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.