Olé Football Academy 2018 CANi Conference
To kick off our 2018 Academy year, we brought together the Academy players for our annual CANi (Constant and Never Ending Improvement) Conference. This event signifies the official beginning of the Olé Academy year with our residential students moving back in, and all programmes up and running for 2018.
Our conference focus was inspired by the recent visit of Todd Beane, who spent 14 years working under legendary Dutch coach, Johan Cruyff. In Beane’s post-trip blog post, he shared this:
“But what I do know is that there are no excuses on the Tasman Sea. Whatever football is in Wellington, it will be thanks to good people rethinking and redesigning talent development.” – T. Beane
We agree! We believe there should be no excuses why New Zealand cannot develop elite professional football players. This message from Beane challenged the Academy players to look at themselves and through reflection of their actions, and opportunities, create a No Excuses Environment for themselves to thrive and succeed.
In combination, players used a philosophy from Cruyff that Beane shared,
“Where I am………………………….Where I might be”.
Academy players reflected on where they are now, their complete training, nutritional, recovery, and breathing methods, and were asked to complete an essay of where they might be. Using their creative minds, how far could they explore into the future to where they might be? For every player, there is a gap that they wrote down and elaborated on in their own words, sharing what they believe they must do, how they must train, behave, and live in order to close the gap.
Footballer – Human – Scholar
Over the course of the conference, Olé Academy players were challenged to show courage and be vulnerable within all the exercises we had them do. They were encouraged to speak up and respond to the coaches in front of their peers, where for some it was an uncomfortable and intimidating environment. Players reflected on the Olé values and with some encouragement, they went deeper on the topic of WHY. Sharing what they believe Olé is and why Olé is the way it is and why, as an organisation, that we do what we do, in the way that we do.
The environment created by the older players allowed everyone to feel comfortable and be themselves, truly expressing their creativity and talents, on and off the field. With the various activities, beach soccer at Indoor Beach Sports, camping at Battle Hill, and challenge day at Titahi Bay, our students were given many opportunities to express themselves, be courageous and most importantly, enjoy themselves and the company of others.
It was a fantastic weekend, living #TheOléWay, and we finished off with a competitive internal game between the current training squads, ending in a 0-0 draw.