Coach Speak – Shankar Gopi

Coaches are the nerve centre of Great Goals operations. In our grassroots environment, they need to be able to coach football – what that means knowing to communicate effectively to a 3 year old as well as a 15 year old, planning sessions, executing their session plans, reviewing their sessions, writing progress reports for every child, class management, reinforce life skills, teach them problem solving, sportsmanship and build a healthy sporting culture – all this while our players get better at football. They also need to continuously learn and upgrade their own skills. A tall order….

Every week you will meet one Great Goals Coach and get an insight into their choices. This week, meet Shankar Gopi who returned to Great Goals in March 2021. Shankar started out as a part time football coach during his college days. He joined Accenture and worked there for 8 months, but chose to follow what he loves – football. He holds an AFC D license.

You chose to be a football coach because….?
Earlier I used to be a part time football coach during my college days. After I finished college, I joined Accenture and worked there for 8 months. I was not satisfied with my job, so I decided to work for what I love and I chose football as my profession and career and I loved to share what I know and teach kids . That’s how i became a football coach
Which is your favourite drill and why?
My favourite drill is Dribbling 1 v 1 or  2 v 2, i love to dribble past someone to show my skills. In this drill you are all alone with a ball  and you can do any skill you know, it shows more confidence when I’m having the ball at my feet.
What is your favourite moment coaching a class?
When I handled U5 in Mk sports, we did a ball protection topic. Those players are able to understand and implement the topic and coaching points.  They were able to protect the ball and we achieved it  ( protecting the ball with an active defender ).
Who is your coaching idol and why?
My Idol is Pep Guardiola, because he uses all his players to play all the positions. He developed new strategies and his famous tiki taka ideology, and the way of using wing-backs to attack, and build up play from the goalkeeper. The way he uses his GK to start buildup play paved a path for many coaches to coach like him.
What  is your philosophy as a coach?
My philosophy is that each player should know all the basics, and even if a player is not able to achieve or perform in a match or drill, i want them to try and fail, i don’t want them to fail without trying. 
What is your favourite thing about Great Goals?
In Great Goals we have freedom to think and implement our ideas with the help of structured curriculum, and everyone in Great goals motivates each other. Players are having a proper training method. Even if one kid cannot cope up with other kids,  we make sure the kid is able to achieve his own goal with the help of Great Goals.
What gives you joy?
I feel joy when I’m coaching grassroots, as it helps me a lot to improve my objectives as well as I feel happy to coach these kids.
What’s your favourite tool to motivate a player?
Giving positive feedback and encouragement even if they do wrong things, and I motivate them to do better and achieve their goals.
Great Goals is….
… a very good platform for coaches to learn and gain coaching knowledge. Well organized management.

Meet the coaches featured previously here:

Daniel Liu

Shaik Moulali

Pavithraranjani

Prithvi Jagan