The young football teams at the recently concluded FIFA U-17 World Cup put up a dazzling show- a show that the India will not forget in a hurry.
Millions of fans, especially young teenage fans, saw the games in the stadium and on television. Apart from the magic they displayed on field these young footballers, there were a number of lessons to be learnt from the champion teenagers representing their country.
Here are top 5 lessons teenagers can take from teenagers who played the FIFA U17 World Cup:
Focus: The players walk into the stadium filled with 40-50,000 fans, do a perfunctory waving of hands and get down to business of warming up, dribbling and more. The focus on the job at hand is clear and evident. They are teenagers after all. Aren’t they supposed to be a distracted lot? Aren’t they supposed to be ‘all too pleasing,’ supposed to care what others think? These teenagers weren’t remotely like that when they were on the field. The sharp, laser-eyed focus was solely on the job at hand. Win the play, win the half and win the match
Team is everything: The teams that play together at U-17 level haven’t played for years together. They are usually cobbled together in last 2 years before the tournament or less. But the team spirit at display is nothing short of what you see with senior teams at the national level and clubs. Every time a player comes off, he would go around the bench and hi-five everyone from the coach to extras. The extras would rise up in anticipation of a goal and cheer the loudest in case of one. Bringing talented individuals together as a team should rank as one of the biggest priorities of a coach. No team, no game
They care a lot: At the end of a match is when you see how much it means to these young players. They have worked hard for and prepared for it. They represent a family, team, nation and the future. These teenagers have probably understood the meaning of success and failure and their relation to effort. Each minute of the game means so much to them. One can see both sides of the coin - the joy of scoring or tears of defeat. Not unless you really care about results, can you apply the quantum of effort required
Faith in Coach and Each other: Teams at these levels have to look up to someone to follow, emulate or be inspired. Watching coaches interact with the players before, during and after the match was a beautiful sight. The players are one with the coach. They rise and fall together in anticipation of a goal scored for or against. The faith that these teenagers have put in the coach and through coach in each other is priceless. Finding the faith for the players and living up to the faith for the coaching squad is the connection thread in a team. Faith in the coach and in each other makes a team, a team
How hard you push: Indian newspapers were filled with stories of the origin of Indian players in this prestigious tournament- where they came from and how they ended up in the Indian team. They came from all kinds of backgrounds and everyone had an inspiring story to tell. Similar stories abound for players in other teams too. These players have given up a lot, worked a lot and in some cases have gotten lucky to be noticed at the right time. The common thread is: it does not matter where you start, it is how hard you push for it that does