Bordt Says Future of Futsal is 'Flabbergasting,' Cites Reasons for its Importance in Skill-building
By Tim Sheldon
KAUAI, Hawaii (12-9-09) Jorge Bordt feels that when Futsal gets going in the U.S. its potential will be "flabbergasting", and he's moving ahead with this sky's-the-limit assessment in promoting Futsal at all levels in Kauai.
"Right now, Futsal in the U.S. doesn't have a national league," said Bordt, former Vice President of the U.S. Futsal Federation who is now developing a Futsal programs at the Kiahuna Swim & Tennis Club.. "It doesn't have a national sponsor, or a national coaches association to speak of, or referees. So in that respect it's nonexistent from what I can see."
Bordt, a tennis professional as well as former captain of the U.S. National Futsal Team, is teaming with fellow tennis pro Tom Edlefsen to own and operate the Kiahuna Club here. It now includes two Futsal courts, and Bordt's Futsal planning looks beyond the current limitations of the sport in the U.S.
(Photo: Jorge Bordt.)
Bordt has turned the Kiahuna Club into a virtual Futsal Club. He's now practicing with local youth players at the club five times a week, helped launch a Futsal program at nearby Kahili Adventist School and has developed a program to enable vacationers at the Kiahuna Club to play Futsal year-round.
He is also working on a plan to bring the Argentina and Brazil national teams to Kaui to train and hold friendly matches, and he can bring in temporary stands for up to 1,000 spectators to watch the games.
"We could have a symposium for coaches and referees at the same time," Bordt said.
The potential of the sport is "absolutely flabbergasting," he said. "The U.S. must easily have more than 100,000 gyms, maybe more, so between that and a zillion tennis courts, where you can also play, the sky is the limit."
Bordt detailed several reasons why he feels that Futsal is so important to youth development.
Soccer requires that all 11 players attack and defend, and Futsal, with five players per side, is very good at developing that, he said.
"All the media tried to pump England Coach Fabio Capello about what his formation is going to be, a 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 or whatever, and he said 10 and one," Bordt said. "Capello said he was going to have one forward and 10 defenders. The media didn't like the answer because they thought he was pulling their chain, that he was being condescending. But he wasn't. He was serious. And now when you look at Barcelona, they have beautiful ball possession and ball control, and whenever they lose possession they are all over it, and that's the way you have to play. The European champion is Spain, and they did that as well, and the World Cup champion is Italy, and they did that as well. Futsal teaches that. You move immediately from attack to defense."
Bordt noted that current soccer rules require goalkeepers to play back passes with their feet, and Futsal teaches that, as well.
"It used to be taken for granted that the goalie was going to pick the ball up and mess around with it for a while and then kick it forever, but that is no longer valid. What is required now is that the goalkeeper keep the ball in play."
Bordt said players need to be multi-faceted and be capable of playing different roles on the field, and Futsal teaches that.
"If players don't know how to dribble, they shouldn't be in soccer," he said. "I think the biggest problem we have in the United States is that our players are not multi-faceted. You should be able to defend and also move forward with the ball. That's what we don't have, and when we run into a real opponent, we're in trouble."
Creativity needs to be taught at the earliest age so that it becomes an ingrained habit, Bordt said.
"From ages five to 12 or 13, players should be encouraged to be creative as opposed to the kick-it-out philosophy that so many coaches and parents have. Unless a player can dribble in his penalty area and pass near his goal, he will develop problems later. Kids should think it's fun. If the kids play Futsal for six or seven years, they will develop that capability. When you play Futsal, you can learn when you need to be careful with the ball and when you can be imaginative. When you get six or seven years of that exposure, it gets into your psyche and you carry it with you.".
Bordt said the size of outdoor goals needs to be smaller to nurture development of the youth players, and added, :"they are addressing that now in youth soccer. Futsal goals are the right size for youth players."
Bordt also said that playing five-a-side enables youth players to understand organization more easily. "If you can't organize five players, then you can't do it with 11."
He asserted that having five fouls and free kicks without a wall will enable players to be creative and will discourage destructive play.
"Fans come out to watch players such as Messi, Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo, and not some goon who is bashing the ball and kicking it around forever," he said. "That's the reason why Real Madrid spent $300 million to bring in players with this kind of skill. With $300 million you could certainly develop Futsal in the U.S. and develop Cristianos and Kakas."
Bordt noted that the correct size court and correct size ball are needed for best Futsal development.
"At the Kiahuna Club we have two courts. One is the regulation size for Futsal, and the other is the size of a tennis court. We also have four different sizes of balls. In Brazil they have specifically-sized balls for 14-and-unders, 12-and-unders, 10-and-unders and eight-and-unders. The evolution of the players is very positively affected by that.".
It is important to be comfortable on the ball at all stages of development and play on the correct size court, he said.
"The most dangerous moment is when you have possession of the ball and turn it over. Your player has it and his or her teammates are trying to get open. The instant the other team gains possession there are 10 of their players who are open. In a court that is too big, the children can't really grasp the need for that. The goal is too far away. If the goals are closer together, the cause and effect takes place, because if you lose possession you are forced to defend immediately. The instant you lose the ball the other team is very close to scoring a goal, so that is why the size of the court really does matter. In Futsal, you have that."
Bordt is working to develop these concepts with area youth at the Kiahuna Club, including youth from the local Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Anyone visiting the Kiahuna Resort can also participate in Futsal clinics and games.
"We're in a good position to nurture players," he said. "To me, that's why we're going to be very successful before all is said and done. A good experience for players would be to come for one week, where they can be in a place where they can feel at home. We've done a lot of work with Boys & Girls Clubs and the Hawaii Youth Soccer Assn. here on the Island. It's been hugely successful with the kids. It works."