Wednesday, 21 July 2010

A Great Day Out!

With rain jackets in one hand and fleeces in the other, the Little Kickers coaching squad awoke on Saturday 17th July prepared for all weathers…apart from the sun! And needless to say within hours of arriving they were heaping on the factor 50…

Little Kickers has, for the past four years, set up a demonstration area at the extremely popular “Legoland Live”. With a big stage and a lot of stalls around the area, the whole place had a festival feel, a child’s Glastonbury if you will!

Rubbing shoulders with the likes of Bob the Builder, Fifi and the cast of Lazy Town was quite a surreal experience for many of the team. The coaches received a detailed run-down of the current who’s who of children’s television from the kids, and most of them could now give any child under 5 years of age a run for their pocket money in a sing/dance off contest to the tunes and moves of any character!

Little Kickers managed to snag a prime spot close to the stage which resulted in a constant stream of kids, eager to show off their footballing skills. The team of Little Kickers coaches maintained their enthusiasm throughout the day in spite of the sweltering heat, demonstrating true spirit and passion for their work. An excellent venue and atmosphere contributed to a great day for all involved.

It was interesting to see that some of the children that the coaches took through penalties were incredibly good at them and, on speaking to their parents, it emerged that many of these children had previously, or still do, attend Little Kickers classes. The difference in ability was clear to see. Whilst there was the occasional child who had not attended classes but had a natural ability to strike the ball and follow instructions, it was easy to identify the children who had attended Little Kickers classes. This afforded the coaches the opportunity to really see the difference they were making in developing children and was incredibly motivating for them. It also provided a glimmer of hope for the future of football in the UK, after this year’s disappointing performance in South Africa!
A number of children who had never attended Little Kickers classes kept returning throughout the day and, under the expert guidance of the coaches, made visible progress. Many parents commented how impressed they were with the way their children had developed in such a short space of time. Little Kickers’ “Play not Push” ethos, and the extensive training the coaches receive, enabled them to work well with shy children, children with learning difficulties and increase the self-confidence of every child who participated.

Thanks again to all the coaches who came and helped with the day.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Little Kickers at Lego Land this weekend!

We will be at Lego Land this weekend!

Why not come down with your little kickers and try out some of our fun filled football activities!

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Football's coming home...eventually!

OK, so maybe my predictions were a little way off!

After England’s crashing defeat at the hands of the Germans was made slightly better by the Argentineans falling at the same German hurdle, it’s beginning to look like we may have lost to the overall winners of the tournament. So whether you blame Fabio Capello, or the widely criticised Jabulani football, whether it was the weather or the altitude, or the thought that if we had sent our Little Kickers army out there they would have done a better job, we still lost!

However much you may keep your own opinions close to your chest, it’s hard to avoid other peoples’. Water-cooler chat and pub talk has led to a national debate over what went wrong.

Could it just be that perhaps we just weren’t as good as the other sides out there? I look at the team, and whilst Milner and Rooney had a fantastic season at their clubs, beyond that it is difficult to find a player who has had an outstanding season. After Rob Green’s display against the Americans it was reported the whole team were all getting behind him, although in hindsight that was probably the best place to stand!

The pressure put on our players to perform at the World Cup was immense. I know a lot of people will respond by saying that they get paid enormous sums of money to be put under that kind of pressure, and this is true, however, look at the Brazilian side who are paid equally as much, they were filmed coming into the stadium dancing and singing with maracas and tambourines. There seemed to be a real positive, enthusiastic spirit within the Brazilian camp. You could say the same for the Spanish, and even more so for the Ghanaians. The English on the other hand, piled on the pressure for Cappello to release the team early, and were loaded with the expectations generated by the media and the rest of the country. There was a nervous tension created before a ball was even kicked! I look at our own Little Kickers and breathe a sigh of relief that there are some young footballers in this country that are given a platform to perform in a pressure-free environment. Little Kickers only run classes up to 7 years olds, if I had my way we would be running the England team. The English are known for their sense of humour, and their ability to laugh in the face of adversity, so why when it comes to these types of tournaments do we respond so negatively to pressure?

At Little Kickers we provide a safe, fun filled, pressure free environment where children can learn and have fun with like minded people. The expectations are generated by the children themselves; we provide structured games and progressions so that children can develop their skills at their own rate, and of course, with constant encouragement from our expert coaches!

Since England’s World Cup demise, there has been a growing call for the FA to invest in grass roots football, and, luckily for them - Little Kickers have already planted the seed. As we have stated before, we are not in place to create World Cup stars, we simply teach the beautiful game to children to develop their social skills and life skills but this coaching will also inevitably develop them as footballers. So imagine the scene, when the World Cup finally comes to England, expect to see some familiar Little Kickers’ faces in the team, sambaing under the archway of Wembley as the English become the team they have every right to be. I am a great believer that investing in youth is our best opportunity of being successful, but for now, let’s just try and regain the spirit of English football, let’s play with smiles on our faces and enjoy the beautiful game. Let’s put the spirit and passion back in English football!
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