Hi All! I know that we have been a little quiet during the beginning of this new year, but while we were “quiet” my Dad and I have been working a lot behind the scenes, preparing for our brand new expanded focus for 2021 and with CPLFever having its one year anniversary in just a few months, I'm really excited to show you what we have in store for the beginning of the new year!
Once we had started booking our interview schedules with the expanded focus of concentrating on the development of youth soccer players and the amazing trainers we have in Canada, we shortly got an interview with Game Awareness.
Game Awareness is the company founded by two brothers, Sijad and Farshad Yaqubi who are trainers out of Ontario, Canada, who have a very innovative and different approach to training the next generation of soccer players coming out of Canada.
Their philosophy is that most so much emphasis is placed on learning the technique but not enough on the “awareness” aspect of the game which is the “key.” Think quicker, play quicker.
They have trained many youth players from many different clubs all across Ontario including many players from the TFC Academy.
Several of their trainees have gone on to play at very high levels and just recently, one in particular, has gone to play with the Feyenoord Academy in Holland.
Again, like I mentioned they train many up and coming players and also train professional players, including Emilio Estevez who went on from York United to Ado Den Haag, and several players from York United: Lowell Wright, Ijah Halley, Max Ferrari, and the CPL Champions from Forge FC: Chris Nanco, Mo Babouli, Montreal Impact: Kamal Miller, Vancouver Whitecaps: Ryan Raposo, and more!
When they train players they focus mainly on one specific part of the game – AWARENESS. Awareness has become even more important in the way soccer has evolved during recent years.
If you can think a little faster than your opponent it could result in not losing the ball, a goal, and a lovely play but if you cannot think on your feet or you think even just a second slower than your opponent it could result in losing the ball, one of your defenders having to make a professional tackle that could end up seeing the player get a red or yellow card, and it could also end up being a goal on your net.
This is why Game Awareness are so effective and unique in their training and why so many players keep going back for sessions. They teach you how to be more aware and that is why so many players see such an improvement in their game from just one session.
Travelling the World
The brothers Sijad and Farshad have traveled all over the world and watched soccer. They got their inspiration for their brand of specialized training when they visited Holland and where they spent time watching soccer.
Sijad and Farshad saw behind the scenes in the Ajax academy.
One thing that made an impact on the brothers was not only the technique but the quickness. They noticed how even the youngest of players were always checking their shoulders, how aware the kids were when they were playing. Even the kids that were 6,7, and 8 were always checking their shoulders and they “showed such a tactical understanding of the game” the brothers said.
All of their training techniques are very innovative and they use their technology in a very unique way that all of the players that they train love! After sitting down with them, I couldn't wait to have my own session with them!
In the interview, we go in-depth about their progressive training methods, the different types of equipment they use like the vision goggles, the lights, and their robot! They also give us their thoughts on the Canadian National Team, the Canadian Premier League, Virtual Reality training, and some great advice about penalty taking.
So let's get into the journey!
Enjoy the interview, it's a must listen for anyone wanting to play quicker, think quicker, improve their awareness and overall soccer IQ.
And if you're anywhere near Ontario, be sure to check out their training.
Game Awareness Interview Timestamp
The timestamp below is clickable in YouTube.
0:01:34 How did you fall in love with the beautiful game?
0:04:20 What is the philosophy behind Game Awareness?
0:06:14 How do you train “awareness”?
0:08:47 How does the training work?
0:09:18 How did you develop this idea, to train the awareness/quickness?
0:11:00 Trip to Holland.
0:16:00 Impressive list of who Game Awareness has worked with. Discussion.
0:18:36 Tell us more about your equipment?
0:25:28 Your favourite players to watch?
0:28:30 What are your thoughts on the Canadian National Team?
0:33:00 Training depth perception.
0:35:59 What do you think of the CPL?
0:39:25 How do you improve game awareness while watching soccer?
0:42:00 Body positions.
0:46:00 Virtual Reality Training
0:49:41 Creating highlight videos for college, scouts, interviews, recording games.
Rapid Fire Questions