The Brazilian sport of Futsal is coming to Cochrane.
Cesar Parra will be coaching adult and youth futsal programs starting on Jan. 16 and said he’s looking at is a way to improve Cochrane soccer players and teach them more advanced skills.
Futsal is Brazilian form of soccer that is played on a hard court, smaller than a soccer pitch and mainly indoors. It can be considered a version of five-a-side soccer.
It is played between two teams of five players each, one of whom is the goalkeeper. Unlike some other forms of indoor soccer, the game is played on a hard court surface delimited by lines; walls or boards are not in play. Futsal is also played with a smaller, harder ball in order to keep it from bouncing more than two times. The surface, ball, and rules have been created to emphasize improvisation, creativity, and technique as well as ball control and passing in small spaces.
“The thing about futsal is it’s all about ball control. There are boundaries and you can’t use the walls even though you are inside, because usually in indoor soccer in Canada, kids use the walls,” Parra said.
“They get used to kicking and bouncing the ball off the walls but you can’t do that in real soccer. In futsal, you play an outdoor game with boundaries but it takes place in a gym. It really helps you develop your skills, controlling the ball and teaches you one touch soccer.”
“Brazilian’s have mastered this because kids have grown up playing futsal and then when they go play outdoor, they have this ball control because they’re use to playing this one touch soccer style. It’s really hard to get good at it, but that’s what I want to teach people. How to have ball control and play one touch soccer with keeping you head up … that way when they go play outdoor, they have skills that they’ve never practiced before.”
Parra grew up in Chile, but moved to Canada where he coached high-level soccer in Toronto for 12 years. He wants to instil a mindset into Canadian soccer players that they can be the best in their sport, and he wants his students to believe in themselves.
“Things have been changing a bit these past few years, but when it comes to soccer, it’s almost like Canadians are OK to lose or to tie. I want to start building a mindset in the players, like any kid from Canada would if they were playing hockey,” Parra said.
“I want them to train and truly believe that they can be the best and win gold, and when you look at the game of hockey, you can tell the kids believe they really are the best … but in soccer it seems like the belief is everybody else is better and that’s not true. We have good players.”
“We have players that have talent, we just have to start working with kids at the early age, the same way we do with hockey, so they have the mentality that they can be the best. Yes it’s fun and it’s suppose to be fun, but I think Canadians could and will take soccer more seriously in the future.”
For more information you can contact Parra at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jaimee Stokes at email@example.com.