Posted: January 19th 2017
I would guess 90% of my Football playing time as a child was unadulterated - without the supervision of adults - we played on our own in parks, school and on the street.
Or in my case more often 'down the gardens' - we were lucky to have a beautiful patch of grass at the bottom of Balaclava Street, St Thomas, where we enjoyed many hours of 'World Cup Willy' and other great games (...and lighting fires but thankfully I grew out of that game ha ha).
Amazing times in fact (and part of my motivation to be a coach - to give kids the gift of the joy, freedom and comradeship that I felt as a youngsters playing with my mates).
I always say, kids can kick a ball about anywhere...
One of the reasons Football is a massive global game because it can be played by all shapes and sizes anywhere, anytime as long as you've got a ball, somewhere safe to play and maybe some friends to join in with you.
'Jumpers for goalposts'!
The 'beautiful game' belongs to the players.
A 21st Century Problem...
But to paraphrase Bob Dylan ‘the times they were ‘a changin’
While 90% of my time was spent 'learning through play' with my brothers and friends, only 10% of my time was in a structured environment, with rules and adults ‘telling us what to do’.
Due to cultural changes in society and the demise of the 'street soccer' generations... the situation is now reversed. 90% playing time is 'adulterated' and only 10% is 'free-play'.
Am I advocating learning environments completely without structure or adult supervision? A return to ‘Street Soccer’ only?
Definitely not. Structure is important. But there’s too much ‘Kids provided for Football’ instead of ‘Football provided for kids’.
What do I mean?
In this crazy world of junior Football where adults' indulgence takes priority over that of kids... kids become ‘just another number’ with many drowning or at best treading water in a ‘sink or swim’ race…many not getting enough game time and under pressure to get results before they've really learned to play the game properly.
I would have given ANYTHING as a young kid trying to make my way in the game... for someone who really understood the game and even more importantly knew how to get the best out of ME.
Someone who understood how good I was when I was pretending to be my favourite Brazilian players ‘Zico’ and ‘Socrates’ down ‘the gardens’ and knew how to help me reliably transfer all that ‘inspiration’ into better performances in a real game.
A big-brother or ‘Uncle’ figure who had been there and done it, wanted to help ME but didn’t assume my path would be the same as his.
Someone to help me to understand it would take TIME, and lots of mistakes and frustration even, but is possible if I put the time in and respond well to quality coaching. To challenge me, nurture me, show me where the bar was and help me get over it. To get to know ME as a unique individual.
That’s what was missing for me, and sadly so many kids even today despite all the 'structure and seriousness of junior Football, and that’s why The Champion’s Soccer Academy (TCSA) exists.
The question for you as a parent is…What would make getting this type of coaching for YOUR Football-mad-child a ‘no-brainer’?
(Remember, you can kick a ball about anywhere)
A massive break-through in Confidence where they can walk into virtually ANY situation and feel like like they can handle it? Better ball skills? Self-discipline, Social Skills? Strength? Speed? Fitness?
Book here if you want more than a kick-about for your child:
'Uncle Frank' Burrows