Blog template Rock the Crossbar: Kickabouts

Rock the Crossbar

Saturday, December 31


I'm still in touch with a number of the guys that I played football with as a child, one of which is now a coach for his daughter's nine-year-old team. I found it interesting that he was saying that he pleads with the girls to just kick a ball around the yard, or a can along the street between practices and games. To no avail. He made the point that football is the game that's uninterrupted by coaches so that bettering your technique come from spending hours just kicking a ball or in Pele's case, an orange or ball of rags. And anything could be a field, like in Thierry Henry's case, a closed supermarket parking lot with overturned grocery carts as goals. I remember with my group someone always had a football in his bag. So it was off the buses, onto any grass, drop your bags for goals and you'd be set for a quick 5-7 minute kickabout before first bell. It was the same at lunch, eat quickly and then find a bit of space to kick a ball around. And my brother would spend hours practicing juggling a ball around an obstacle course he'd designed with trash bins, and over the washing line and the side of the house. I walk by a middle school every day on my way to work, and my friend's comment struck me because I've never once seen two kids kicking a ball or any kind of object along as they walk to school. I know that soccer is very big in this country and there are a lot of leagues, but is that the only place that kids play football any more? At organized practice and in games? And does that mean that the football played is a bit stultified as a result?


  • Ah those halcyon days, jumpers for goalposts.

    At school the deal was basically cram your lunch down quick and then off t the sports field for the game. There were usually a bunch going on, each year had their own game, with maybe a couple of interlopers.

    Summer evenings also brought a game (remember home by 3:50, lads?) – we played on a hill though so one team was perpetually chasing the ball whilst the other tried to dig it out from under there feet. It was fun, it was cheap. I heard one Scottish player opining that Nintendo and TV were the death of Scottish football, where it gets darker and colder sooner. I suspect there is some truth in that.

    By Blogger Rich Hughes, at 3:09 PM  

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