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Indoor soccer, watch and learn, says Lakeland soccer executive

Lac La Biche FC coaching director hopes Lakeland Cup weekend will draw more attention to indoor sport

LAC LA BICHE - Wayne Mah, the coaching director for Lac La Biche FC minor soccer association, says indoor soccer-including competitions - such as the upcoming Lakeland Cup in La La Biche - are valuable in preparing youth players for the outdoor season, which starts up again in April.   

From Feb. 23-25, Lac La Biche will play host to the Lakeland Cup, the league championship tournament of the indoor season for U13-U17 teams. The event, which will take place at the Bold Centre, is hosted by the Lakeland District Soccer Association and Lac La Biche FC.  

Indoor soccer, he explained, teaches skill development, tactical awareness, physical conditioning, as well as adaptability. Playing indoors, he continued, typically requires players to have quick footwork, close ball control, and fast decision-making due to the smaller playing area.  

“These skills can directly transfer to the outdoor game, where players often have more space but still need agility and precision,” Mah said, adding that the fast-paced nature of indoor soccer encourages players to develop their tactical awareness. He said these concepts are essential in outdoor soccer and can be honed during indoor matches.  

Regarding the physical conditioning aspect of the game, indoor soccer often involves continuous movement and quick transitions between attacking and defending.  

“This helps players improve their endurance, speed, and overall fitness levels, which are crucial for success in the outdoor season,” he explained.  

Playing indoor soccer requires players to adapt to different playing surfaces and conditions compared to outdoor soccer. This adaptability, Mah says, can help players become more versatile and better equipped to handle various challenges they can encounter during the outdoor season.  

According to Mah, indoor soccer also emphasizes teamwork and communication due to the close proximity of players on the smaller field.  

“Learning to work together effectively and communicate efficiently can benefit players when they transition back to the outdoor game, where teamwork and communication are equally important,” he said.  

The long-time coach and club executive member hopes the Lakeland Cup at the Bold Center will draw sports fans to the sidelines to watch the game and perhaps think about playing it themselves. 

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