“As many possible, as much as possible, as good as possible,” was the message sent out by Swedish coach Johan Kalin, addressing the BPEd students of Don Bosco with a special grass roots football talk highlighting the Swedish model, at Don Bosco School, on Tuesday.
The seminar was organised by Sporting Clube de Goa in association with the BPEd college. Elaborating further he said that the Swedish Model encourages as many youngsters as possible to take to the game of football at a young age regardless of their ability or background.
The next stage is to allow the participants to play as much as possible. “If a child can commit to three sessions a week that’s good, but if a youngster can only play once a week that’s o.k. as well,” stated the UEFA “A” licence diploma holder Johan. Johan further enlightened that it is up to the coach to think like the age of the player he is coaching and set appropriate goals in order to make the ward as good as possible.
Johan highlighted the work he routinely carries out for the Swedish FA in his region of the country, with courses regularly organised teaching leadership skills, game intelligence, technique and physical aspects along with goalkeeping. He also is a Uefa instructor conducting Uefa “B” level courses. The Swedish model concentrates on using football as a tool not only for teaching football skills but also stresses on character building. “Most of the young players know how challenging it is to make it to the top and so it is important to have a well-rounded personality with interest in studies as well,” remarked the 35 year old Johan.
Former women’s Swedish footballer Susann Jatkin also spoke on the occasion about the healthy state of women’s football in Sweden and that girl’s are encouraged just as much as boys take up the game and enjoy it in a fun environment. Johan concluded the session, by explaining that along with the FA, the government plays a big role in soccer success. But he believes it is the parents who play the biggest role as it is their perseverance and hours sacrificed taking their children to practice and also doubling up as community coaching volunteers which gives a youth development a huge boost.
The students of the college had many relevant questions to ask Johan and Susann and were thoroughly pleased with the interactive discussion.
BPEd principal Dr. Marie Raj was the chief guest and Fr. Wilred was the guest of honour.