Samba Soccer Schools (SSS) is an educational and innovative soccer school that teaches football the Brazilian Way. We provide professional Brazilian football coaching for children and young people aged between 5 and 16. The schools are built on two main principles. The first is football: to teach students how to play with the flair and freedom that epitomizes the Brazilian game. The second is social development: by using Brazilian football as the vehicle, we aim to instil discipline, confidence and knowledge in young people.
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History and Background
Since its formation in 2009, SSS have delivered programmes across the UK with the aim of enhancing lives and inspiring change.Learn More
Our philosophy is simple. We encourage students to play attacking football without the fear of making mistakes.Learn More
The science behind SSS
Our Player Development Model (PDM) and Education Model operate as an infrastructure for all our coaching programmes.Learn More
What makes SSS diferent?
Wondering what makes us stand out? At SSS, we take great pride in what sets us apart from other soccer schools.Learn More
History and Background
Since its formation in 2009, Samba Soccer Schools have delivered programmes across the UK with the aim of enhancing lives and inspiring change across communities.
The schools were founded on the mantra of the late American basketball coach John Wooden (1910-2010), who defined a coach as “someone who gives correction without causing resentment”, as well as Coach Nilio’s vision of innovation and education through Brazilian football.
It was during his studies at the London School of Economics that Nilio recognised the power of football and its ability to integrate young people from different backgrounds and abilities.
Over the years, Nilio had noticed a trend of controlling coaches who adopted a demanding and aggressive approach to the game. His experiences, observations and research of football coaches in the UK inspired him to seek change in coaching methods and practices.
It quickly became apparent to Nilio that this particular style of coaching only had the effect of reducing a player’s confidence, taking away the fun and passion of playing the game. As a solution, Nilio developed his idea of a technique based and Samba flavoured soccer school in 2008.
The first school was then established in Kenilworth in the summer of 2009, with SSS having since expanded to deliver a range of programmes in the West Midlands and throughout the UK.
At Samba Soccer Schools, our mission is to use Brazilian football to Inspire, Innovate and Educate young people.
Our philosophy is simple. We encourage students to play without the fear of making mistakes. At the same time, we want players to experience the rewards of playing with the creativity, freedom and confidence that will enable them to grow as individuals and become the leaders of their generation.
Brazilian football is an art. And we believe this art form is the most natural educational system there is. As such, we incorporate Brazil’s carnival culture and promote notions of flair, skill, rhythm, enjoyment and positivity within each of our programmes.
Our training philosophy begins with an introduction to ball mastery with greater emphasis placed on the individual. The aim is to improve the technical ability of each student by focusing on basic ball manipulation, ball skills and ball control movements before excelling onto more advanced techniques.
The second area of development focuses on the mind. We believe that for students to play creatively, they must first be trained to think creatively. To this end, we have developed a robust set of ‘problem-solving’ training practices that encourages each student to take control of their own learning, to attune them to quick decision making and to show them how these decisions can produce attacking and winning football. Each session incorporates practices that focus on both ball mastery and mind mastery, before students move onto game mastery.
The learning process
We share the view of Brazilian educationalist, Paulo Freire (1921-1997), that players should not be treated as an ‘empty vessel’ simply to be filled with knowledge.
Instead, the learning process between coach and player should be seen as an exchange. The coach should provide the structure, but the player must have room for expression and creativity within that structure.
The Science Behind SSS: Football & Education
“The greatest difference between Brazilian coaches and others is that we see ourselves as the directors of play. We provide a script, rehearse, create a chemistry among players, and show our actors a thing or two, but when it’s show time, we allow the actors to use their talent to improvise creating some of the best scenes in the play without damaging the overall script” (Simoes, 2002).
At Samba Soccer Schools (SSS), our coaching programmes and methodology have been inspired by this very philosophy. The purpose of our schools is to teach young people the skills and mentality to play attractive, winning football; to play the Brazilian way and inject some creativity and excitement into the English game.
Player Development Model
Our Player Development Model (PDM) is at the heart of our coaching programmes. The model operates as an infrastructure for all our course designs allowing SSS coaches to incorporate our unique philosophy and method into each session. Through its use, we emphasise four aspects of player development: Technical, Physical, Mental and Social.
We place great emphasis on the fundamentals of technique as they form the foundations to a player’s game. Our technical exercises have been divided into two main areas; skills and trickery.
The acquisition of skills is fundamental in football. We encourage our players to consistently develop and refine their skill-set in order to progress within the game. Our programmes specifically seek to develop players’ dribbling, control, passing, receiving and attacking skills.
A large part of the Brazilian game is centred on deceiving an opponent through trickery. Brazilian players are renowned globally for their ability to execute tricks with precision and clarity. At SSS, we teach players a host of tricks to beat their opponents before showing them how to utilise these tricks in a game.
The purpose of our technical exercises is to instil confidence in our students so they can use their skills and tricks to attack defenders and play with creativity. With this in mind, we use a range of different footballs to optimise our players’ chances of skill development, including size 2 weighted footballs, traditional size 3 balls and tennis balls.
The variation of balls used encourages players to adapt to the game at different paces. It also requires students to use different skills and techniques in order to maintain control of the different types of balls used.
are equally important. Our physical exercises have been designed to improve players’ speed, agility, acceleration and power with and without the ball. Group fitness is also important in order to move the ball as a unit and play with rhythm. This is why we pay careful attention to the principles of possession and combine these exercises with fitness training.
In addition, we believe that the physical demands of the game are most effectively developed through small-sided games. Players need to play as many games as possible for learning to take effect. By practicing their technical skills and tricks in a match scenario, students become aware of what works and what doesn’t. Furthermore, by utilising a 3v3 or 4v4 format, players simultaneously develop their agility, speed, power and acceleration as smaller sized games demands more from each player. The small-sided games also allow players to learn quicker with greater repetition of movements and more touches of the ball.
A winning mentality together with a positive attitude presents the perfect catalyst for playing with flair.
SSS has developed a robust set of exercises to encourage players to make positive decisions on and off the ball from which imagination, initiative and individuality can develop. We also strongly believe that in order for our students to play creatively, they must first think creatively. We have therefore developed a set of pressurised adapted small-sided games to encourage quick decision-making and teamwork among players. The aim is to encourage players to think tactically, maintain possession and produce attacking and winning football. These practises allow players to act, react and make mistakes, ensuring they learn something every time they play.
Our coaching curriculums have been designed by our technical team with a heartfelt passion for Brazilian football. We want to transfer and instil the same passion and enjoyment for the beautiful game to all our players.
All our exercises allow players to develop key social skills such as teamwork, leadership, communication, discipline and confidence.
Three Stages of Development
SSS coaches are trained to monitor the performance and progression of each player in every session using our Three Stage Development Model. This involves the following;
- Step One: Players acquire a new skill.
- Step Two: Players apply the skill.
- Step Three: Players retain the skill through practise and repetition.
At SSS, we believe every child deserves an enriching educational experience, where learning and fun take place side by side. In order to educate children through football, we have developed an Education Model that focuses on five areas of Brazilian life: Iconic Players, Music, Language, History and Culture and Geography. All five of these areas are taught through the key skills of literacy, numeracy and ICT. Each player will receive an activity pack and will be assigned certain task each week by their coach.
Football and Education
The central aim of both our Player Development Model and Educational Model is to improve the quality of life among children and young people. While SSS promote creativity on the pitch, we also encourage people with strong social values off it.
What makes SSS diferent?
Wondering what makes us stand out other than our use of Brazilian inspired practices? At SSS, we take pride in what sets us apart from other coaching services. As a truly value-driven soccer school, we place the interests and needs of young people first.
Developing young people
We are not fans of autocratic coaching! Every decision we make is rooted in our core aim: to improve the lives of children and young people. With this in mind, we adopt a unique coaching style that is different from most established soccer schools. At SSS, we place greater emphasis on a two-way learning relationship between coaches and players.
If you’ve ever played the beautiful game to Samba music, you will know why the Brazilians play the way they do. At SSS, we coach our players to the sound of samba music with the aim of encouraging a sense of joy and freedom when playing. Samba contains a certain rhythm that lets students play in a synchronistic and stylistic way.
The rhythms vary for different training exercises, with the exciting tones of Percussion, Bossa Nova and Samba Carnival all being played depending on the practise and area of development.
Futebol de Salão
Skills, skills, skills and more skills… Our goal of finely tuning our player’s skills is achieved through repetition of movements. The use of Futebol De Salão could not be more perfect for this. At SSS, we utilize a size two heavily weighted football, which allows players to spend more time with the ball to develop their skills and technique. The ball is used in Futebol de Salão, which was played by the likes of Pelé and Ronaldinho.
We also use a size three football and the combination of both adds a variety of pace and weight to the game, encouraging players to adjust their play and mental awareness.
Through our Youth Employment Plan (YEP), SSS provides volunteering opportunities for young people in coaching, project management and other areas. Our YEP reaches out to young people in disadvantaged communities, helping them enhance their skills and employability.
Who said studying must be boring? At SSS, we believe every child deserves an enriching educational experience, where learning and fun take place side by side. We believe football and education can work hand in hand to provide a better future for children. With this in mind, we have developed activity packs for our players to make education more fun through football.