I rarely get any bullying of any kind with the teams I coach, the schools I teach at or the football camps I run and thats because I try my hardest to create a ‘team’ culture between the whole group.…

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Claudio Ranieri.. Victim of a Dysfunctional Relationship!

Claudio remains to me, a victim of a Dysfunctional Relationship.. Between business and football. The two will never mix well, so will always cause a huge divide between fans, pundits and media.

The sacking of Ranieri leaves many shouting "disgrace!" and many nodding in approval at the decision. Those of us who believe sport is about emotions, sentiment, feeling ETC have a foul taste in our mouths with

the decision and on the other hand the rest of us who understand that decisions like this should be detached from emotions are good with it.

Football, especially at the highest echelons of the game is all about money and the business men that run these clubs have made there fortunes running highly successful businesses that warrant many cut throat decisions to secure maximum profits and targets.

A business finishing No:1 in its sector one year to be 17th in its sector 6 months later wouldn't be stood for, the manager would be fired no questions asked and most people would agree it to be the right decision.

See the disconnect between business and sport? As sports fans, we do feel, we are connected, we have sentiment, emotions..

There is a romance with sport and especially a charismatic Italian man that secured a Premier League title to a club we never believed possible..

So, as a fan of football with all feelings attached I can't help but feel deeply disappointed by Claudio's sacking! But as a business owner myself, if a manager I hired was on course to lose me 100 million, I'd sack him with no hesitation!

The ruthless side of business will never mix well with the fairytale of our beautiful game...

But I have faith Claudio will rise again and LCFC will not remain his swan song.

Good Luck CR and thank you for the memories!

MORALS OVER MONEY & GAINS....

Some people see it as naivety, as in the past, at times I’ve been walked all over, by clubs, managers, friends, acquaintances ETC.. 

But honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’m so pleased I was parented on the basis of morals. I was brought up on the principal: Morals first, everything else after. It makes it easier for me to navigate life with a clean conscience, it also helps in your decision making process.

What are your morals? What is the philosophy you want to live by?

When your growing up, I believe this to be the most important area to determine quickly and never deviate from the path you’ve chosen.

It allows me to turn down Sunderland Afc and Southampton FC at 19yrs old.. I had just broke into the 1st team at Leicester City (my boyhood Team) I was on £345.00 a week at the time.. but I was happy and contented and hungry to push further at the club. Sunderland offered me 50x my measly wage at LCFC but that didn’t waver my decision one bit.. If I’m happy and contented, thats enough for me, the money and the gains will ultimately follow.

Now, I’m not perfect, far from it, but I wanted to share this short post to preach the importance of determining your morals early in life, it makes it much easier in making important life choices that will ultimately lead to happiness and a feeling that all is good with life.

Believe me, I lived a short period of my life without a moral structure, It lead me down a path of destruction, but hey…

thats a post for a different day!!

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it.. See you all tomorrow.

My New Academy!!

Ever since I was told those dreaded words from a world renowned knee surgeon in Denver Colorado..

“You will never be able to play professional football again”

I felt lost! 

8yrs old all I ever wanted to do was play football.. practised every day, watched it every day and dreamed about it every night when my head hit the pillow..

11yrs later on a wet October night in Leicester that dream became a reality when I made my professional debut against Leeds United for Leicester City.

So naturally, when it was all over prematurely at the age of 25 I lost my way in life.. Had no idea what my next move was..

After being reckless with my money for 2 years post football it was time to find my next job.. 

I tried: Salesman

            Professional gambler

            Agent

            Scout

            Model (Hand)

            Personal Trainer

            Commentator 

            + many more…

But the first time I coached, I truly knew I had found my calling after being a pro footballer.

To teach the game to the next generation gives me the same buzz football ever did. It’s my number one passion!

If you’ve ever watched one of my YouTube videos you’ll know what I mean! MPTV videos allow me to coach lots of young footballers from afar, which I’ve loved and will continue to do, but now is the time to start my own academy…

The Football and Sports Diploma Academy will start in September 2017.

Our philosophy for this academy is to develop talented players and progress them as far in football as we can, ideally aiming at progressing players into professional academies.

FSDA will be run in line with a professional academy structure, UEFA coaching, a full games programme and as important as the football, the education programme will be of the highest standard and any player wishing to join the programme will need to understand the importance of making every effort with their study as well as their football development.

Our first trial for the academy will be on 16/03/17 6pm @Highfield Rangers Football Club. Please visit our website and register for the trial (Click on book a trial and fill in relevant information to secure your place).

www.wearescl.co.uk/football-diploma

All the information you need can be found on our website but here are a few frequently asked questions..

Who is it for?

Boys who are leaving school this year aged 16-18 who want to develop their football playing ability, gain nationally recognised qualifications and want a sports based career.

Who delivers the programme?

Delivered by SCL in partnership with Matthew Piper. SCL delivers the education provision and Matthew Piper and Owen Johnson will deliver the football development program (both of whom are UEFA qualified coaches).

How long is the programme?

It is a 2 year, full time education and football development programme.

What will I study?

BTEC level 3 diploma in sport

Sports coaching qualification

Maths and English GCSE if required 

Where will I study?

The course will be fully based at Highfield Rangers Football Club in Leicester.

How much does the course cost?

The programme is fully funded.

Post programme progression routes for players?

University

Apprenticeships

Employment

Football scholarships (Domestic/Abroad)

 

If you know anyone who might be interested in joining this academy, please pass on this information, it would be very much appreciated.

I’m looking forward to getting started and keep a look out for a YouTube MPTV video coming out on the academy soon.

Thank you all for reading and hopefully I’ll see you all again tomorrow.

Pipes

Blame... 

Who’s to blame for Leicester City’s league Position?

Who’s to blame for Leicester City’s league Position?

 

The whistle blew and ended the game on Monday night at the King Power stadium and initially my thoughts fell in line with the chaps in the studio, Carragher and Neville.. Two former legends of the Premier League that opinions I respect and most of the time always seem to agree with..

 

Carragher - “ It’s the first time in Premier League History I think both teams should be ashamed of themselves!”

 

Obviously referring to Liverpools lack lustre performance and a swipe at the Leicester team, implying they hadn’t been playing for the recently departed Claudio Ranieri.

 

Initially, these were my thoughts entirely. I went to bed happy that my boyhood team had destroyed Klopps men but at the same time I felt a slight unease at the apparent thought of the LCFC boys blatantly playing within themselves to get CR the sack.

 

I woke the next morning with the same feelings and as the day went on and I began to process my thoughts, It dawned on me I made these assumptions based on experiences from my own career, from my limited time in pro football I played under 13 managers and every single time I pulled the shirt on to represent the club and those managers, I adhered to what was asked of me tactically no questions asked and gave it everything I had.

 

BUT.. I didn’t play for any manager that had just won a Premier League title and then with in six months of winning it, decide to totally alter winning tactics. 

I can totally see as a former player and fan that many of the Leicester City players would be massively frustrated by this and there is no doubt that Ranieri’s decision to not press the ball higher up the pitch, make forward passes into opposition danger zones quickly after regaining possession, change of formation and personnel were quite simply tinkering blunders on his behalf this season.

 

The question that Neville/Carragher raised, I believe is a justified one. I put it out on Twitter that I agreed with Carragher’s damning assessment of the players, (albeit a little prematurely) and I had plenty of fans in agreement with me but a fair few in disagreement. As I said, after processing it for a time and putting myself in the players boots, here now are my thoughts.

 

I believe the players could have tried a lot harder in previous performances. I know the tactics were clearly altered by CR for this season, but as a former footballer I can clearly notice the difference between a team informed not to press and a team that have a distinct lack of effort.

My character as a former player would be to leave everything I had out on the pitch, whether I’m frustrated with the managers tactics, whether I think he’s lost his mind changing a winning method, new line ups, personnel, whatever.. I’m giving him, my club and the shirt 100% because I’m a professional footballer and thats what I’m paid to do!

 

So, clearly I don’t agree with the players taking their foot off the pedal in recent fixtures this season but I do understand their frustration as CR clearly reformed to type and tinkered with things that didn’t need tinkering with. 

Ultimately that lost him his job and although it was not the best practice from the players, the fault is CR’s.

 

Moving forward, If Craig Shakespeare gets a result against Hull, I hope he keeps the job until the end of the season. That will be Leicester’s best chance of remaining a Premier League outfit.

 

Thanks for reading, let me know on Twitter what you think.

 

Pipes

SAFC v MCFC

Sunderland can beat Man City today & heres why..

Current form, common sense, logic, league position, player quality ETC will all have us believe otherwise, but….

 

Don’t underestimate how powerful “YOU” the fans can be in fixtures such as this!

 

If the safc lads start flat, with a defeatist mentality and a lack of ambition the SOL crowd mirrors what they see on the pitch and the performance/atmosphere will become tense, nervous, disjointed and ultimately could become a cricket score.

 

However, the SOL remains my most favourite ground to perform at, If… you get the crowd on side early by starting on the front foot, with plenty of confidence, ambition and an early strong full bloodied challenge never seems to hurt.

 

If the safc boys start like that and get the crowd behind them from the off, it’s possible safc can cause a Premier League upset today! 

Believe me, i’ve been out on that pitch when the crowd are with us and the cauldron of positive vibes it can produce, the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and you feel the adrenaline surging through your veins, you feel unbeatable!

 

Lets hope the black cats create that kind of performance today, in turn the SOL crowd will deliver that special atmosphere that at times carry the team to one of those giant killing home wins.

 

I’m writing this at 1pm on Sunday 5th of March 2017, fully compos-mentis (for those wondering if i’ve lost my mind)..

 

IT’S POSSIBLE AND I FOR ONE BELIEVE..

HAWAY THE LADS!

 

** Disclaimer:

If we don’t start on the front foot and it does turn into a cricket score, please forward all disappointments to players and not me!! LOL

No money back guarantee!

Life does not come with a money back guarantee..

Going after what you want in life is a very liberating feeling.

We will not always arrive at the destination we seek, but the journey will help you grow as a human being.

 

Living life without purpose or striving to achieve something isn’t really living, it’s existing.

I existed for many years after my world came crashing down around me.. When I was told my football career was over!

 

For years I had no motivation or ambition to do anything, I was a lost soul. Ever since I was a little boy my main drive was football, it was my passion and all directions in life lead to one point…. Making it at football.

 

I now realise, I was of a very minute category of people that set a huge goal in life and go on to achieve it… but thats not the most important lesson I learned.

 

It’s important to commit to any cause you have a passion for! Set huge goals/targets, those that seem impossible to achieve because the joy is in the struggle, in the process of trying to achieve, you will learn so much; and by living for something outside of just existing your life will become so much richer in lots of ways.

 

Buy the ticket and take the ride.

 

Pipes

Active Kids

“Kids!!..Put the iPad down and let's get moving!”

In my daily job, I’m a primary school sports coach to kids of mixed abilities and I love it!

 

Upon first leaving professional football, I went straight into coaching football to kids of elite level.. (Leicester City Academy) and I really enjoyed it, but what I do now gives me just as much fulfilment.

 

The ultimate goal for training elite kids is to enhance ability, talent and knowledge of the sport, to push them closer to their desired goal, I.e, becoming a professional.

For me, it was very rewarding work.

 

Just as rewarding is coaching kids of mixed ability and igniting a love for sport. From a very young age its clear most kids love to be active and move around, but as they get older, it can be a challenge for kids to get enough daily exercise.

 

This could be down to:

How technology has become a huge part of all our lives and nowadays it’s so easy to pick up an Ipad and have hours of fun in the palm of their hand, it could be a feeling among some kids that they aren’t good at sports, or busy working families and their can be definitely a lack of active role models.

 

With so many barriers to hurdle, these kids first experience in sport has to be ridiculously fun and enjoyable, so they always want to keep coming back and in turn, stay active.

 

Thats why I find what I do now so rewarding. It’s my job, along with the coaches I employ to ignite a love and passion for sport that will stay with them throughout their lives. 

 

If a multi-sports coach does his/her job well, they can instil a love of activity and help kids fit it into their everyday lives. Doing so can set healthy patterns that will last into adulthood.

 

The key benefits of being active are huge for our kids!

 

Strong muscles and bones

Weight control

Decreased risk of type 2 diabetes

Better sleep

Clearer outlook on life

 

Healthy, active kids are more likely to be academically motivated, alert and successful. Being physically competent builds self-esteem at every age.

 

My company Football and Sports Academy aims to ignite a love for sport to the kids that attend our school sessions, after school clubs and holiday half term camps.

 

We’ll look forward to seeing some of your children on our next camp, getting them active and having plenty of sporting fun.

 

Next camp? Easter Holidays @Launde Primary School

 

Matt Piper

 

www.footballandsports.co.uk

 

zip

Footy Parent? stand back, Zip up your gums & enjoy the game!

A fellow football parent asked me last week, “why don’t you ever shout on to your lad, during the game?”

It’s an easy one for me to answer, I said, “because he enjoy’s his football, he loves it, it’s his passion and the last thing I would want, whilst enjoying a passion of mine, would be someone constantly in my ear every 5 seconds giving me instructions or trying to tell me how to do something, at the very second I’m trying to do it.”

What kind of fun is that?!

No kind!!!!

I stand back, zip up my gums & enjoy the game and in turn, so does my boy.

Let the game be the teacher! Let these kids make mistakes, choose the wrong pass, dribble past one to many opponent.. There’ll soon work it out for themselves and if they don’t, use a little guided discovery.. “ Billy, you know when you tried to dribble past that 7th defender and got tackled, what could you have maybe done differently?”

“Got my head up and passed to Jonny on the wing?”

“yes Billy, I bet your team would have scored from that too, try it next time buddy!”

A little guided discovery and I bet you next game, Billy will get his head up and roll in Jonny on the wing. He may not do it every time but a little reinforcement from you and before you know it, he’ll be making many more informed choices on the pitch and the best thing is, all the answers will have come from him, now you’ve started to build up a positive model for your Son/Daughter to improve their game.

Next time your at a kids match, remember.. Stand back, zip up your gums & enjoy the game! The only time it’s appropriate for a parent to shout on? Encouragement! & a cheer when they score! Save your sideline coaching until your in the car on the way home and then ask some questions and use a little guided discovery.

Let them play and enjoy the game we all love!

Stop giving it Mourinho from the sidelines because lets be honest….. you probably didn’t even make the school B team!!

;-)

Pipes

Bully

Coach?? Create a Bully Free Football Team..

I rarely get any bullying of any kind with the teams I coach, the schools I teach at or the football camps I run and thats because I try my hardest to create a ‘team’ culture between the whole group.

From the offset I take a mental note of the smallest things I think may lead to something worse, I.e: sniggering if another kid misses an easy chance, has a bad touch ETC.. 

I call the kid over and just have a quite word: “If that was you who missed that chance, how would you feel if someone laughed at you?” Usually the response I get: “Not very good” me: “No you wouldn’t, but how would you feel if a teammate shouted over: unlucky mate better luck next time, keep going!”?? Usual response: “I’d feel better..” me: “right..so try that next time, yeah buddy?” 

To some, this may seem a bit over the top, (they are only kids and thats what kids do), but for me, it’s building a group culture of encouragement and a team full of encouragers. Thus, eradicating a problem before it rears it’s ugly head. 

The kids know, (even if subconsciously), no way i’d get away with bullying someone if I get pulled up by the coach for sniggering at a missed shot.

I’m a fun coach, but I stamp down hard, early doors on things that could damage the culture of the group. 

Once you’ve let a couple of small incidents go, things can escalate quickly and once they have it’s so hard to pull it back.

Remember; the coach is in charge and sets the tone for the culture he/she wants to build and bullying behaviour won’t be able to start if your culture is based on encouragement, team spirit and togetherness. 

Good Luck Coach..

Pipes

MPTV Blog - Matt Piper