Professional Football-Freestyler

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Sorø Meeting 2016 - Special - March 2016

So this year I returned to one of the biggest events on the freestyle football calendar, the Sorø Meeting!

Sorø is a tiny place in Denmark but once a year freestylers from all over of the globe travel to attend this huge meeting of lots of freestylers under the same roof. It's a time for just constant training, chilling and just generally having good times with the people we do not get the chance to see that often.

I went there with one of my best friends Kevin Buchert who is also a freestyler from Berlin, I also managed to vlog a lot of each day so I could capture the essence of the Sorø meet in all it's glory. Below you can also find each vlog (there are 4 in total from the trip) with some of the highlights from each of my days there.

So when I finally arrived there I had a blast of nostalgia as I had not been to this place in a good 4 years or so, everything looked very familiar though. It was so good to see everyone again. So in this legendary sports hall not only is it the place that we train but we also stay here as well in some of the small rooms connected to the main training space.

I had my first proper training session of the trip on the arrival day, although I was not really satisfied with my freestyle on this day I was just very happy to be surrounded by all my homies and like minded people. On this day I spent a lot of time freestyling and talking to Kevin (Germany), Jaime (Spain), who is a definite contender for having the coolest tattoo ever! (check out the vlog) and also Tonic (Netherlands) who gives some good tips in the vlog for doing PATW (also known as the Triple Around The World).

 

On the second day me and Kevin got up super early while everyone was still asleep to go outside and play some football on their full size outdoor pitches. It was very cold but a fun and refreshing way to start the day!

I had the chance to meet some of the younger freestylers or the 'next generation' as some may like to call them. Aksel from Norway and Christopher from Denmark to name a couple are really pushing their own limits at such a young age and it is very motivating to see so many people get into freestyle at a younger age.

I also spoke with Gunter (Italy) who is a household name in freestyle, winning the Italian Championships 4 times and competing in countless competitions at the most elite level. He was training for like 10 hours on the first day which is just absolutely crazy!

I was also reunited with my good friend Dara Coyne all the way from Ireland (goes to show how internationally freestyling is really bringing people together to one tiny city in Denmark). As is also mentioned in the Vlog, Dara runs a very in depth and high quality YouTube channel 'Your How To Do' which features lots of tutorials on freestyle tricks and is definitely worth checking out!

Generally there was a LOT of freestyle happening in this one, you could say it was business as usual. I myself had 3 sessions in this day and was a lot more pleased with some of the combos I was able to do.

 

After another early morning start with Kevin and after breakfast I decided to take a little dip in the ice cold lake. It was so cold that it had completely frozen over (we had to break it just to get in) and I could not stay in there long but it felt invigorating and amazing nonetheless!

More freestyle sessions took place once again, probably one of the most packed occasions of the hall for freestylers and I was happy with some of the combos I managed to land. In between freestyle sessions it is cool just to be able to talk to people too, I seemed to find myself chilling a lot with the Finnish Freestylers in the rooms away from the training hall. In addition to this it was great meeting legends like PWG and Marcus Holmberg (Sweden) too. At the end of the freestyle session it was also fun to mix things up with playing a bit of football indoors.

Even though the last day had come around already everyone was in very good spirits. There was still a lot of freestyle going on. I again found myself hanging out with the Finnish guys quite a lot again including Pege who is also one of my best friends in freestyle I would say, funny guy and also king of the trick Sagami Around The World!

It was only on day 4 that I finally got a chance to meet and speak with the organisers of the whole event; Lars Munck and Simon Atli. The duo have been organising the event for the past few years and I just want to thank them once again for doing such a great job and bringing so many freestylers to the same place from many different countries, it's incredible to be a part of it. According to Munck, there are so many freestylers attending now that they are planning to move the next one to a new location which he talks about in my vlog.

Even though Sorø is a small city in Denmark that most of you probably haven't heard of, it was great to visit it again and when away from the immediate freestyle I have to acknowledge  friendly people living in the city of Sorø. I recall on one occasion when I was in the supermarket I didn't know whether there was ham in one of the pasta dishes, and one guy literally stopped what he was doing and took it to go find someone who worked there to ask him for me, incredible!

Finally, it was also really nice to see some of Copenhagen with the Finnish guys before we had to get our respective flights home, it is a really nice place I recommend visiting if you get the chance!

Overall the trip was a wonderful experience for me and again I leave with many fond memories. It is hard to put it into words how far this sport and its community has developed and to be a part of events such as this which demonstrate the amazing levels of the freestylers as well as the friendships made with these people for me is just priceless. I hope to see everyone who was there again as soon as possible!

To conclude, I think this clip below sums up the trip for me:

Thanks again for reading,

Peace!

ATR Performance - January 2016

I had an amazing start to 2016 where one of the highlights certainly was having the pleasure of performing along side incredible freestylers Jacek, Szymon, Mikolaj, Nina and Adriana, for ATR in Berlin. Some pictures from the event can be seen below.

This was a gala event for ATR who are the leading company in the selling and repair of car parts, and just as I anticipated it was a huge turnout of people. The venue for the evening was Berlin's amazing Estrel Hotel which is the capital's biggest hotel and hosts lots of shows and entertainment type events throughout the year. 

For this event I got my own personal outfit on the day to perform in; all Adidas as always! Above is a pretty cool action shot of me just warming up alongside Adriana. Having a small room or space to ourselves to stretch and warm up with some easy tricks before performing is definitely a little thing I can appreciate, rather than just turning up and going straight into it! Taking the time to mentally prepare yourself before a performance or event I find to be incredibly advantageous, thinking about what sort of tricks you want to do but also paying attention to physically how your body is feeling that day, like if there are any particular aches to be aware of.

Of course before every performance I am happy, even if I am a little nervous it is because I really care about it and want to do an amazing performance, the best I possibly can! The photo above sums it up for me really, filled with giddy excitement once you are finished warming up and heading out to the main area.

Here we were just waiting to be called out to perform by the host speaker for the evening's event. If anything, this is always the peak of excitement or nerves for a freestyler but we were welcomed out to a great reception and the main freestyle show we all performed together was really good.

Typical reaction from people watching what we do is to pull out their phones and take pictures and record. I think judging by some people's reactions at this event this was their first time ever really seeing freestyle football so it's great to be able to show people what is really possible with afootball.

Here with Szymon (Poland) and Adriana once again. I remember we ended up showing off our tricks in so many different lighting conditions in this venue which was kind of funny for us but the main show in particular was a huge success I have to say. After the main show we later on continued to perform more freestyle tricks in a much more informal manner as a 'walk around' act of the event. It was really nice to mingle and speak to the guests there and they had a lot of nice things to say about our freestyling!

You might be thinking why would a company that deals in car parts and repairs be interested in working with football freestylers, like where's the connection?

Well the answer is simple, freestylers are a great source of entertainment! Not to be just considered as some kind of athlete that just trains very hard with a football constantly (although we do train very very hard haha), it is nice to be given a platform like these types of events to share freestyle football with others, especially with those who have not seen it before and I cannot stress how good the reception was from this one, I was smiling for a very long time after.

What was great about working with other freestylers at the ATR event is how we all were able to bring our individualities in terms of the tricks we do and our personality together. Szymon for example is a former world champion and demonstrated his crazy upper body skills while I recall doing a lot of sitting down tricks. it's almost as though each freestyler was able to bring their own 'flavour' to this event and show a wide variety of mind blowing skills.

This here is easily my favourite picture from the evening, striking one of my favourite freestyle poses here on the floor with the football on my face! As I said earlier the people who attended the gala event were super appreciative of the freestyle on display with many filming and taking photos as you can again see here from this guy.

All the great photos from this event were taken by Helge Mundt who also happens to be a good friend of mine. You can check out more of his awesome work here.

The ATR event was a huge success and hopefully I get the chance to work with some of those fantastic freestylers again soon.

Peace!