the study of the kicking components within sports

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Kicking (удар ногой) with Olesha, Oleg & Oleg

"It requires a considerable act of imagination to conceive of a universe without football [soccer], to understand just how bizarre and intriguing the game must have appeared. The Russian writer Yuri Olesha, born in Odessa in 1899, recalled first explaining football to his father: 'they play with their feet'. The old man replied incredulously, 'With their feet? How can that be?' "
- from The Ball is Round: A Global History of Soccer, by David Goldblatt

Ukranian Oleg Blokhin made a career of playing with his feet, both with Dynamo Kiev and with the Soviet national team. These days he coaches others to play with their feet.
  • Oleg Vladimirovich Blokhin (Ukrainian: Олег Володимирович Блохін)
  • born 5 November 1952 in Kiev
  • Ukrainian football coach and current head coach of the Ukrainian national team
  • Blokhin was one of the greatest strikers in the world throughout the 1970s, hitting the target regularly through a period of great success at his hometown club Dynamo Kiev and becoming the greatest goalscorer in the history of the Soviet League.
  • In 1975 he was named European Footballer of the Year, winning the Ballon d'Or, becoming the second Soviet and the first Ukrainian player to achieve such a feat.
  • Blokhin played during most of his career for Dynamo Kyiv, becoming the USSR national championship's all-time leader and goalscorer with 211 goals, as well as making more appearances than any other player with 432 appearances. 
  • He won the championship 8 times. 
  • He led Dynamo to the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1975 and 1986, scoring a goal in each final. 
  • Blokhin is also the USSR national football team's most capped player with 112 caps, as well as their all time leading goalscorer with 42 goals; he played in the 1982 and 1986 FIFA World Cups where he scored 1 goal in each.
  • He was one of the first Soviet players to play abroad, signing for Austria's Vorwärts Steyr in 1988, he also played in Cyprus with Aris.
Russian born Oleg Parent is just getting started, but his career could also feature his feet. His kicking career also began with the round ball:
"I started playing soccer when I was four years old. I played soccer for my school, with my friends, and for big soccer club as well. And I don't think I will ever stop playing soccer because its such a fun sport to play. And I played on the streets of Russia and dreamed all my life to become an professional soccer player."
Since those early days his life has seen many changes. Orphaned at age three, he was adopted a decade later by an American couple from California. On the west coast of a new continent he learned of surfing, tacos, and kicking an oblong ball.
"I was adopted about five years ago, so I came here the summer of 2006 and I joined flag football in 8th grade. I kicked here and there, but I thought it was only for fun. So when I became freshmen in high school me and my dad we were trying to kick a football at my high school, just kind of messing around but I actually was doing good. The next thing I knew I became kicker. And of course I got lessons from Brad Bohn and Chris Sailer. That's how I became kicker."
This year his kicking career advances to the next level as a freshman at North Carolina Central University.

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