At Senda Athletics, it is our priority to locate the best youth futsal organizations across the country as our partners. One of these organizations that we are proud to be affiliated with is Joga Bonito Futsal Academy, a youth futsal organization based in South Florida. This youth futsal academy is revolutionizing the way that youth futsal players are strengthening their skills whether through futsal camps that are held throughout the year, experienced coaches that are licensed by the US Soccer Federation, and youth futsal programs that are held in cities such as Boca Raton and Miami.
Last week, Senda Athletics was given the opportunity to interview Guga Alencar, a former Brazilian futsal professional, NCAA Division 1 Player, and current head coach of JB Futsal Academy. While some professional athletes relish on their achievements and become apathetic about improving, Guga could not be further on the opposite end of the spectrum. When asked about why he coaches youth futsal Coach Guga explains, “I really believe in the importance of it for the development of players. It helped me tremendously when I was young and just starting to play. It helped me, among many things, with my confidence as a player.” These sentiments echo many soccer players in America who make the transition from youth futsal to soccer in later stages of their lives.
At Senda, we have a specific goal in mind: to pursue social change through our work as a social enterprise. We disrupt the youth futsal industry by offering the best-in-class futsal products while simultaneously embracing Fair Trade regulations. Coach Guga’s philosophy towards his youth futsal academy has an equally important objective.
“At Joga Bonito Futsal Academy, we are a player-centered academy. We believe that players should be able to find solutions of their own. We give them the tools and scenarios; we ask them to find the solutions.”
Making a concerted effort to improve the skills of youth futsal is a top priority for the Joga Bonito Futsal Academy. As Coach Guga relates, “I always want the best for my players. In almost 17 years of developing youth futsal players in the US, I always thought that there was a missing ‘agent’ or ‘part’ in this process.” Furthermore, the coach describes the emotional aspect of improving youth futsal players’ abilities, “The passion for working with players and helping them get better is what motivates me. Nothing is more satisfying than seeing the happiness on the players’ faces when they achieve their goals.”
Coach Guga expands upon why he chose to partner with Senda Athletics as the company to provide youth futsal balls for his academy. His response is nothing short of heartwarming for Senda, which emphasizes making a real difference in the lives of youth futsal players, “I choose Senda balls because their story is similar to ours. We are a family owned and operated academy with love and care for this sport and those who are involved in it. Senda and Joga Bonito hold the same beliefs and I am super happy with the quality of the product we are getting.”
Finally, Guga details his hopes for the growth of youth futsal in the near future, “I hope youth futsal grows as a sport in the US. I hope futsal can be mandatory in every soccer club. I hope it can be part of the school’s system, like we are doing for a few schools during their physical education time.”
Senda Athletics could not agree more.