The Perfect Kick Start to the New School Year
For the last two years the coaching organisation, Football Beyond Boarders (FBB) has worked with a group of Academy pupils to focus on developing their football and academic skills. The programme has offered a vast number of opportunities to explore new experiences, including meeting and interviewing high profile players. Chatty pupil Matthew Young, particularly enjoyed this element of the project and his research and reporting skills culminated in producing a mini documentary on a local football club.
The group of FBB pupils scooped a fabulous reward for their year of hard work and progress this summer when they were flown out to Barcelona to train and explore even wider environments.
I caught up with Matthew and reversed the interview tables to find out his thoughts on his summer trip and how it has prepared him for the new academic year ahead.
Sitting comfortably on the office sofa, Matthew’s maturity and confidence in the company of adults was evident. His body language speaks of opinions and news, held politely in check until asked for. Matthew began with the travel details of the trip, a description of the Skateboard Hostel accommodation, the facilities and of course, the food. Impressed as he was with the practical aspects it was the other pupils and adults which really made the trip so special. Matthew described them all as a FBB family with coaches Jack and Pez taking the role of ‘Dad’.
‘Pez is the happiest, he’s never angry and so positive. He even manages to turn arguments into positive outcomes, he talks it through ‘till you see it in a good way. He treats us all equally. And Jack before Spain he was just like a coach, nothing else but he wasn’t like that afterwards. He was very personal, very kind. He won’t do what we want, he does what we need because we don’t always know. And if we were bad he’d tell us off, he’s strict but kind.’
‘It’s because of the coaches I’ve improved. In year 7 I was bad but by year 8, I was a student rep, my Mum was so pleased. Now I’m here in year 9 and starting my GCSEs, I’ve got to deal with this new pressure, I’ve got a new position on the pitch but this time I’m not too shy to try. On the pitch, the coaches tell me I’m a leader and now I’m trying to be that at school too. I’ve stepped up my game and I’ve learned from year 8 to try hard, have a go and from Spain I learned about communication. My communication skills have really developed, like it’s a new skill, I can control how I speak, I’m trying not to ramble and that will link with my writing.’
‘The coaches will still be here for me this year, helping me do homework, keep me focused to stay in my seat and not talk so much. I’m aiming for B’s and C’s which is hard and maybe this year some of my grades might be down a bit but I’ll still be trying my hardest. I’m talented and I need to use these talents to my advantage and not focus on my weaknesses and at the end of the day I’m the only person who can help me, I’ve got to do it.’
All the staff in the Academy and the coaches have every confidence that Matthew will continue with his outstanding progress as he begins this new academic year. Indeed with such maturity and ownership of his destiny Matthew looks set to achieve some star performance goals!