Tales of an aspiring professional Vol. 5

Dynamo Academy player Christian Manisck blogs about his experiences in Brazil


Photo Credit: 
Dynamo Academy

, a member of the Dynamo Academy's U-16 team, is training
with Brazilian club Atletico Paranaense for a month before returning to Houston.
His experience could lead to future collaborations between the clubs, and
Manisck will be blogging at HoustonDynamo.com throughout.

Day 20

In the morning, the boys had a fitness training session. Since
the game was on Saturday and there had been plenty of time to rest, the first
training of each week is held without any soccer balls. This is another thing that is
very proficient in Brazil: the schedule. All the
schedules are available for us to read on the bulletin board, including the
professional schedule. Their schedule is very similar to the academy's schedule.
Just like the pros, the team is required to stay at the training center for
three days prior to a match, and after a match, there are one or two days of
down time for the team. In general, the first two days of the week are for physical training with the rest set aside for tactical or technical training in preparation for the upcoming game.

In the afternoon while I did rehab the boys had another fitness training session. Since the season has started with games every
weekend, this would be the only fitness day of the

Day 21 

In the morning, while I did rehab, the boys had technical training. Just like the previous week, three 93s were called up to play with
the junior team in a tournament aside from the main Parana tournament. CAP
uses this tournament to slowly push some of the more advanced and older plays of
our age group into the older age group. They do this because the tournament is
much easier in the earlier phases. This gives the boys a chance to get accustomed to playing with a new
team, and also these games are not as important as the weekend's games. This push of players
through the age groups is something normal at CAP throughout the year, but
especially at this time of year since the season is soon coming to a close. There are many young players in the first team at CAP
who are direct products of the Academies. A few examples are Manoel, 19,
and Bruno Costa, 20, who both still live at the training

In the afternoon I had another session of rehab at the
medical therapy center. This is an important aspect of the club because there is a
huge investment put into these players. Since injuries happen frequently in soccer, the training center allows the club to makes sure their players are fit and get right treatment in order to come back playing 100 percent. 

Day 22

This would be my last day of the great experience I had
at Atletico Paranaense. In the morning, the boys had training and a scrimmage
against the junior team. They were set to have a game in the afternoon so the players
that were not called up for the game practiced with the juvenil squad. This type
of training is critical for the growth of the players since the 93s will soon be playing in the junior age group. While they had the scrimmage, I would do my
last rehab session before leaving in the

I learned a lot during my trip in Brazil. I saw
the differences between developmental soccer in the U.S. and Brazil, and while youth soccer might not be as advanced in America, it is still
possible for elite players to come out of our youth development system. With the
knowledge I obtained while in Brazil, I will strive to be that elite player.

To whomever has been following my blog, I thank you. It has been a great experience, and I hope I was able to give you a full understanding of my experiences in Brazil. To the many
players, and especially the trainers and administrative staff who received me
so warmly, I would like to thank you. I hope to be able to go back to CAP and play
there again in the future.