1:1 FFPC Player Stories
Tom's first session with 1:1 FFPC involved an anxious wait, as he watched his friends complete their sessions, and then a slow but steady introduction session which took him into unfamiliar territory. This session lifted his confidence and the following weeks flew by, with not only Tom, but Head Coach, Matt Dingle, learning along the way.
Have a read of our interview with Tom below, as he talks through his early days of football where he was not really involved and onto his progression and development of confidence and ability that coincided with 5 Training Programmes with 1:1 FFPC.
Tom working on his first touch and passing.
How did you feel when you first played football? (Aged 5, 6, 7)
I was competitive, quite often, I was very bad at it. A couple of people who were very good would not involve me in the game, but my competitiveness made me upset by that as I wanted to play. But the feelings of not being passed the ball made me not want to play.
At a younger age, in defence you just kick it as far as you can, and I feel like I was contributing.
What do u mean very bad?
I did not know most of the rules, in the first match I picked the ball up a couple of times!!
At this stage, how did you find it when you were in control of the ball?
For quite a while I could not properly kick it, using the toe punt technique! My competitiveness made me feel confident as I felt I could still impact the game through hard work.
A lack of enjoyment normally means people will stop playing. Why did you persevere?
All my friends were doing it, and I wanted to play with them. Even though I could have gone to play another sport, I preferred to not be ‘better in another sport’ as I wanted to be with friends.
Aged 8, 9, 10. How did you find football by this age?
I had got better, but in a way, it felt worse as I had grown to accept that I was not going to be the best at it. I became good at my own position and had a good understanding, I was not really that passionate about football, but I am enjoying doing it with my friends.
Did you ever talk about giving up football?
I do not think so, I was starting to get better by this age and I was enjoying what I was doing in football, but I do not want to get any more involved or serious as I was enjoying. I knew I was not the best or the worst.
What did you get out of football at this time?
I just liked playing with my friends and I was starting to see an improvement now. I was good at the role I was given within the game.
What made you improve in your early ages?
Learning how to kick the ball properly, and I found a position that fitted me, and it suited the way I played.
Tom started to learn how to read the game a bit more at this young age, he started understanding the game more, he likes strategy games and he started to adapt these skills to football. At this age, he did not seem to develop too much technically, but you understood how important defence was in the game and this was at a young age, when all the others wanted to be the striker and score. This made him stand out as he owned a position and did it well and this started to give him an influence on the game.
How did you feel when coming to your first 1:1 FFPC session?
I was not too sure about joining in. I was encouraged by people around me to give it a go. I found it weird and uncomfortable at first but after joining in and seeing how it was organised and friendly I did enjoy it.
I enjoyed the fact that I had learnt something straight away and could take that away from the session. I went to my next club session and implemented what I had learnt. This was a good feeling and I got compliments from my assistant coach. This gave me the confidence and feeling that I was improving.
What do you feel, the 1:1 sessions give you?
1:1 has given me the confidence and development in ability to feel good about playing football. I feel like I am making an impact in games now. Confidence and ability go hand in hand and I feel I am getting this from the 1:1 FFPC sessions.
How did you feel at the end of your first 1:1 FFPC Training Programme?
I felt that I had improved and that along with changes in the way I was playing for my team, I could continue to improve with more coaching from you (1:1 FFPC). I started to gain a further knowledge of the game and this made me frustrated as I started to believe more in myself and that I was capable of being more of a ball player. Previously, I had felt that centre back was my position as it suited me, and this was the best position. I did not get passed the ball but was able to make an impact on the game.
How you feel now about football?
I like to watch it now. On a Sunday I will try and watch Match of the Day as I want to analyse the way the game is played compared to my team. It's not easy to do but it's good to get an idea.
How do you find the 1:1 FFPC delivery?
I like the fact that it is serious, but not serious (Tom laughed). The focus on me helps me to improve and means I can see results quickly. In team training it is hard to get that focus as if 3/4 of the players are good at it (a certain aspect of football), then the other 1/4 will not get the attention, but this means they won't be able to improve.
Together, we found a new way to deliver… can you explain this?
By design or luck, I feel 1:1 FFPC have got the pairings of Coach to player really well. I think the coaches understand their players well and they deliver in the way that suits each player. I have noticed this in my brother and my friends who are also working with 1:1 FFPC.
I never really understood why I had to do something in football and that’s why I couldn't do it. When we (Tom and Matt Dingle) started to talk about football in a different (scientific) way, I felt I understood why I had to do it and this meant I could do it. We discussed how the ball is a force and to control the ball we need to give at least equal force back to stop it travelling. I liked this, and it helped me to get a better understanding of how to control the ball.