Sharath Kamath, a common man who got mentored by Mr. Thomas Joseph (national youth football coach for a decade) and supported by a dear friend Abhishek Jagan (Won the ISL with Chennaiyin FC once) is doing things which are really uncommon. These people are not running a race but a marathon in the name of “Bangalore Education and Sports Trust (BEST)” to change the future of Indian football.
In words of Sharath Kamath
“Some of the top players in India playing ISL and I league never got 5% of what someone in England would get as a kid. These things help developing them into a premier league quality player. Why do we keep complaining and keep getting disappointed that Indian football has no scope. Our collective expertise and network in the domain has established a fact that even the highest levels of football, especially ISL and National team lack structural requirements to provide basic needs of football players. They do not have facilities required to take on global level challenges”
“A small block of a few apartments and homes in the US has sports team of kids, amateurs and professionals funded by generous contributions of the people from the block. Sports are taken seriously there and extrapolation of these small blocks, counties and states has a tremendous contribution to the national team’s success which is why their national teams stand up proud in world competitions.”
Sharath Kamath: His views on Indian Football
Sharath Kamath had evaluated what goes wrong in the Indian national football team. He says it is the same case of why Louis Van Gal (Former manager of Netherlands and Manchester United ) could not get anywhere close to Alex Ferguson’s (Most decorated managers of Manchester United and the world) team chemistry with the same squad of players . Incompetent football managers and football coaches is the biggest problem of the football system in India. Right at the top, in Indian football, we have foreign managers and coaches with no accomplishments at the world stage. The innovation factor is very minimal or non existent. They try to take existing knowledge of what has worked in Europe and implement it here. There are so many roadblocks in the form of physical, cultural, political, social and mental problems that needs attention.
With Bangalore Education and Sports Trust (BEST), Sharath Kamath wants to change all this. He wants to bring about a change by educating people and help them envision a sense of national pride in the small things they do for sports. An example could be like promoting a talented athlete as a hero in the society for more visibility. This will lead to injection of sponsors funds at a low level and will support the career of sportsperson from a young age.
B.E.S.T. & What is Best about it
Science drives B.E.S.T.’s methodology. They do extensive research on muscle firing patterns, injury prevention , strength and conditioning norms with innovative grid systems football programming. This helps in developing athlete’s muscle memory in a lesser time. They have designed the drills in a way where they help players achieve requisite amounts of technical specifications to satisfy the international brand of football.
BEST is one of the only few academies in the city who train 6 days a week on a natural turf 11 a side pitch, a training facility, a dressing room and a rehab pool. Currently about 40 players are training at the academy. Global standards say 1 out of every 40 players in a youth system become a professional. They are waiting with all the patience to see the magic happening. It just needs huge amounts of perseverance and passion to keep going the way they are.
They keep looking for like-minded people to join them especially bright coaches. The problem they face, in recruiting them, is the poor education our system is imparting to the young coaches. The coaches lack the knack for innovative coaching. Hence, they are planning to start an internship program shortly to educate coaches about structural needs for football development.
The players are reciprocating the work BEST has put in over the past one year. BEST has full faith in the possibility of one of them wearing the blue jersey of Indian team soon.
The academy is open for all the football career aspirants and free to join. A person has 7 days to prove one’s talent which gives him/her longer free stints with the academy. The academy runs on personal savings of Sharath and Abhishek. They are looking for people to help them in any way to make a big difference in Indian football.
Ordinary people are doing extraordinary things in our wonderful country. Another such inspiring story is that of Atita Varghese who is India’s first professional skateboarder.