Talk

Fuel Soccer Talk: Taking your game indoors – the pros & cons; Tickets available for 2020 Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying; Benefits of water – easy as H2O

Inside the lines: The pros and cons of playing indoor soccer

With winter quickly approaching, many soccer teams are heading indoors – if they aren’t there already. So let’s kick around some of the advantages of playing indoor soccer and even see if there are any risks involved in taking your game inside.

There are many and obvious benefits to playing indoor soccer. While you don’t cover as much ground as outside, indoor soccer is a much faster paced game with minimal stoppages and many more touches on the ball per player. Let’s stop there for a second. More touches and faster pace should help improve your skills with the ball. You don’t have as much time to settle the ball at your feet in indoor soccer.

Playing indoor also improves fitness levels and encourages quicker speed of play due to a smaller field size. Many younger players seem to enjoy the faster pace indoors because they feel like they are more involved. Maybe because there is less pressure to perform inside than outside, younger players enjoy just playing the game a lot more.

Overall, since the ball is continually in play, with only a few breaks, there are more chances for touches on the ball, scoring opportunities and constant action. This constant action is a great way to improve fitness levels while having fun. Indoor soccer will help with your off-season fitness program and will help to develop short bursts of speed along with power and endurance in a climate controlled environment.

And the risk? A study in 2006, found that there was no significant difference between injury rates by age group or gender in indoor soccer compared with outdoor soccer. The risk of injury in the most elite division of play was greater in outdoor compared with indoor soccer . The most commonly injured body part in both indoor and outdoor soccer was the ankle, followed by the groin in indoor and the knee in outdoor soccer.

2020 Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament tickets go on sale

There is nothing better than watching the best players in the world play the game. It’s both educational and motivational – and it’s also a lot of fun. Get there early and watch the players warm up and see what they do and don’t do as they prepare to take the pitch. Watching inside the stadium rather than on TV gives you a better full-picture perspective. Watch what players do when they don’t have the ball and watch how the plays unfold.

Here’s a great chance to watch the world’s best players.

Tickets for all venues and all games at the 2020 Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament that will send two countries to the Tokyo Olympics next summer went on sale to the public Friday, Nov. 22, at 10 a.m. local venue time through ussoccer.com.

For the events in Houston and Southern California, tickets are also available by phone toll-free at 1-888-929-7849, at the BBVA Stadium box office (open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday) and at the Dignity Health Sports Park ticket office (open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday). Tickets will not be available at the H‑E‑B Park ticket office until the week of the event.

Groups of 20 or more can order directly at ussoccer.com starting Monday, Nov. 25, at 10 a.m. CT.

Water is the go-to beverage for any sport or activity

When travelling or attending a sporting event or any other activity, one beverage stands out above the rest. And it’s as easy as H2O.

“Water is best,” said Amber Yudell, team sports dietitian at Arizona State University. “It may be tempting to limit drinking when traveling if taking bathroom breaks will be tough, but athletes should always have a water bottle with them and hydrate early and often throughout the day to maximize hydration before activity and limit potential performance deficits.”

Yudell says drinks such as 100 percent juice and milk do in fact contribute to hydration, and they also provide calories and nutrients that can keep athletes energized and recovered.

Erika Sharp, director of nutrition for Pro/Elite Sports, has a formula athletes should follow when it comes to drinking water. “Aim for ½ – 1 ounce per pound per day, for the 120 pound athlete, that’s about 60 – 120 oz (2-4 liters) per day,” she says. “Preventing dehydration can be a huge performance booster as it improves energy levels, speed, lateral movement and accuracy.”

She also suggests adding in some electrolytes. “These help muscles hold more water and promote more efficient hydration,” she said.

Yudell suggests that during practices and competition keep fluids available and aim for a rate of about 4-8 ounces every 15-20 minutes.

Send story ideas and comments to Terry Jacoby at tajacoby@comcast.net