The Football Players Association of India (FPAI) organized the AFC C License coaching course exclusively for ex and current players as part of the initiative to prepare players for ‘Life after football’. The course was conducted by reputed a reputed senior instructor from the AIFF, Marcus Pacheco.

The participants included Renedy Singh, Chitrasen Chandam, Othallo Tabia, Kalia Koluthongan, Sandip Nandy, Abhijit Mondol, Samson Remingwa, Darren Caldiera, N.S.Manju, Sandesh Gargari, Vinay Singh, Rohmingthanga, N. Mohanraj and Mahesh Rai.

The coaching camp kicked off on 1st July, 2015 and was scheduled to finish on the 13th July. The practical sessions were held at the Khuman Lampak artificial training ground while the theory classes took place at Hotel Imphal.

Following a quick breakfast at 6.30 am at the Emoinu Restaurant, the players would proceed to the ground by bus. The practice lasted till 10 am and the topics covered were—analyzing the game and warm up’s with dynamic stretching. Two under- 19 Manipuri teams were made to play and the participants were asked to analyze the game.

After the morning practical session was completed, the players and instructor moved to the hotel for the theory classes where participants were explained the different methods to analyze a match. This was followed by a presentation on the morning practical’s learning outcomes. After lunch, the participants were taught the theoretical aspects on how to construct a training session. This theory class commenced at 2pm and lasted 2 hours. The evening practical session topic was how to warm up with the ball. Classes for the day came to a close at 5.45pm.

The next morning practical session started with ball feeling and juggling. The players were then taught the basics on how to make weekly, monthly and yearly plans. The post lunch theory class stressed on the concept of TDFM—Technique, Decision Making, Fitness and Mentality. The evening practical included coaching on dribbling, passing, receiving and finishing.

The next day, practical session started off with fun games, with and without the ball for warm up’s. The practice progressed into how to train and coach the defend in short sided games. After this, the morning and afternoon theory class topic emphasized on how to prepare and coach during a training session and match. The evening practical session covered how to train and coach defense in short sided games followed by basic heading for attaching and defensive play.

Day 4 of the morning session included setting the objectives in a 1v1, 2v2, 3v3 game followed by theory classes on the physical aspects of the game—understanding the body and physical requirements to play football. Post lunch, the theory class progressed into understanding various formations and systems of play. At 4pm, was the first practical exam where the players were given multiple topics to be assessed by instructor, Mr. Pacheco.

The next day continued with the practical exam for those who had not been evaluated on the 4th—This was followed by age related training and phases in development which extended into match preparation and presentation for the participants in the post lunch session. The first practical session was concluded that evening by 6 pm.

Day 6 of the License coaching camp started off with a morning practical session on combination play--passing/receiving/crossing/finishing leading into short sided games. The next theory session included laws of the game and fair play. After lunch, the instructor covered in the theory class—how to read the game and analyze the football problem including a talk on the three main problems of football. The evening practical session topic covered was—how to realize objectives during short sided games with different organization, floaters and different rules.

The evening session for the footballers was a cool down yoga session with fitness expert Varuna Shunglu. It was arranged at 4pm. The players were taught a series of Asanas, breathing (Pranayama) and meditative techniques to calm the mind, increase focus and reduce injuries so as to sustain longevity in one’s careers. This was the broad focus of the yoga session which turned out to be fun at the same time informative.

The next day was a rest day—At 10am, a Yoga and Meditation session started off with gentle warm ups and stretches. Different postures with breath work were initiated as each player dealt with their limitations and learnt to work and build strength in their problem- areas. They discovered the benefit of alignment in their movements and postures. Breath work or Pranayama, in particular the alternate- nostril breathing or Nadi Shodhana Pranayama, followed the Asanas which works on a cellular level and replenishes energy and activates the natural healing capacity of the body which make the joints and musculature of the body more flexibly so as to absorb impact during the course of their play, reduce injury as well as increases lung capacity to help reduce fatigue.

The hour and a half long session finally came to a close with Yoga Nidra, a meditative technique that not only works on a physical level but also prepares the mind for a focused and refreshing start as was found by the players once they completed the session, as they felt calm and centered the rest of the day.

At this stage and due to circumstances beyond our control, the Camp was shifted to Kolkata. The players and Coach along with the FPAI Staff were held up at Imphal, while arrangements were made to transfer the full unit to Kolkata.

The Course again started on 13th July, and was held at Central Park, Salt Lake, in Kolkata as all earlier theoretical classes had been concluded. The session included coaching points on warming up, passing, dribbing, finishing, crossing etc and sought to sum up most of what had been done before.

At this stage the classes and camp shifted to the Barasat stadium, starting with a seminar on Hygiene, Sports safety, Injury prevention, First aid and nutrition conducted by expert Pritam Roy. This was followed by a practical session where the participants had to instruct and coach children as per their topics.

The next day started off with a session primarily for goalkeeping. The instructor having earlier been a goalkeeper shared unique instances and experiences from his professional career. In the afternoon, the first theory exam was held followed by a practical session in the evening with kids at the Barasat Vidyasagar Krirangan Stadium.

On the final day of the C license coaching camp, after the morning practical exam was completed, the second and last theory exam was conducted in the evening.

The results for this Coaching Course are expected to be out sometime in end October.

The FPAI would like to thank the AMSA (All Manipur Sports Association) the All India Football Federation and also the I.F.A. (W.B.) for playing host to the event and for the kind cooperation extended by them.

AFC C License Certificate Course