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Futsal's the Hot Brazilian Soccer Game

Updated on January 31, 2014

I heard of Futsal when reading Dan Coyle's book The Talent Code. I also wrote this lengthy article about the book Talent Code.

Immediately I pictured the partially inflated basketballs at the TBI program where my son resides in Cal. You would be mighty challenged to get a bounce out of one of those balls.

I know, because I've tried and my wimpy arm couldn't bounce the ball more than a few inches off the pavement. Rather than try to meet the challenge I went out and bought him a new basketball.

So what we missed out on is what Brazilian wannabe soccer players used to their advantage.

The Talent Code spotlights Brazil's Futsal Rise

Dan Coyle uncovered one of his favorite talent Hot Spots - in the home of the Brazilian soccer phenomenon (it's called Fustal in Brazil). Rather late on the worldwide soccer (called Football in the UK) scene, Brazil surged to dominate the sport, first with their 1958, 1962 and 1970 World Cup wins.

What Coyle discovered was that Brazilian kids don't play

and train like those in America or Britain, on large grassy fields. In Brazil the kids play mostly on dirt, cement or wood courts, some finished and some very modest or even ugly in circumstance. The kids thrive on these smaller, some really tiny, surfaces. They don't even use regular soccer balls, like the ones so important to their young neighbors to the North. They use smaller, heavier, less bouncy balls when they play Fustal.

This means they handle the ball much more often than what we in the West think of as regular soccer players on regular large grassy fields. It turns out that frequency of ball-handling equates to increased degree of learning the right moves, therefore more effective neural circuitry that governs their performance.

So Brazil seems to possess the secret for developing top-notch players out-of-nowhere. But in reality the young novice Fustal players are everywhere in sight! It's just that, to an untrained eye, what appears to be sandlot kickball is really the training ground for greatness. It is the Brazilian Hot Spot for Soccer!

Futsal has become a full fledged world game. In the Pan American Games, and in preparation for the contests, it is now played indoors on a regulation court that looks nothing like its humble beginnings. It is a fast-moving flamboyant game.

Photo Credit for photo at bottom from Brazil's public news service, Agência Brasil, by Wilson Dias/ABr and found on Wikipedia at Futsal.

Coaching Futsal: Understanding, Improving, and Perfecting
Coaching Futsal: Understanding, Improving, and Perfecting

In case you're just introducing this sport in the neighborhood it helps to have a manual so it can even be loaned out to parents and players.

Baden Low Bounce Futsal Practice Ball, Blue/White
Baden Low Bounce Futsal Practice Ball, Blue/White

Once they get used to the low bounce of futsal they're going to need a bunch of practice balls. Start small.

Baden Size 4 Low Bounce Futsal Game Ball, Red/White
Baden Size 4 Low Bounce Futsal Game Ball, Red/White

Keep 'em going with the next size ball. I like hand sewing and Baden balls are hand sewn, like those used on the raging Brazilian fields.


The moves are quick and full of spirit.

Do You Think Futsal Is a Quick, Exciting & Intoxicating Sport?

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    • lesliesinclair profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago

      @MaestriAD: Many thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. Wow - can't imagine kicking a coconut - that's further evidence of the players' determination to learn.

    • MaestriAD profile image


      4 years ago

      Thanks for recommending my book. Coaching Futsal is exactly as you described. I wrote it thinking of a market new to the game.

      By the way, the Futsal ball I played with in Brazil was as hard as a coconut! Stings like crazy :-) you have to be a little crazy to be a Futsal goalie.

    • lesliesinclair profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago

      @NoProblemmo: Oh yes, and to think, if I hadn't read Outliers I wouldn't even have noticed. Thanks for your comment.

    • NoProblemmo profile image


      4 years ago

      Isn't interesting how much difference is between soccer and futsal, when you look at both more closely?

    • lesliesinclair profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago

      @Zeross4: I'm still amazed at how the developers of the sport noticed that hardship with the ball and the court could give the players more important practice.

    • Zeross4 profile image

      Renee Dixon 

      4 years ago from Kentucky

      Very interesting indeed, had never seen this done indoors :)

    • lesliesinclair profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago

      @Merrci: Rather like a smaller soccer ball, but methinks it would sting just the same. Ha! long legs make larger targets.

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 

      4 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      Very interesting lens Papier, as always! It looks like a huge baseball almost--ouch if that were to hit. Fun to read.

    • lesliesinclair profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago

      @takkhisa: Isn't it amazing to watch what they have become considering the trials of practice!

    • takkhisa profile image


      4 years ago

      I love watching this indoor football.


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