So could you teach football online?

Gokulam Kerala thinks so. The city-based I-League team has come up with an online training programme for kids below the age of 14.

Gokulam’s technical director Bino George is in charge of the programme. Helping him implement the project are coaches from around the world: Michael Matricciani (Australia), James McAloon (England), Simone Quintieri (Italy) and George Lopez (Spain). Also on the team is Brazilian fitness trainer Miranda Garcia Djair.

“Several kids have already signed up the programme and they have been given a few sessions by our coaches from various countries,” Bino told Sportstar .

“I know these coaches personally and they were glad to be part of the project, as they, like us here in India, are forced to stay indoors following the outbreak of the coronavirus.”

Lockdown blues

Bino said he thought of the online sessions because the lockdown threatened to be a prolonged one. “We don’t know when we could resume playing football on the ground. This was actually supposed to be the time for Gokulam to start its academies in all the 14 districts of Kerala under foreign coaches,” he said.

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Since that wasn’t going to happen any time soon, he explored the possibilities of training children online. “The coaches, from in front of the computers at home, show the kids various skills,” Bino explained.

“They then ask them to do it at home and show the video.”

He said there were many aspects of football that could be explained online. “The trainees are also given various tasks, which they can accomplish at home. We also tell them about the importance of having the proper diet for football.”