Sport is all about opinions. That’s what makes it so great. Debate, deliberation, disagreement. But when it comes to identifying the key attributes required to make it as a top sportsperson, there is always one trait that is ubiquitous in answers to this question.
Whether you ask an expert, a coach, a player or even a casual spectator of any sport, the majority of them would affirm that attitude is what separates the good from the great. Futsal is no different to this equation. Of course, there must be a pre-requisite level of talent, but attitude to sport, including one’s application and dedication is what can elevate mediocrity to excellence.
However, attitude can be misinterpreted, and the term is ominous. A dictionary definition will tell you that attitude is a ‘settled way of thinking or feeling about something’, yet in sport it can mean so much more. Attitude in sport is the way in which someone’s mind approaches their activity, it is essentially the psychological construct that enables one to perform at the highest level.
It may seem like a cliché, but a good attitude can be attributed as a key characteristic of a great Futsal player. But don’t take it from me, take it from someone who knows the game…
For Anthony Brown, Victorian Director of Coaching for the Australian Futsal Association, attitude is the number 1 trait he looks for in a great Futsal player.
Anthony started playing Futsal aged 11 years old after 5 years of prior experience in small-sided outdoor soccer. As a defender, his famous ‘big left boot’ may have gone unnoticed in 11-aside outdoor soccer, but Anthony more than made up for this on the Futsal court. The volume of goals scored every match made him fall in love with the game as he continued to excel through his teenage years.
Now a senior player, Anthony has reached the pinnacle of individual Futsal success in Australia, as he was selected to represent his national team at the last World Cup.
On top of his impressive playing career, Anthony is now a highly regarded and well-respected coach in Australia and currently works as the Director of Coaching for state of Victoria. He began his coaching journey as a volunteer assistant coach aged 13 before helping out with local coaching clinics. Anthony then ran his own clinic and took over a Futsal Academy prior to taking up his current post as Director of Coaching.
So we asked Anthony, what makes a great Futsal player?
“Attitude! I always look out for kids who are going to listen. I feel like talent can only get you so far but the kids who want to learn and want to improve are the kids I want to work with.
“You can be the most skilful kid on the court, but if you don’t work on it or don’t continue with it, then you’re going to get nowhere. So, I like kids who are actually going to listen to me and really want to work on their game.
“You need to be dedicated, is this something you really want to do? You have to give it your all, all the time! When you are training every day, you need to be putting in 100% because if you don’t there are kids out there that are going to put in 100%.”
Of course, there are technical and physical qualities that are advantageous to Futsal players, but when it comes to identifying the best of the best, Anthony believes the correct attitude is what breeds successful players.
If you are a young player reading this, listen to Anthony; work on your game, dedicate yourself, listen to your coach and maintain a positive attitude. Who knows? You may also represent Australia one day…