Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Pura Vida Futsal - John Leisman in Costa Rica

By John Leisman, Captain of the U.S. Youth Futsal Boys U18 team 
 
I was captain of the U.S. Youth Futsal U18 Boys this past week in Costa Rica. What a week and what an experience it has been! Both individually, as a team, and as a whole group, we have grown so much in such a short period of time.

Upon arrival, we were immediately thrown into a nation and culture that was completely foreign to many of us. With the help of local liaisons, our group was able to adapt to this change and immerse ourselves in the wonderful things that Costa Rica had to offer, including zip-lining and whitewater rafting in the heart of the rainforest. Such experiences were crucial in fostering relationships and helping our respective teams become a single unit.

Action on the court picked up where it had left off in the previous trip to Canada. With only one day of training, the coaches were able to mold a group of talented individuals into a functioning team. All teams opened the first day with convincing wins and that success carried on throughout the rest of the week. At various times on this trip, each individual was forced to adapt and learn on the fly. It was this ability to accept a new role or face a new challenge with total commitment that allowed our teams to have so much success.

As for what the future holds, it isn't hard for me to speculate. A brand, an identity, a culture for futsal is starting to develop within our country. I had the chance to discuss the impact it is bound to have with many people during the trip and I came to the same conclusion every time. What the average American yearns to see in soccer is brought to life in futsal. The game combines the sharp ball movement and explosive power that is found in basketball, the dynamic runs and tactical edge that is used in American football, as well as the frequent transitions of hockey that happen in the blink of an eye, all with the ball at one's foot.

I have seen the quantity of hours that so many members of the U.S. Youth Futsal organization have put in. I believe their passion and dedication to the game of futsal has ignited a spark that will only grow within our country. With that in mind, I look forward to seeing what will happen over the next five years and more.
 


 

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