Tuesday, 30 March 2010

"It was different in my day..."

It’s raining outside, I have created lunch out of the remaining items in the fridge, Chelsea have won again, the television is on – but the controller is just too far away to reach, its going to be one of those days!

As I lift my head over the pathetic excuse of a lunch I slowly tune into the television, admittedly not out of choice but today’s a lazy day, and there is no way anyone is making me get up for that remote control! As my eyes focus upon the screen I keep my fingers crossed for Jeremy Kyle or Holiday Horrors – something to make me feel better about myself! Unfortunately for all my wanting and wishing, up pops on screen the silver fox that is Alistair Darling with the briefcase, about to deliver the budget for 2010.

Now for those of you that don’t know me, I am 22, but still consider myself to be around 15, as I am sure most of you do as well. However, the realisation came, that the “Budget” which I thought would never affect a guy of my limited years, actually does! I’m old. Now I know I my inbox will probably be full of hate mail by this time next week at the mention of me being old at 22. I can only apologize.

Where did it all go? I remember being able to entertain myself with a pencil, or an empty bottle. The things I could make out of an empty milk carton…the world was my playground. Now, I am complaining that buses are late, having to pay such high taxes, moaning about the ‘rubbish’ on TV, and “music was always better in my day!”

There is some point to my ramblings, apart from sheer jealousy of those that still hold their youth, and for those that can still use their age as an excuse for mischievousness. My point is, and it is simple, we need our kids to stay young for as long as possible. As much as you may joke that they’re going to be thrown out of the house by the time they are 18, you’ll miss them. So many aspects of life today force kids to grow up so quickly – the world is a competitive, fast-paced place and schools and many extra curricular classes reflect this.

I look back with fondness of my upbringing; I was lucky enough to play football, a game I loved and still do to this day. It taught me an awful lot. The art of winning and losing, working within a team, celebrating in style, problem solving, communication, socialising skills, understanding and accepting different cultures. So many values that I picked up.

We, at Little Kickers, understand the importance of all these attributes, and we try to incorporate the teaching of them within our sessions. If you can cast your minds back to when you were young (I’ll pause for a moment for some of the older guys!)… you will notice that you learnt so much more when you were having fun. Children learn best when their imaginations are fired up and they are playing games – by ensuring they have fun whilst at our classes we can feel confident that their enthusiasm for sport will continue. By teaching our toddlers and pre-school kids football, we are also setting them up for life with key skills, and allowing them to enjoy some fun-filled childhood moments before, all too soon, the pressures of the world start to impinge on them.

Long may it continue.

Can I also take this opportunity to say congratulations to Andy Japp, our coach of the month winner. He has been a fantastic asset to Little Kickers, and is a deserved winner. For more information about Andy, and other winners of the “Coach of the Month” awards, please visit http://www.littlekickers.co.uk/recruitment.aspx

Monday, 29 March 2010

Little Kickers on BBC Working Lunch!

We were recently featured on BBC Working Lunch! You can view the video of us on the program here...

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Simply The Becks

David Beckham’s long awaited return to his old stomping ground finally happened last night. Old Trafford, labelled the Theatre of Dreams, proving only to be a nightmare for David Beckhams’ ageing AC Milan side. Manchester United thumped home four goals of great quality last night met with no reply from Coach’s Leonardos’ men.

David Beckham, however, stepped out to an overwhelming reception from the United faithful. Having spent most of the game on the bench, he came on to a standing ovation and chants of “Fergie, Fergie – Sign him up.” And ‘there’s only one David Beckham’, comically being followed by fans booing his every touch. You could genuinely feel the mutual respect between the player and the fans.

David Beckham has had some bad media in the past, but his undeniable efforts to be seen as a family man and a gentleman have thrust him into becoming a God like figure. Loved by women and men alike, he has created an empire through his football ability, his looks, and his personality.

Cast your mind back nearly 15 years ago and you will remember a scrawny long haired David Beckham being interviewed by many journalists, only to receive wordy, 10 minute responses, filled with clich├ęs and not actually answering the questions they had posed! This appeared to be his only fault, and his performances on the pitch were certainly not struggling in the same way. Many people would have given up, and done their ‘talking on the pitch’. David Beckham however, worked hard to combat the problem. He took a weakness and has now turned it into strength. His continuing self improvement has not only made him a sporting hero, but also a recognized idealistic stereotype of the perfect man to many!

At Little Kickers, we want to help our children develop in the best way possible. And our feedback suggests that we have achieved this with great success. Little Kickers is not just football for kids, it aids in building a personality, will help develop important social skills, break down barriers, and offer children the chance to make the right choices, and learn from the wrong ones.

We are not expecting our kids at Little Kickers to become the face of a global brand, (if we do manage it – remember who got you there!) However, we do want to give our children the best possible chance to be successful in life. We want our kids to have the self confidence to make an educated decision and act upon it. By delivering a fun and exciting session, in combination with teaching basic educatory concepts our children learn values and are given confidence to express themselves.

Will your Little Kicker be the next David Beckham!? What does it matter as long as they are having fun learning the basics of the beautiful game – there’s years of pressure and hard work ahead for them – let’s let our kids enjoy playing like kids without piling adult pressure and expectations onto them!

SOS - Save Our Selebrations!

The English, Noun, compulsory complaining about the length of queue yet insisting on joining it, incessant need to pray for a white Christmas and when it comes - grind to a depressing halt. Genuine inability to accept compliments and celebrate achievements.

I have been lucky enough to play Football from a very young age, and even luckier I am yet to have a serious injury. Having played at a lot of clubs of a high standard under many successful coaches, I believe I have gained invaluable experiences. However, it was only a couple of weeks ago that I learnt my biggest lesson. Having just competed in a very tough game and thankfully winning 2-0 to put our side top of the league, we were all sitting in the changing room waiting for our manager to evaluate the performance. He walked in, and stared at us all, I was shocked at his expression; I thought we had played really well. Our manager then shouted “what is this?!” Puzzled, we all looked at one another debating if this was a rhetorical question that we shouldn’t answer. He then proceeded to rant and eventually sent us outside to complete a series of hard exhausting runs. Having finished, we sat even more exhausted than before. Our manager again came in, and asked why we thought he did that. Sadly again, no body new. He then began to ask a series of questions to which each response was a resounding “yes”. “
Did you play well? Did you win? Did you win well?”

So what was his problem?

We weren’t celebrating the victory! We came in, sat down, and waited for him to arrive. Although the team spirit is high at the club, no body celebrated winning the game. Why not? Is this just a make up of our English character? Possibly. Is it out of respect for the other team? Possibly. But why!? You have just worked incredibly hard for 90 minutes to win a game, succeeded in doing so, and won the game well. So why not celebrate.

This is a massive feature of the English game, we celebrate birthdays with style, and we celebrate new years and Christmas with great delight. But something that we actual achieve, we play down the success. We should celebrate every part of the game. If you score the whole team should celebrate the goal, if you win the game everyone should celebrate. As a nation, we need to address this.

In celebrating, it makes it more worthwhile, it creates better bonds, and it also allows the participants to feel a sense of pride. This is why at Little Kickers, we try and encourage celebrating everything they do. We keep our sessions fun and more often than not with a direct aim or target to differentiate success. We want our children to enjoy every aspect of Football, and with the coaches and parents of the children celebrating every goal they score, or save they make, or piece of skill, it will make the child want to do it again. Positive reinforcement of congratulations and celebration will create a more desired will to perform and achieve. This will obviously improve your child’s development, which is ultimately our main goal.

The following football match I played in, we again won 3-0, and in some style as well. Needless to say, there was cheering, and hand shakes all-round in the changing room, followed by a group huddle dance to our club song. Obviously, I am not expecting this at every opportunity; however the point of this blog is to encourage children to celebrate achievements, parents to share the celebration, and coaches to show that celebrating isn’t arrogance it’s a physical demonstration of joy.

And if for no other reason, we need to improve on Peter Crouch’s robot celebration
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