If you’d asked people about the enthusiasm of football among Indians before the 2010s, majority would have laughed it off. A game that once used to have a limited audience in the country has witnessed a significant rise and development among the masses recently. The foundation of football in the Indian subcontinent goes back to the late 1800s, when it was introduced by the British Empire. It gained a certain popularity with states like West Bengal, Goa, Kerala, and Maharashtra even having their own regional leagues.
However, unlike hockey or cricket, football didn’t get the either the institutional support or popular attention. While the game is quite popular at amateur level, football has seen below-par grounds and underwhelming infrastructure facilities at professional level at professional level.
The craze for football in India started gaining traction when international television media houses started entering the Indian market. These channels started broadcasting major international and domestic tournaments in the country. Global football icons like David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi have also contributed immensely towards the popularity of the game in India. The game saw a significant degree of development when India kick-started the Indian Super League in 2013.
With the popularity of the game growing, several regional academies are being set-up in different states. Today, football academics are found in every city and they are flooded with young Indians with a passion for the game. These training academies provided a new dimension in the football scenario of the country. Apart from having an athlete’s soul and skills, the abilities of a youngster are required to be worked over for some time which is created, polished, and sustained by the football training academies. The standards and competition increasing every day, the youth with an ambition to take their game to the next level, started joining these academies.
Nurturing young-age talent has always been the key to any football club’s success. But apart from hard work and dedication, there is no golden rule on how young players can become upcoming football stars. These football academies contribute to nurturing the raw young talent in India, to give them a chance to live their dream.
A football academy provides the players with a platform to be trained in a professional environment. They help the young aspirers by helping them work on the basic fundamentals of the game and mastering their skills and techniques to become world-class players. They create a healthy competitive environment among the players and instill the values of sportsmanship and respect for the game among the kids. These academies also help establish teamwork values and form a bond among the coaches and the players, which help these little kids feel like they belong somewhere.
An academy’s major focus is on maximizing the talent of the youngsters, who are training in their grounds. Starting from training programs to various essential sports equipment like- goal nets, goal posts, footballs, bibs, hurdles, whistles, and much more, the academy provides all the essential training tools. Most importantly, these youngsters in an academy are under the observation of professional coaches who with their experience and knowledge help nurture them.
With technology taking massive strides, the use of tracking devices provides an in-depth analysis of the players’ skills, performance levels, weaknesses, and behavior. Coaches are now able to have a better understanding of the player’s footballing abilities. They use technological devices to also calculate certain key skill components that are being tracked and used, to help teach the players a sense of positioning, understanding the game situation, etc.
A football academy is a positive addition that gives an aspiring player ample exposure to hone his/her skills. It is a great contribution to their overall development which lets them focus on the objective of becoming professional football players These academies are a major medium in ensuring, every child gets an opportunity to follow the footsteps of his/her idol and live their dream, while simply having fun at it.