Monday, 22 Jul 2024

The Benefits of Soccer Tennis (and How to Play It)

Soccer coaches are always seeking new ways to make their training sessions exciting and engaging. By incorporating different drills and exercises, players can stay focused and develop various skills. However, it’s essential to include fun and lighthearted games during training to boost team morale. One of the most popular games on the training ground is soccer tennis.

What Is Soccer Tennis?

Soccer tennis is a game played by soccer teams worldwide, from professional leagues to local youth teams. While it provides a break from regular training, it also helps players enhance their technical skills. What’s interesting is that soccer tennis is not just a casual game; it is a formalized sport governed by an international body. It shares similarities with traditional tennis, with players divided into teams on opposite sides of a small rectangular court. The objective is to score points by making the ball bounce in the opponent’s half in a way that prevents them from returning it over the net.

In soccer tennis, players serve from the baseline using any part of their body except the hand or arm. The game allows the use of various body parts, such as the head and chest, to play the ball. For doubles and triples matches, each team has three ball touches, with no consecutive touches from a single player. The court size depends on the number of players. Men’s games allow the ball to bounce only once on each side, while women’s and junior’s versions allow two bounces. To win a set, teams must score 11 points with a margin of at least 2 points. The game offers a refreshing and relatively simple experience, especially for tennis enthusiasts.

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The History Of Soccer Tennis

Soccer tennis originated in the Czech Republic around a century ago when players at Slavia Prague started playing a game known as “Football over the rope.” The game involved a rope stretched horizontally instead of a soccer tennis net. However, it wasn’t until 1940 that the official soccer tennis rules were established. The Futnet Cup in 1940, organized by Slavia Prague, helped popularize the game. Czechoslovakia formed its own league, and in 1961, football tennis gained official recognition as a sport.

Soccer tennis gained worldwide attention in the 1990s when the first European and World Championships took place. These tournaments, organized by Union International de Futnet (UNIF) and the European Futnet Association (EFTA), were a huge success. The sport continues to grow, with the upcoming World Championships scheduled for November 2022 in Prague’s O2 Universum.

The Benefits Of Soccer Tennis

Soccer tennis offers more than just fun; it is a valuable training tool that helps players develop various technical skills. The game improves aerial ball control, footwork, first-time passing, heading, volleying, and chest control. Players learn to control the ball in tight spaces and make accurate passes. These skills are applicable to different positions on the field, benefiting strikers, defenders, and midfielders alike. Additionally, soccer tennis provides an excellent cardio workout, improving players’ fitness levels. Moreover, incorporating soccer tennis into training sessions promotes teamwork, boosts morale, and enhances overall performance on the field.

How To Get Started Playing Soccer Tennis

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To start playing soccer tennis, you need a net, cones to mark the court, a football, and at least two players. The net can be a standard tennis net or a lowered badminton net. If necessary, you can use a rope as a substitute. Mark out the court dimensions using cones to ensure visibility for all players. The court size varies depending on the number of players. Once all the equipment is set up, divide into teams and start playing. Adjust the court size or allow more touches and ball bounces as needed to accommodate different skill levels.

A Few Soccer Tennis Tips

Here are some useful tips to improve your soccer tennis skills:

  • Keep your distance from the net to have more reaction time and space to move.
  • Let the ball bounce if it isn’t perfectly aligned for a volley, allowing you to find power and accuracy.
  • Communicate with your teammates to cover space effectively and avoid getting in each other’s way.
  • Stay alert and nimble, always ready to react and move into space.
  • Pass the ball upwards when setting up teammates, giving them time to adjust and hit it.
  • Practice regularly to improve your game while having fun.

If you want to explore other classic training routines in football, check out our guide to the rondo drill. Start playing soccer tennis and experience the benefits of this exciting game that combines the skills of soccer and tennis.