Strength through shielding

Gary Phillips, 04 Jun 2024


Shielding the ball as a pivot or defending against a player shielding the ball are common scenarios in futsal. It is therefore essential that such actions are included in a training programme and that players are physically equipped to perform them. This exercise works on players’ ability to shield the ball and to dispossess an opposition player who is shielding the ball.


  • Mark out a series of 4m x 4m squares in both halves of a full pitch. 

  • Divide the group into 2 teams (oranges and blues).

  • Set up a 1v1 scenario in each square and give each pair of players a ball.


  • The attacker tries to shield the ball from the defender while keeping the ball inside the square.

  • The defending player tries to dispossess the attacker.

  • The players in each square swap roles after 30 seconds.

Coaching points

  • Players shielding the ball should stay strong and position their body between their opponent and the ball.

  • Players shielding the ball can extend their arms to create space between themselves and their opponent whilst taking in information without having to look.

  • Players shielding the ball should keep it out of their opponent’s reach by using their furthest foot to move it around the square.

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