Tag: Inspiration (page 1 of 2)

Tata Tiago School Football Championship Ends on a High!

The buzz of children milling about the grounds, parents cheering vociferously, ecstatic ‘dab’ celebrations, smiles, laughter and an irresistible sense of camaraderie – all brought together because of the opportunity to play good, competitive football in a safe environment. That’s what the Tata Tiago School Football Championship (SFC) has made possible over the past two years for children across India.

SFC 2017 Dab Celebration

Children celebrating their victory at SFC 2017

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RIP Johan Cruyff

He may be gone, but he will continue to inspire footballers for generations to come. #RIPJohanCruyff

10 Things That Need No Talent

We’re always marvelling at footballers who are blessed with immense talent like Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Ronaldo, and feel there’s no way we could achieve those levels of excellence. True, there may only ever be one Messi or Cristiano, but that doesn’t mean we, as coaches, parents and players, should settle for less.

Talent definitely helps, but as is widely documented, achieving excellence is a lot about discipline, dedication and persistence. In this pursuit, here are 10 tips, which if followed resolutely, can take all of us a very, very long way in life. And guess what? None of them need any ‘talent’!

10 Things That Need No Talent

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Don’t Quit

Sorry! We’ve been a bit sloppy with our posts over the past week. Life has a funny way of swamping you with a bunch of busy sometimes. The one thing we did not miss, however, was this absolute beaut by Dimitri Payet:

Stunning, innit? But what’s even more shocking is the fact that Payet, given his tremendous natural footballing talent, nearly gave up the sport 13 years ago. If it weren’t for his father and uncle, Payet might have gone off the football map after being released from the Le Havre academy in France as a 16-year-old; the very same academy that has produced Riyad Mahrez and Paul Pogba.

Speaking about those dark days after being released, Payet says:

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Women’s Day 2016 – Step Up, Step Out

If you’re not a woman living in India, you might not truly understand what odds a girl has to beat to step out of the house wearing shorts and a tee to play football. It’s even worse if you come from economically disadvantaged neighbourhoods where men will gape at you like it’s the first time they’ve seen human female form.

Every step on the journey to the football field is an adventure – you may come across the odd creep trying to cop a feel, a time-waster who merely follows you to where you’re going, or just the normal, everyday lech who dots the streets of India. No doubt, it’s important to remember not all Indian men are depraved, but the sad truth is that the instances we’ve just mentioned are a nuisance that girls and women have to deal with on a regular basis here.

Source: Step Up Step Out on Vimeo

Source: Step Up Step Out on Vimeo

This Women’s Day, we’re delighted to show you how organizations like Youth Football International, United Women Football Club (Faridabad) and Butterflies located in and around India’s capital, New Delhi, are bringing more young girls out to play football, express themselves and just have fun while they stay fit and learn new skills. It’s the least they deserve. Happy Women’s Day! Because girls, it’s time to step up, it’s time to step out.

Step Up Step Out from Arpita Sinha on Vimeo.

Advice from Wayne Rooney

We were trawling across the internet for something nice to share here when we stumbled upon this excellent video (at the end of this post) of Wayne Rooney.

Advice from Wayne Rooney

Here, he offers advice from his rich experience as a pro that young footballers could definitely benefit from:

1. First Touch: This is something any decent football coach will always tell us – the importance of mastering the ball and commanding it to do what we want. How does one develop it? Practice. More practice. And then some more. Whether it’s juggling, jogging/running with the ball at our feet for a significant distance, or what have you, the more touches we get of a football every day, the better it will be to develop our touch. Here’s what Wazza has to say about it:

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Baby Learning to Walk

Giving Children Responsibility

If there is one massive issue that we face at grassroots, certainly in India,  it is that kids turn up for football training often bringing along an entourage – a parent who will merely accompany, a nanny who will be lugging all forms of munchies, beverages, ‘dirty’ cleats and a change of clothes, a driver who will bustle along just in case there is more help needed, and, on the odd day, a doting grandparent.

Independent Footballer Child India

Photo Credit: Diptendu Dutta

Don’t get us wrong. We are all for parent participation and support from family, but the thing we find really disappointing is how children are not allowed to do anything for themselves. Whether it is carrying their sports kit, putting on shoes, tying the laces, cleaning the boots, combing their own hair… it’s like the children don’t have minds and hands of their own! And unlike what parents and guardians may think, this is THE greatest disservice you are doing to your child.

Here’s a fantastic video, sorry an 8-minute education, that should be made compulsory viewing for parents and guardians all over the world:

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Grassroots Football Dictionary – 1

A little Grassroots Football Dictionary that applies to all – kids, coaches, parents! Chin up and keep working hard!

Grassroots Football Dictionary 1

A Talent for Learning

He was twice voted European Midfielder of the Year, guided his team to two consecutive Champions League finals, was wanted by Real Madrid but never sold to them, scored one of the best goals ever in the 1999 Copa del Rey final, is considered one of the very best and remorseless, cold-eyed penalty takers in history, and till today, is regarded as one of the all-time greats at his club. If you haven’t guessed yet, we’re talking about Gaizka Mendieta of Valencia CF.  (Goodness knows, Gary Neville could do with a player of his class right now! But we digress…)

Here’s Mendieta’s goal from that Copa del Rey final – WOOF!!!!

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