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Bend it like Beckham! The Beautiful Game

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Got football-mad kids? Progressive Sports Asia’s co-founders Dirk Haddow and Barry Brown provide some advice on choosing the
right player development programme.
Raphael Blet reports
PHOTOS COURTESY OF Progressive Sports Asia


DISCOVERY BAY IS AN IDEAL PLACE for beginners to develop their individual skills. With the parks, foreshore and small green areas near apartment buildings, kids get countless opportunities to practice in their free time.

COHESION BETWEEN PLAYERS AND COACHES is very important, and individual development is crucial especially in the early years.

Enrolling in a personalised programme gives each player the chance to develop and improve at their own pace. Inclusion is also key. Make sure the football school you opt for treats all students equally and makes them feel welcome.

PLAYERS NEED TO BE COMFORTABLE with the ball from when they first start to practice. A good football school is one that gets students to use the ball in the first part of the session and gives them as many touches as they can.


CHANGE OF DIRECTION (COD) is a trick that every young footballer should learn to master at the beginning of their training. This
skill remains predominant throughout a footballer’s career, be it as an attacker or defender. COD is also part and parcel of endurance/ agility assessments when joining a football club.

PLAYER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES help players enhance their skills on their own outside of training sessions. For example, Progressive Sports Asia’s multi-level curriculum Tekkerz incorporates 12 levels with each offering individual skills complete with video and audio teaching.

FOOTBALL IS ALL ABOUT CAMARADERIE and it’s a great way for kids to build self-esteem. Beyond improving fitness levels and making new friends, football helps children tackle complex situations, be part of a team and learn how to empathise with others.


THE EARLIER YOU START THE BETTER and it’s possible to introduce kids as young as two years old to the sport. Although too young to play on a football field, toddlers can mess around with balls from the time they learn how to walk. Their brains will memorise the techniques and ready them for football school.

IF YOUR CHILD ENVISIONS TURNING PRO, they can…it’s only the football ability they will need. Daily practice and a good relationship with coaches is essential. Young players that stand out are usually scouted by their school and invited to train with higher level teams.

AUTOCRATIC, DEMOCRATIC AND HOLISTIC are three important types of football coaching styles. Each coach needs to have a bit of each and, depending on whom they are coaching, the ability to adapt. Democratic and holistic are the styles most coaches favour though an autocratic approach is sometimes needed when preparing for competitions.


Progressive Sports Asia provides tailor-made programmes for boys and girls aged three years and up in and around DB.

To find out more, call 9043 3095 or email [email protected].
Visit www.prosportsasia.com or follow FB @progressivesportsasia and IG @progressive_sports_asia.

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