An extremely effective way to make sure that a Futsal team carries an attacking threat is by using a dedicated attacker. This role is one of the most important to the team and, if you get it right, could be the spark that gets the team creating space and playing impressive attacking football.
In the Futsal world, the most advanced player on the pitch; the one who is in attack, pinning back the opposition defence is called the Pivot¹.
A high quality pivot lives up to this name in two senses:
- They will be a focal point for the attack, acting as a pivot for the attacking movement of the rest of the team, bringing in their teammates for scoring opportunities through intelligent hold-up play and shrewd lay-offs.
- If they’re strong and quick with good technique, they will be able to turn ‘or pivot’ around their marker, creating scoring opportunities for themselves.
Played well, this position will give the opposition defenders nightmares but more importantly keeping them busy and away from thinking about offensive play.
Key skills of a Pivot
When selecting somebody to play this role, we look look for somebody with:
- Strength to hold the ball up. That doesn’t necessarily just mean they have to be big, it just means that they must be able to put their foot on the ball and hold it, withstanding the pressure that the defender will put them under.
- Anticipation both to read when a pass is coming and to latch onto any loose balls for scoring opportunities.
- Technique to be able to receive a pass, controlling it quickly, and be comfortable with the ball at their feet. It’s also very useful if they’ve got a couple of moves to be able to turn a defender.
- Speed for turning quickly and for making little darting runs.
- Shooting accuracy for putting the ball in the net when the chance arises.
With those raw materials you should find that you can make yourself a very good pivot, as long as you have a little bit of tactical knowledge.
We are going to reveal everything you need to know to play the position in a series of articles over the next week.
Here’s the first…………………………………………………….
Without the ball – be a target, create the space
Even without the ball, the pivot plays an important positional role. By maintaining a position high up the court a Pivot poses a continual attacking threat, pinning back a defender giving ‘depth’ to the play.
Depth is really important. People often talk about creating space by a team having ‘width’, but you must not overlook ‘depth’.
It’s a key way that a team can enlarge the space in which they are attacking, giving lots more options to the team and making a lot more difficult for the defence.
In diagram A the team in blue are attacking upwards, but all of the players are within their own half. Nobody has pushed up at the top and the result is that they team are playing possession in a very cramped space, which makes it hard for them and easier for the opposition.
This sort of problem can arise when the attacking players feel they need to move towards the ball, but it’s not always helpful to do that.
On the other hand, in diagram B, where a pivot has taken a position high up the court, much more space (the treasured ‘depth’) has opened up for the team to play in. Not only can player A receive the ball and have much more chance to turn the defender, but it also allows the other players space to attack.
How might the pivot pushing up help the others attack?
The additional space created opens up more areas for others to move into, and also more space in which they can play, such as in the one-two (or ‘wall pass’) in the diagram on the right.
Make sure you come back for article 2 – Receiving the ball – sideways on, sole of the foot