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Tips for Playing Power Soccer Outside

By
Corey Brooks
September 6, 2018

Power soccer is the greatest sport in the world. It’s fast-paced, competitive, fun to play with friends, and is usually played indoors. However, one question that immediately comes to mind is ‘Can it only be played inside on a basketball court, or can it be played somewhere else like outside? Do people play it outside?’ The answer to both those questions is yes. In some other countries like Brazil and Argentina, practices and matches are held outside regularly.  

Just like the increasingly popular street soccer, power soccer can be played on makeshift and outdoor basketball courts that are exposed to the elements. Although it is not as common in the U.S. where indoor courts are more available, power soccer is sometimes played outside. Many people like myself actually regularly practice and enjoy outdoor power soccer practice. I often find myself going outside on a hot summer or cool fall day to drive the ball around and do spin kicks by myself or with a partner.

I have found some great places to practice such as tennis courts, outdoor basketball courts, concrete slabs, and (my personal favorite) covered pavilions. I have even experienced playing power soccer pick up games on a closed city street for the yearly Accessibility Fest in San Antonio.

Now a question that I am sometimes asked is if I should I be playing power soccer outside. The answer to this question, honestly, depends on what you’re looking to get out of it or what you want to avoid.

Two obvious points immediately come to mind:

However, there are many things that you should keep in mind.

Weather

You really need to pay special attention to the weather because you do not want to be caught in the rain with your soccer chair.

Aside from precipitation, you also need to watch the temperature. In my opinion, one of the biggest concerns is the heat. You really should make sure that it’s not too hot and if it is, you need to think about finding a covered pavilion, wearing sunscreen, keeping a cooling towel, or just knowing when it’s time to go back inside. It’s important to pay attention to your equipment while playing in the heat. It’s easy for your chair to overheat while taking spin kicks or scrimmaging one-on-one, but it’s even more susceptible to overheating while playing outside.

I do have to say, that whether it’s too hot or just warm, you should always stay hydrated when playing power soccer outdoors. Also, please don’t practice outside if it is too cold, or wear a jacket/pants.

One other weather note, is that you should also watch for the wind - either try to make sure it’s not too windy, find a way to lightly anchor the ball (something that can easily break away when kicking like tape or rocks), or just learn to deal with the wind.

Location

You should look at if the place you are going has high traffic (i.e. running kids) and whether you will need to avoid crashes with other people.  (One side note, sometimes high traffic can be an advantage – more people that will get your ball for you if you lose it! I remember once having some local kids at park act as ball boys.)

The surface of the playing field is also important to consider. Starting out you need to know whether your chair can even make it there. It can be rough driving on bumpy surfaces in a soccer chair with no suspension.

Make sure to check if there is a drop off on the side of the court so you don’t drive off of it, if the floor is curved or wavy (so you don’t get frustrated when the ball breaks the wrong direction), and the surface you are playing on.

The surface plays a huge role on the wear and tear of your equipment. I would like to make it clear that playing power soccer outside on any almost every type of surface is harder on your equipment. Some surfaces like asphalt can eat through your tires and soccer balls very quickly.

One of my teammates went through a set of tires after only playing four times on asphalt for a total of 6 hours of practice. I personally do not recommend playing on asphalt unless you have to do or only do it occasionally.

Other materials like concrete, stone, or tennis court material will still increase tire and ball degradation, but are okay to play on.

One last consideration to make is the condition of the surface, it is important to look for cracks and holes as these can mess you up and break your chair (e.g. wheels, frames, and tires). Also, be sure and to clear large rocks or debris because these can cause injury to yourself or your chair.

Another thing to think about when looking for a place to practice is where the ball could potentially go when kicked. Try and look for a field of play that is fenced in or free of hills or lakes that way you prevent losing a ball or having to get your parent or caregiver go into the sticks or in the middle of a lake to get it.

Another thing to think about when looking for a place to practice is where the ball could potentially go when kicked. Try and look for a field of play that is fenced in or free of hills or lakes that way you prevent losing a ball or having to get your parent or caregiver go into the sticks or in the middle of a lake to get it.

If you are planning to play a USPSA official game, be sure to head over to the downloads page to read the Laws of the Game rthe minimum and maximum size of the playing field.

Now to answer the question of whether you should practice outside, I say yes. As long as you properly prepare, know where you are playing, and go in with an open mind and vigilance, it can really be fun playing outside - and a change from the cold gym.

I have personally had a lot of fun practicing power soccer outdoors, feeling the breeze and sun on my face. In the fall especially, playing outdoors can be both fun and relaxing and just a good way to destress. There are also some scenic courts out there on the beach (like in Brazil), on the lake (that have barriers), in scenic woodland parks, and even on top of buildings with the city skyline as a backdrop. Although I have a lot of experience practicing power soccer outside, it is definitely on my bucket list to play power soccer in some of these places.

If you live in an area where you can play outdoors, I say be adventurous and don’t be afraid to change up your power soccer routine. Just know your limits and do what you're comfortable with. You can have a lot of fun when you just go outdoors.

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