Archive | 2014

Fantastic Futsal, Part 3: Futsal Positions

We’re back again, folks! This is the third part of our blog series in which we investigate that wonderful game of futsal. Today we’re going to talk about futsal positions. If you’re the sort of person who learns best with visual aids, then check out Ryan’s video here: http://bit.ly/TUv6e1. He uses a whiteboard and magnets to diagram what I will write about below.

Futsal Positions

So, in futsal, there are 5 players for each team – 4 outfielders and 1 keeper.

The goalkeeper, besides the obvious duty of preventing goals, takes part in the attack as well. This means that he or she should be mobile and good with his or her feet. This is unlike 11-on-11 soccer, where the keeper is much more of a stationary figure.

The centerback/defender/pivot acts as the quarterback, looking to set things up. As he or she is the first to receive a pass from the keeper and is in the best position to see the whole field, he or she directs the gameplay.

The two wingers operate on the left and right sides of the field. As the touchline limits their playing area, they will ideally be good at maneuvering in tight spaces. They should also be fast and have good stamina in order to meet the demands of bombing up and down the flanks.

The forward/target should be comfortable playing with his or her back to goal. This means that this player should have the strength and physicality needed to hold off the defender. The forward should be able to shield the ball from the defender and then either turn and shoot, or lay off a pass to a teammate charging forward.

Even though I’ve just listed these futsal positions, please do not think they are set in stone. Futsal is much more of a fluid game than traditional soccer. Think of it as being a lot like Dutch Total Football. This means that futsal is a game all about constant interchanging and movement between positions. For example, if the defender makes a forward run, one of the wingers should move into his vacated space to cover for him. This style of play is based on the idea that every player should play every role at some point in the game. Futsal is best played with a “pass and move” style that rewards versatile players who know how to play multiple positions.

This fluidity is what makes futsal both so enjoyable and instructive. Futsal is a much faster-paced game than 11-on-11. Everyone is constantly active and there is nowhere for players to hide. Futsal players must always be thinking about what move to make next and where they can best help their team. This type of thinking fosters the creativity and split-second decision-making that is so crucial in soccer.

Well, that’s it for this installment. I hope you enjoyed it. Join us next week when we delve deeper into futsal strategy and discuss the finer points of futsal formations!

Fantastic Futsal, Part 2: Benefits of Futsal

We’re back! This is Part Two of our blog series about futsal. This week, we will go over the many benefits that this sport provides to its players. Here is the video that goes along with this post: http://bit.ly/1npwONV. Now just because there’s a video doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t also continue reading!

The first advantage of futsal is the ease of finding a place to play. You can play indoors or outdoors, as long as your location has a relatively flat playing surface. Basketball courts, tennis courts, grassy fields, or any type of open space will fit the bill just fine. Any type of open space will work, so don’t worry too much about finding the perfect futsal field. Just get out there and play!

The second benefit of futsal is the speed of play. The pace of the game is a lot faster than 11-on-11 soccer. The average player makes 60 decisions with the ball in each game of futsal, whereas in full-fledged soccer matches, players typically make only 20-30 decisions. The higher frequency of these split-second decisions in futsal can dramatically improve your game.

The third and perhaps most significant benefit of futsal is the creativity that it fosters. The smaller dimensions of the futsal court require that players make changes in their styles of play. With the tight spaces of the futsal court, there is nowhere to hide. You are forced to take players on and try to beat them 1-on-1. In this way, players learn to seek out, rather than avoid, confrontation on the pitch. Futsal inspires players to beat their defender with a nifty bit of skill instead of making the obvious pass. These skills you acquire from futsal are applicable on the soccer pitch as well. This claim is backed up by the success of international soccer superstars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Ronaldinho. Much of the dominance these players have over world soccer can be attributed to their immaculate close control and mind-blowing tricks they use to beat defenders. And it is almost a certainty that they first acquired these skills not on the soccer pitch, but from maneuvering in small playing areas in their respective countries.

Player attempting a flick trick

Player attempting a flick trick

Of course, these are just some of the many benefits of futsal. Please share with us any additional advantages you see to playing this fantastic sport!

 

Senda Staff Profiles: What the World Cup Means to Raymond

Throughout this summer we’ve been bringing you an inside look at the World Cup from the perspective of local Brazilians. They have offered their views on soccer and daily life in Brazil, revealing deep insights into the national obsession with futebol.

But now, it’s time to hear from us! We thought we’d turn our focus inward and take a look at what our own employees here at Senda think of the World Cup. Even though the tournament is over (*sigh*), it’s never too late to discuss the Cup! We will be profiling our staff members and asking for their opinions about the world’s most beautiful game.

In the fourth edition of our Staff Profile, we sat down with Raymond, our Operations Intern.

Raymond Final

Raymond — With the World Cup only happening every four years, it is really something spectacular. It is something completely different from just watching soccer clubs play against each other because you now have entire countries backing their team and supporting them. The sense of pride from everyone during the World Cup makes the game that much more dramatic and exciting. Soccer is able to unite people not only from the same country, but also from different ones. People from a diverse set of countries may come to appreciate the collective play of the Dutch or the passion of the Italians and support them without any concrete nationalistic ties. Fans of all nations can sympathize with each other because they know the feeling of their team winning or losing.

As I spent my first 18 years in New Zealand and China – neither of which usually qualify for the tournament – I often end up supporting a different team altogether at the World Cup. For this edition in Brazil, I chose Germany because of how fluidly and efficiently they play. The players had fantastic chemistry with each other. It was exciting to watch. They were like the San Antonio Spurs of soccer — each player stuck to his role for the benefit of the team.

Fantastic Futsal, Part 1: Futsal vs. Outdoor Soccer

Hey everyone! Welcome to the first post of our blog series that will introduce you to the fantastic sport of futsal. If you’re currently asking yourself, “What in the wide, wonderful world of sports is futsal?”, then make sure to keep reading because this post will answer exactly that question! This post and the accompanying video will explain the basic differences between futsal and soccer.

I won’t go over everything that is said in the video as Ryan does a better job of detailing the nuances of futsal than I can do in just a few sentences, but here are some important points. Futsal is very similar to normal 11-on-11 soccer, except for a few key differences:

Playing field: futsal field is indoors and has much smaller dimensions; it resembles a basketball court

Futsal Court

Futsal Court

Players: futsal has 5 players playing at a given time; 1 keeper, 4 outfield players

Regulations: futsal doesn’t have throw-ins, but rather kick-ins

Time: futsal halves are 20 minutes each; each team gets one timeout per game

Substitutions: unlimited and do not require a stoppage in play

Futsal-1

Please watch the video to get a better grasp of how futsal and soccer are related. Ryan does an excellent job introducing the basics of the sport and uses diagrams to make it easy to follow. To watch the video and get a visual overview of futsal, click this link: http://bit.ly/1uk7Jut

Well, that’s it for this week’s post in our futsal blog series. Join us next week when we’ll discuss the many benefits of futsal!

Senda Staff Profiles: What the World Cup Means to Jeong

Throughout this summer we’ve been bringing you an inside look at the World Cup from the perspective of local Brazilians. They have offered their views on soccer and daily life in Brazil, revealing deep insights into the national obsession with futebol.

But now, it’s time to hear from us! We thought we’d turn our focus inward and take a look at what our own employees here at Senda think of the World Cup. Even though the tournament is over (*sigh*), it’s never too late to discuss the Cup! We will be profiling our staff members and asking for their opinions about the world’s most beautiful game.

In this installment of our Staff Profile, we sat down with Jeong, our Director of Operations. He is a native of South Korea and a lifelong soccer supporter.

 

Jeong Staff Profile

Jeong — Of course, I support South Korea in international competitions. Even though the team didn’t play well this World Cup, they still represented the country honorably and played with integrity and grit.

I started following the World Cup in 1994 when it was held in the USA. The South Korean team was in a group with Spain, Bolivia, and Germany. They played very well and got the entire country excited about the World Cup and soccer in general. Despite their good performances, they didn’t make it through the first round. That didn’t matter too much though, because the game had already taken hold of the country’s imagination. The popularity of soccer in Korea skyrocketed after that year’s tournament. Since the World Cup in 1994, I have been following soccer and the World Cup very closely.

In 2002, the World Cup was held in South Korea and gave me many experiences and memories which I still cherish to this day. South Korea finished fourth in that tournament (admittedly with some questionable officiating decisions).

The only thing I enjoy more than being a soccer spectator is being a soccer player. I play 2 to 3 times per week. I have been able to make a lot of friends through soccer and it is one of the best ways for me to relieve my stress.

My love of sports, especially soccer, made it easy for me to decide to move to California to study Sport Management. And when the opportunity to work at Senda arose, I did not hesitate. Working at Senda allows me to use my love of soccer for the benefit of others.

Senda Staff Profiles: What the World Cup Means to Evan

Throughout this summer we’ve been bringing you an inside look at the World Cup from the perspective of local Brazilians. They have offered their views on soccer and daily life in Brazil, revealing deep insights into the national obsession with futebol.

But now, it’s time to hear from us! We thought we’d turn our focus inward and take a look at what our own employees here at Senda think of the World Cup. Even though the tournament is over (*sigh*), it’s never too late to discuss the Cup! We will be profiling our staff members and asking for their opinions about the world’s most beautiful game.

In this second edition of our Staff Profile, we talked to Evan, our Social Media Marketing and Copywriting Intern.

 

Evan Profile final

Evan — The World Cup for me is about much more than the game being played on the pitch. The tournament represents both the harmony and the disunity of our current world. For a couple months every four years, thirty-two nations put aside their squabbles and come together to compete in the same tournament. Teams and players from many different nations and from diverse backgrounds temporarily forget cultural differences and play by the same rules and regulations. All teams at the World Cup start off with equal standing and strive to attain the same goal — the FIFA World Cup Trophy.

But once the tournament starts, it’s a contest between nations not just to demonstrate dominance on the pitch, but also to assert their power on the world stage. Teams stop at nothing to win games and claim the ultimate prize. The World Cup Trophy represents so much more than just soccer excellence. It is a tangible marker of your country’s economic power and standing in global politics. The World Cup allows us to play out our nationalistic rivalries in a healthy sporting environment. Soccer is both the great unifier and the great divider.

Oh yeah, one more thing, GO USA!!

Senda Staff Profiles: What the World Cup Means to Aliénor

Throughout this summer we’ve been bringing you an inside look at the World Cup from the perspective of local Brazilians. They have offered their views on soccer and daily life in Brazil, revealing deep insights into the national obsession with futebol.

But now, it’s time to hear from us! We thought we’d turn our focus inward and take a look at what our own employees here at Senda think of the World Cup. Even though the tournament is over (*sigh*), it’s never too late to discuss the Cup! We will be profiling our staff members and asking for their opinions about the world’s most beautiful game.

To start off our Staff Profile, we talked to Aliénor, our Outreach & Community Manager who hails from France.

Aliénor — The World Cup has been a great time and brought many good memories to our Senda offices. It has been very exciting for us to watch the games and expose our supporters to the local Brazilian perspectives. Whenever a game was on, we’d always have one eye on our work and the other on the scoreline. We didn’t let it harm our productivity…(not too much, anyway!)

Even though I’m French, I’m glad that Germany made it to the final. Not just because of their great team spirit and collective play, but also because I predicted them in my World Cup bracket to make the finals! And as they beat France earlier in the tournament, Germany winning makes France look stronger.

It’s a shame that the Brazilians had to get knocked out of the tournament like that. The festa in Brazil would’ve been a lot more enjoyable, but oh well, it was not meant to be. If this loss inspires Brazilians to continue to speak out against the government and fight for better infrastructure and social services, then perhaps it will be worth it in the end.

 

 

#BeyondtheCup: Brazilians Share their Thoughts on the World Cup, Part 2

Welcome to the second installment of Senda’s #BeyondtheCup series, where we give you an inside look at the World Cup in Brazil. Here, we will bring you the stories of many diverse individuals, each one with their own unique perspective on life, soccer, and the Cup. In our conversations with the local brasileiros, we seek answers to this simple question — “What does the World Cup mean to you?”

Senda’s 4th #BeyondTheCup story comes from Adriana, a waitress from San Pablo.

Adriana 4

Senda’s 5th #BeyondTheCup story is told by Nuno Arcanjo, a musician who hails from Belo Horizonte.

Nuno

Senda Athletics’ 6th #BeyondTheCup story is from Gabriel Almeida, an Office Manager who comes from Belo Horizonte.

Gabriel

This story is part of a month-long photography series meant to share with the world the native Brazilians’ views on the 2014 FIFA World Cup. But don’t think that their opinions are the only ones that matter! We want to hear from you as well! Let us know what you think of the World Cup so far on our Facebook page or on your social media outlets, using #BeyondTheCup.

#BeyondtheCup: Flashmob in Rio to support Soccer for Social Change

Yesterday, Senda Athletics participated in a flashmob in Rio to support NGOs working with blind, disabled, and at-risk individuals. The event, “Soccer for Social Change: Beyond the World Cup,” showcased soccer’s power to change lives.

The goal of the 10-minute long flashmob was to raise awareness about the crucial work of grassroots organizations and to encourage the public to leave the sidelines and help support the growing movement that uses soccer for social change.

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Accompanied by traditional Brazilian music, players from each organization performed a 2 minute skit featuring their unique take on soccer. As Brazilians rarely pass up on the opportunity to dance and let go, the audience was inspired to join the last several minutes of the flashmob. Afterwards, they were told more about the work of each organization and how to support their work.

Next, the audience got the chance to see what it’s like to play soccer in a power wheelchair. Another new experience for the spectators was completing (or at least attempting) soccer drills using blindfolds. These activities gave the crowd even more respect for those individuals who have to overcome physical challenges to play soccer.

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The flashmob could never have been the success that it was without the help of our fantastic friends and supporters. We at Senda would like to extend a special thank you to Urece Sports and Culture for the Blind, Rio de Janeiro Power Soccer Clube, @VisãodoFuturo, streetfootballworld and streetfootballworld Brasil.

We hope that our flashmob has inspired you to organize your own or to develop other creative ways of demonstrating soccer’s power to improve communities. By starting a flashmob, you will not only get to spread awareness about groups that use soccer for positive social change, but also have a ton of fun in the process!

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Senda Athletics’ Founder on BBC World News story

Screen Shot 2014-07-05 at 9.42.18 AM

Check out the BBC World News story that was published today about Senda Athletics’s founder Santiago.

Besides talking about his dreams of attending a World Cup since being a child, he was able to share Senda’s story and its vision to change the #Futbol industry!

Take a look and help us spread the word!