What Makes Brazilian Players Different?

I have been working with Brazilian players daily now for the past two years and even a professional coach from Brazil for a few months.  They are are without a doubt much different than most of the players I see here in the United States.  Obviously I am generalizing on both sides.  There are many talented Americans and plenty of less talented Brazilians.  But overall there is a difference even with the level of players I work with.  The Brazilians are very passionate for sure and that shows in how much the game means to them.  The major difference is how comfortable on the ball the Brazilians are.  There is a rhythm to what they do and how they glide past defenders or turn away from pressure.  The game looks fun to them most of the time.  The one thing I work with them the most on is their defending.  It’s funny because many of them ask me to help them with their defending.  Many players will try and hide their weaknesses and not address them but the Brazilians who have come to my academy want to get better and work hard on the defensive side of the ball.  Bravery, commitment and work rate is never an issue with them.  That makes teaching defense easy.  The Brazilian Coach we had working with us brought a professional approach but balanced it out with the right mix of enjoyment.  He made players become thinkers.  His training exercises were based on adjusting rules and variables that required the players to adapt and find soccer solutions to problems on the field.  He would let players find the solutions instead of shouting at the players and making stop after stop after stop.  I learned a great deal from him this past year.  Is there a difference overall with the Brazilians and the players from America.  100 percent.  Is there a difference in the coaching? 100 percent.  Can we learn from the Brazilian players and coaches? 100 percent.  Should we duplicate exactly what they do? No.  Every culture is different and borrowing from another culture is great but duplicating might be unrealistic.  My own personal philosophy as a coach is to learn from every culture, pick what you value and then find an effective way to implement it into your own system that works with the situation or culture you are living in.  If you have not had the pleasure of being exposed to Brazilian players or coaches I highly recommend it.  It is a special experience and the Brazilians I have worked with over the last couple years have been humble, funny, sincere, talented, fun and some of the best people I have met in the game.  

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