Swedish kids learn Brazilian skills through English
Paul O'Mahony · 5 Dec 2006, 12:18
Published: 05 Dec 2006 12:18 GMT+01:00
"Everything is games. We build up skills using samba and other forms of music," instigator Aidan Isherwood told The Local.
The club had its first one and half hour training session last month in the south Stockholm suburb of Västberga and already it is proving a hit with parents and children alike.
"We wanted to do something different to just playing lots of matches," said Isherwood.
The Englishman found that a lot of local teams begin cherry-picking picking players for their top teams at a very young age. And a lot of parents are unhappy with the situation.
"Here kids can come and play football with no pressure and no stress."
"I already heard someone say 'let's get a team' when they saw the progress the children were making, but that is not the point of this club," said Isherwood.
The trainer recently bolstered his portfolio with a certificate for coaching children from the English Football Association. He is also an English teacher.
And the youngsters, aged between 10 and 12, are encouraged to improve their language skills further by speaking English to each other on the club website's players' page.
"It's an added bonus that we can use football as a tool to learn English. And if the children don't understand something my colleague Spiros can explain things in Swedish," said Isherwood.
Having spent a lot of time studying various techniques, the coach has come to the conclusion that there is no need for children's football training to ever be anything other than fun. Reinforcing the Brazilian theme of samba football, he is even considering incorporating capoeira into the training programme.
"We recently laid out a mattress and hung a ball on a rope to help the children learn bicycle kicks. They can all do them now.
"Everything can be done as a game. And once they forget they are learning the children learn very quickly," said Isherwood.