Polish Soccer Skills is a complex soccer training system for children and youth. It has its own vision and educational methodology aimed at players’ individual skills development and of their positive attitude towards attaining success.
– Polish Soccer Skills was created in 2007 when we organised the first camp and we managed to recruite only sixteen children. The others were players from an orphananage. As to compare- this year 4 000 young people participated in them and, all together, 12 000 girls and boys have taken part in the camps so far – informs Krzysztof Kunik, the co-owner of the club.
Mrs and Mr Kunik created their own system of soccer education starting with their son.
– We are a football player’s parents and we considered him a great competitor, but when we compared his skills with his colleagues from the Czech Republic, where we used to live at that time, it proved not to be that rosy– says Mrs Evelina Stępień- Kunik, the co-founder of PSS. – We acknowledged that potential football players would require individual trainings similarly to children learning foreign languages.
The Kuniks dealt with that task like with a project, they made SWOT analysis and defined their son’s strengths and weaknesses and they decided what would need to get better and how.
That was the idea to deal not only with moving on the soccer field but also with the competitors’ mental attitude, not always as good one as for flows in our educational system. That was the reason of the beginning of a big project, where coaches from Poland and abroad- Netherlands, United Kingdom and Germany- were invited.
They contributed to the creation of the educational system, which is tailored up to young players’ needs and it is about maximization of their abilities.
– PSS offers secondary school pupils one – , two year – , and three – year scholarships in England or in Spain. Young players stay at families’ in a given country, they learn a language and they play in a club which is the most suitable to their level – explains Mrs. Ewelina. – During adaptation period they learn culture and language of the country. If they play well and outperform others, they may be promoted to better clubs. They start not from the highest level, but from one suitable to get well introduced into playing in matches.
Mateusz Kunik, the PSS founders’ son has been training in Spain for three years. He went there as the first scholar sent to recognise the local conditions. It was a demanding situation for him, because he settled down in Barcelona without knowledge of the language and he had to learn both Spanish and Catalonian. He started to communicate in both languages very soon. Later, he lived for one year in Cordoba, currently he plays in Sevilla. He doesn’t come back to Poland for a moment, he belongs to the 3rd league senior club. This year he passes his maturity exam and plans to study.
– We offer our scholars possibility to train in Madrid and in London – says Mr Krzysztof. – My wife had the idea of such scholarships and we founded a foundation, of which she is a chairman. I hope soon we will be able to help children, who merit such chance and who can not afford a professional soccer education the way we offer. That is why we invite young players from orphanages. Since 2008, thanks to Adidas corporation, the PSS sponsor training workshops in foreign clubs.
Charisma and vocation
The Kuniks believe they do not work in their organisation, they rather realise their passions. They sacrifice all their time to that goal, also weekends and holidays. This is the reason why the WHY STORY Magazine has nominated Mrs Evelina to the title: Charismatic Woman 2016 and Mr Krzysztof as a Leader of Vocation.
– We don’t know what it is free time and what laziness means, we have always something to do, in our company or in our fundation, telephones are always ringing. We also travel frequently abroad, where we deal with the organization of the camps and we take care of our children spending 24 hours together – tells us Mrs Ewelina, a mother of three.
Her husband says she is a very determined woman and consistent in attaining her goals and he is an eternal optimist, lawyer, who believes in unbelievable and when he is taken by his dreams, she brings him down and helps him to shape his dreams into reality.
– The truth is that we are complementary and it is hard to say how things would be if we were not together, probably we wouldn’t be able to train so many players with so many results – concludes Mr Krzysztof. – The most important for us is to gather a group of people who perceive similarly the way children and teenagers are instructed, motivated by praising them for their achievements and explaining to their parents not to critisize them after the games- as it is up to coaches. The biggest value of our organisation are people who are in, without them all these systems, all what we created would be meaningless.
The Kuniks believe the common denominator for everyone who has achieved something is his dedication toward what he works upon, the spirit of non surrender and willingness to achieve aims despite all odds.
Reasons of success and plans for the future
The PSS board will develop technology of instruction based on individual approach toward each player despite fotball is a team sport. It is also aimed at changing the profile of a coach towards one who builds self – confidence of the player like it is in a case of best Spanish teams, who achieve great successes in football and in other team sports, because they do not allow negative emotions in the matter of teenagers’ education, criticism allowed only on a small scale.
– We want to pass to parents knowledge about proper training and motivation building as they- mainly fathers – commit a mistake of giving their chidren good advice in good faith, which often has a destructive impact on these young players instead of just praising them for every achievement – reinforces Mrs Ewelina. – Parents have to help and not to disturb! Moreover, the Polish Soccer Skills co-operates with Polish Olympic Committee, with recommended sport psychologist as well as with the Central Institute of Sport Medicine in matters of healthy lifestyle a proper diet and irrigation of the organism.
There are already 180 PSS licenced coaches in Poland. Every half a year there are 30 new specialists, because there are training sessions twice a year. The course takes half a year and it’s both practical and theoretical. It means there are 180 such places in Poland, where one can train using our system with our coaches, who are also available for individual soccer lessons as well as for lessons of English, which means that we have created additional source of income for our certified trainers.
Football camps are being planned in Spain (Sevilla) and in Germany (nearby Munich) called German Soccer Skills and Spanish Soccer Skills already in summer 2016. The time of winter camps is approaching as well. – Once Polish Soccer Skills has been treated with not so great esteem by our foreign coleagues, but now our Polish players’ achievements, who play in many good, foreign teams raise respect and recognition in the whole Europe – sums up Krzysztof Janik.
More information about the project Polish Soccer Skils is at: www.soccerskills.pl