pace. In addition, if a player falls down after a tackle, it takes a lot of time and effort to get up again.
10. Speed makes the difference!
Movement of the ball in the air requires a timely and quick reaction of the players. No matter if it is a kick with your foot or the head, due to the dynamic of the sport you have to be prepared to react in a split of a second.
That is why practicing your motor skills must be a part of every training session. The difficult movement because of the sand makes practicing coordination abilities especially important in beach soccer.
Coordination exercises are extremely useful as a warm up drill.
11. Move the ball around all the time
In beach soccer, you have a limited range of motions. You cannot dribble the ball around when in sand, so it is much easier for defenders to take the ball away from you.
That is why it is essential to keep the ball moving around. Defenders also invest a lot of effort when moving, and if you continue to pass the ball around, you will make them lose their strength and keep the possession at the same time.
12. Goalkeeper has more options to take utilize!
In beach soccer, the goalkeeper has a more options! Unlike in regular soccer, here the keeper can pick up the ball passed directly to him with his hands …
… This can be used in various situations. Often players would pass the ball back to the goalkeeper in order to relieve the pressure coming from opponents and the keeper takes the ball with his hands.
Important thing to have in mind is that goalkeepers can throw the ball to any part of the field. That allows them to send the ball directly to their teammates in front of the opponent’s goal.
This technique is extremely useful with counter attacks.
13. Learn to play with both feet
You have little time to react! Defenders are pressuring you and the ball is passed mostly through air, so there is enough time for them to close the space.
You should work on improving your passing and shooting skill with both your feet, as this will make you a more effective player up front of the opponent’s goal.
14. Teamwork is really key!
We are talking here about a true team sport that relies much less on individual effort than regular soccer.
The advantage over your opponents can only be achieved through organized team play. Only with the help of your teammates you can win, because you need their help to move the ball around. Doing it by yourself is harder than in regular soccer because of the sand.
Moreover, communication with your teammates is the key. Always warn them about potential danger and signal them that you are open.
15. Don’t hesitate to change the pace of the game …
Ideally, players would be able to play the game at the fastest pace possible through the entire match.
However, the sand tires players quickly!
In order to use your strength and endurance efficiently throughout the game, you have to frequently change the pace of the game appropriately.
When needed you should slow down the pace and keep the ball possession, gather strength, and then pressure your opponents with high pressing game.
Final Thoughts …
I am glad that you’ve went through all these tips, those are not only helpful to enhance your performance during games, but also to save you from some potential injuries that could be the result of not playing appropriately as the sand tends to be really exhausting …
… I am sure that through constant practice you will manage to perform at the best of your abilities!