Our motivation for being involved in soccer training stems from what the sport truly is about: a beautiful, inspiring team sport with the capacity for bringing joy. We know that historically, the best soccer players have primarily one thing in common, i.e. playing to enjoy the game. To that end, we are inspired by a set of core values based on the vital need to make sure everyone who plays does get the best out of it, without taking away from another’s chances at catching their fair share of satisfaction and optimum performance.
Our eight core values, therefore, are rooted in fair competition, satisfaction and collaboration. Though they can be further subdivided into more, these seven, strategically capture what our goals for ourselves and our trainees are about:
We truly believe that respect must always be the number one and most important value an individual possesses in life. Respectful people make great players.
The word Respect in soccer is a social responsibility launched in 2008 by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). Its main objective is to work towards unity and respect across gender, race, religion and ability.
“Everyone is entitled to enjoy football, no matter who you are, where you’re from or how you play.”
We believe that good performance at sports requires fairness. Good youth players are truthful, easily trusted by teammates and upfront about their commitment to the team. No one should suffer a loss during games or practice because some other player reached for an undue advantage not allowed by the rules of the game. Our ideas and strategies for success are based on playing fair and winning without the use of any route other than which is allowed for by longstanding regulations.
As with many fields of life involving team work, trust is a crucial aspect of successful performance in soccer. Players should have the confidence of teammates and this arises from maintaining a personal discipline that can be attested to. We are certain that honest players will always make the right ethical choices when alternatives are presented to them. Our duty is to ensure children and youth soccer players make this a first principle at all times on and off the pitch.
No individual in a team sport like soccer is going to win games on their own. As such, it is always necessary to acknowledge the effort of the team even when a player’s personal effort may have proved decisive. Humility helps teams bond more; everyone shares in the joys of victory and disappointment of defeats. We absolutely do not ask players to under estimate their abilities or to hide special abilities to pull uncommon tricks. On the contrary, we ask them to do the opposite of these. At the same time, we paint the picture of how the use of their talent for the team’s purposes always leads to improved capacity. Taught early, this is a picture that sticks.
We believe that humility should be shown to an opposing team by recognizing they also play the game for similar reasons. Magnanimity in defeat is part of our educational focus points as there is always something to learn from even a defeated opponent. We encourage acts of sportsmanship before, during and after practice matches or games, from basic acts like handshakes to helping injured opponents with first aid, when necessary.
A soccer training academy has guidelines and rules and it is in everyone’s best interest when they are followed. Children who are disciplined in terms of timely arrival at practices, to orderly conduct with teammates, opponents and trainers take those values with them wherever else they go in life. We provide a comfortable environment for expressing concerns with requirements that some may object to but we are convinced in the absolutely harmless benefits of what we demand. We believe that the little things are as important as the big ones, and that talent is not going to be enough without a conscious cultivation of discipline.
Be in practice or a real game, there is usually some noticeable conversation around a soccer pitch. Communication is very necessary for good performance and we actively create opportunities for children to engage their teammates during practice. Due to variations in individual temperaments, we know that not everyone communicates at the same intensity; indeed, not every child would want to even verbally communicate. That is why we emphasize broad communication, using non-verbal cues as well. When it is done effectively, performance results provide re-assuring feedback for more communication, producing a continuous positivity cycle.
Our training philosophy is centred on building every player into a leader. By teaching children about taking personal responsibility, and always doing their best, we ensure each learns from another’s effort and draws motivation to do more. Leadership, as we understand it, is best exemplified by those who do what they have to do for other people to be at their best. We actively encourage this value in the players, confident that they stand to benefit from internalizing it, whether as soccer players or in their future endeavours.