Month: October 2015 (page 2 of 3)

Is Pelé’s Visit Enough to Revive Football in India?

In 1888, India held the first ever Durand Cup. Almost every year since then, spectators have watched for free, and last year’s winners were awarded Rs. 50 lakh as prize money. Once the British left, the Indian Armed Forces took over, and they have done a great job of keeping the cup and the sport alive for over 125 years. Unfortunately, this year the Durand Cup will not be played. Ironically, while the age-old football tournament was being cancelled, the city of Kolkata was getting ready to welcome football legend Pelé back to their city after 38 long years.

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Know How Your Players Learn




Sound familiar? There’s probably a LOT of us coaches (and parents) who are guilty of this during training and matches, but it’s never too late to change. Research indicates that the more people try to remember what they’ve been told, the more rigid their performance gets and the more likely they are to fail when put under pressure.

That’s why understanding how young footballers learn is a critical element of coaching success. Effective learning involves observing, listening, thinking, visualizing, discussing and experimenting. Good coaching requires us to get all of these ingredients together in the right proportion and correct sequence.

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QPR’s South Mumbai Football Tournament Begins

The 7th edition of the Queens Park Rangers South Mumbai Junior Soccer Challenger (QPR SMJSC) kicked off on Saturday, 17th October, at the Western Railway Stadium in Parel. Brainchild of former Union Minister, Milind Deora, the Soccer Challenger that started in 2009 has grown extensively in the last few years. The entire programme was started to unearth football talent at a grassroots level, and give those who come from less privileged backgrounds a chance to play sport.

Among one of India’s largest and longest-running community football events…

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Ryan International Are Bengaluru U14 Champions

BFC Soccer Shield - U14 Tournament

BFC Soccer Shield – U14 Tournament
Image Credit: Bengaluru FC

After Head Start Educational Academy and Inventure Academy clinched the U10 and U12 trophies a few days ago, it was time for Ryan International, Whitefield’s time in the sun as they claimed the inaugural Under-14 JSW Bengaluru FC Inter-School Soccer Shield. Pitted against Delhi Public School, North in the final, Ryan International’s defence held firm over the course of the game to secure a 2-0 victory.

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Every Grassroot Coach’s Mantra*

*if it’s not, it definitely should be!

Grassroots Football Coach Mantra

Image Credit: Unknown

As grassroots coaches, and even parents of young footballers, it actually takes very little to inspire children. But, and that’s a big BUT, we’ve got to genuinely connect with the kids. A kind word, a pleasant greeting, a pat on the back, some constructive one-on-one criticism after training, checking on them after taking a knock, a little tip before the big game… small things can make a big difference. It can’t be a superficial show of affection. Mainly because children have a way of sniffing out bullshitters. What we say and do has got to come from the heart. And when it does, seeing that happy, incredibly energetic smile and being greeted super cheerfully in the morning, even though your life off the field may not be ideal, gives us more joy than any amount of money will ever do.

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Why Do You Love Football?

SSE’s Grassroots Football League to Kick Off

Soccer Schools of ExcellenceIn a country like ours, where cricket has almost become a religion, it is refreshing to see people with a passion for football sharing their love with children. Atul Gupta and Arpreet Singh Bajaj are two such individuals who decided they wanted to pass on their fondness of the sport, and they both quit their jobs in finance to start Soccer Schools of Excellence (SSE) in 2010. They set up SSE with the aim of providing young sports enthusiasts in India with a complete football education. While over 800 children have signed up for their various classes through the week, SSE is hoping to reach out to more NGOs in the future, and touch the lives of those who are not as lucky as them through football.

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SEPT – Bringing Hope to Football in Kerala

SEPT Football Nursery

SEPT Football Nursery

“Those days, back in the 1990s, a footballer from Kerala was looked upon with awe,” remembers IM Vijayan, a native of Kerala and one of the greatest footballers India has ever produced. Reminiscing further, he says, “You guys are tigers, they used to tell me. Outstanding talents just continued to flow out of our tiny state. The quality of our players surprised everyone. We had V. P. Sathyan, C. V. Pappachan, U. Sharaf Ali, K. T. Chacko, Kurikesh Mathew, Mathew Varghese, Jo Paul Ancheri…”

It’s true. There was a time when Kerala footballers even formed the majority of the Indian national team. “I remember having around nine players from Kerala at an Indian camp,” says Vijayan. “And there were occasions when five of us actually made the eleven.” Since then, there has been a mighty fall from grace.

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Head Start & Inventure Crowned Bengaluru U10 & U12 Champs

BFC Soccer Shield - U10 Winners Head Start

BFC Soccer Shield – U10 Winners Head Start Educational Academy
Image Credit: Bengaluru FC

Head Start Educational Academy and Inventure Academy were crowned champions of the inaugural JSW Bengaluru FC Inter-School Soccer Shield in the Under-10 and Under-12 categories respectively. Held at the Bangalore Football Stadium on Sunday, the proceedings began with the U10 final where Head Start took on Greenwood High for top honours.

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Delhi Youth League – An Inclusive Competition for Kids

Delhi Youth LeaguePaving the way for sport-loving youth all over the city, the Delhi Youth League was set up in 2012 with the aim of giving children between the ages of 6 and 19 a chance to play competitive football. Apart from age, there are no restrictions on who can play in the league, and children from disadvantaged backgrounds play side-by-side with those from international football academies as well as public and private schools across the city.

The League has managed to get over 300 children from various cultural, religious and economic backgrounds together, and given them a chance to play football together, and learn from each other.

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