In much the same way the NBA’s tactics evolved in recent decades, so have futsal’s at the highest level. One of the sport’s great minds and tacticians is Xavi Closas, head coach of FC Barcelona Lassa B. Along with his long time friend and coaching partner, Oscar Alonso, the two have developed a highly respected coaching curriculum at iOX Futsal. Coaches and players travel to Barcelona from all over the world to learn from the pair.
Recently Closas’s team won the Spanish League championship with a group missing five of its top players through promotion to the top pro team. In spite of playing against opponents that averaged 5 years older than his young FCB team, Closas managed to win the league title on the last weekend. It is considered one of the great coaching accomplishments of recent times.
The following interview with the coach or “mister” as they say in Catalonia, looks to provide ideas for developing futsal in the U.S. and other growing futsal communities.
Bulldogs: Mister, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. First off, for a coach, what are the most important things to put in place to begin guiding a team?
Closas: The most important thing for putting together a new group of players is to be clear about the goals you have for the team. These personal goals then need to be reconciled with those of the club’s. Starting from here, you can build the values of the team and a way of playing.
Bulldogs: During your distinguished career as a coach at Bellsport, FC Barcelona and iOX Futsal, what moments have you found the most rewarding?
Closas: The moments of greatest reward have come from the various promotions I helped attain at teams such as Bellsport and FC Barcelona. All the hard work one puts into a season is reflected in the promotion.
Bulldogs: Your son, Nil, plays on FC Barcelona’s top team. How did you mentally prepare him for playing at the highest level?
Closas: The easiest way to help your child grow in a sport is to let them be theirselves. Let them pick their own path. It must be clear to them how far they exactly want to go. I think the coaches he has had over the length of his career have allowed him to grow at a steady pace as well.
Coach Xavi, thank you again for your insights and good luck this week versus Valencia!