Establishing the fundamentals is a sure-fire first step toward success in virtually any sport. Fair Play Indoor Soccer is giving youngsters a firm foothold on playing the world’s most popular sport while also letting adults get in on the action.
“Without techniques, there can be no tactics,” said Jorge Salas, a Fair Play youth instructor and organizer, citing that many pro superstars like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar point to mastering the basics as key to their development.
“There’s more interaction with the ball,” added Salas, who played for the youth national team in his native Venezuela and is also a Cape Coral Soccer Association (CCSA) coach.
When playing on the facility’s two, separate, 80-foot by 50-foot artificial-grass play areas, “You have to think quicker, learn what part of the foot to use [in different situations] and control the ball, all in less space. Once youngsters learn techniques in a smaller field, they can do much better outside.”
Many other CCSA coaches using the outdoor, full-size fields in the Pelican Soccer Complex and the Cape Coral Sports Complex also enjoy bringing their players indoors, according to Fair Play owner Jessica Wright.
“They like the faster pace we offer which provides for different training styles, allowing them to work on specific skills,” she said. There’s also with the greater comfort afforded during winter cold spells or hot summer days. “Adults feel pretty much the same.”
Wright took over the business in February of last year, a couple of months after it had opened. She had previously run a gym/fitness studio in Indianapolis within an indoor soccer facility.
“I was looking for something that resembled what I had before and this was it,” she said.
Programs include kids’ camps — separate groups of eight to 10 children for ages 5 to 7, 8 to 10 and 11 to 12 — and a kids’ “kick start” academy. Instructors teach the rules of the game; the basic techniques including dribbling, trapping, kicking, passing and heading the ball in separate, fun drills; and instill core values like sportsmanship and teamwork.
The youngest age group also does tag games, relays and scavenger hunts outside for enhancing “basic athletic skills,” added Wright. “They show a lot of camaraderie.”
Adult men’s, women’s and co-ed leagues, open time for pick-up games and tournaments — all with five players on each side — fill the evening schedule and weekends.
Health precautions include taking temperatures of all kids before play begins; hand sanitizing; and regular cleaning and separating of chairs in the spectator area for onlooking parents and friends.
Summer camps that begin in June will include field trips to nearby attractions and having kids paint one of the indoor walls to create an even more colorful vibe.
“We’re helping the next generation,” said Salas.
“To provide this for the community is very satisfying,” added Wright.
If you go
What: Fair Play Indoor Soccer
Where: 79 Mid Cape Terrace
Information: 239-317-3840, fairplayindoorsoccer.com.