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From player to coach: Artur Longer’s journey in football

Photo by bottomlayercz0 from Pixabay

Artur Longer is a former footballer from Stryi, Ukraine, whose path in the sport has taken a transformative turn. Once a promising player on the field, Longer’s trajectory altered course following a significant injury. Determined to remain within the realm of football, he made a pivotal decision – to transition from player to coach. Now he is a prominent coach of the kids’ team named “1 on 1”.

Artur Longer’s love for football started at a young age, even though he was taking karate classes. “I always had a passion for football,” he says, “even when I found myself in the karate class at age nine.”

However, the desire to play football proved too strong to resist. “Karate was just not as captivating as football,” Artur reflects. “So, when a football club opened in my city when I was in fifth grade, I jumped at the chance to enroll.”

Artur also mentioned that his journey in football wouldn’t have been possible without the support of his parents.

Despite initially being enrolled in karate at their insistence, Artur expressed his desire to pursue football instead, and his parents completely backed his decision. “When I said that I didn’t like karate and wanted to play football, they didn’t mind.” Their encouragement and belief in his passion played a crucial role in shaping Artur’s football career.

The peak of Artur’s joy was his acceptance into a prestigious football academy at the age of 10. “It was a dream come true,” he recalls, his eyes sparkling with nostalgia. “Securing a spot in the academy was no small feat, considering the fierce competition from young talents across Ukraine.”

However, during his excitement of making his dream come true, Artur faced a big obstacle. A knee injury at the age of sixteen cast a shadow of uncertainty over his growing football career. “It was a challenging period,” Artur admits. “Facing the possibility of not being able to pursue professional football was intimidating.”

Yet, tough times often bring surprising chances. For Artur, this came in the form of coaching. “After my injury, I knew I wanted to remain connected to the sport,” he explains. “Coaching emerged as a natural progression, allowing me to share my knowledge and passion for the game.”  

Starting with small groups of young football fans, Artur found great joy in teaching and guiding them. “Coaching provides me with a platform to impart invaluable lessons that extend beyond the limits of the field,” he indicates.

Balancing between playing on a local level and being a coach presents a unique set of challenges. “It’s a delicate balance,” Artur admits. “While playing at an amateur level allows me to relish the game, coaching demands firm commitment and dedication.”

Yet, for Artur, the rewards far outweigh the challenges. “Witnessing the growth and development of young players is immensely gratifying,” he adds. “Their enthusiasm and eagerness to learn serve as constant reminders of the magic of football.”

He shares that his favourite moment is to see kids’ emotions, their joy and naivety. “They all want to become the best footballers in the world,” Artur says with a smile.

As a coach, Artur Longer prioritises instilling important values in his young footballers. He emphasises the significance of correct thinking on the field, encouraging his players to maintain a positive mindset and never give up. “It’s not just about improving their technical skills; it’s about teaching important values like never giving up, working together, and fair play.” Central to his coaching philosophy is the belief that hard work leads to success, a motto he repeats to his team to reinforce the importance of effort and dedication in achieving their goals.

In children’s football, failures and setbacks are inevitable, but Artur approaches these moments with composure and resilience. He maintains emotional control during games, setting an example for his players and reminding himself that mistakes are part of the learning process. “Children’s football is unexpected and unstable. Because children are not such mentally strong as adults.”

Understanding that football is a journey of growth and development, he encourages beginner players to persevere and continue improving, advising them to remain patient and persistent in the pursuit of their dreams. “The most important thing is a way of thinking because it decides a lot at the football field.”

He recognises that coaching young footballers requires patience and psychological stability, as not everything will always go according to plan. “I never show kids my emotions, it’s very important to keep yourself in control.”

With a long-term vision in mind, his goal is to nurture as many professional football players as possible, aspiring to train a successful professional team in the future.

Ultimately, he aims to provide every child with the opportunity to experience the joy of playing football and to help them develop a lifelong passion for the sport.

“I aspire to cultivate a new wave of professional footballers,” he asserts with resolve. “My aim is to educate young talents with the skills and support they require to thrive in their beloved sport.”

Artur Longer’s journey from player to mentor shows the enduring spirit of football. With perseverance and dedication, he has turned challenges into opportunities, motivating numerous young talents in the process. As he guides the next wave of footballers, Artur’s legacy shines as a source of inspiration for those who cherish the sport.

@1on1.ua2019

Турнір «Львівський лицар» , команда «1на1» 4 місце😁

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