I always write, parents have the largest influence on children’s lives in adulthood because ours is the first voice they hear. It becomes their norm, their language (“How you speak to your children become their inner voice”).

My daughter plays football at a very high level in the European circuit and though she is extremely fast on the pitch with unfailing stamina, she does not have the ball skills of her European counterparts (though she trains four-five days a week with Cruzeiro). And  we have a football culture in our house – G’s father used to play semi-professional football, and they watch and talk football all the time. But when it comes to ball skills, she is not on par with her European counterparts.  This is because they start at FOUR YEARS OLD (G started playing seriously at 8). And not just kicking a ball around with parents and siblings, but proper academy training with professional coaches on astroturf and participating in international tournaments.

Here are some photos the adorable little footballers in Portugal.

For a look at their training please see this youtube clip.


Cruzeiro Academy in Phuket, where G trains, has a small children’s programme. Check out their programme here.