Heartfulness and AIFC – Association of Indian Football Coaches Launch the Heartful Coach Program for 2021

Launch of The Heartful Coach program by Heartfulness and AIFC.

Hyderabad/Mumbai, 21 September 2021: The Heartfulness Education Trust and AIFC, the Association of Indian Football Coaches, launched the national program, Coach to Heartful Coach as part of the International Day of Peace Celebrations. The Heartful Coach is a 3-day masterclass program designed to introduce a heart-centered approach to sports coaching in schools. More than 3,000 coaches will be participating in the virtual program this year. Eminent guests including Mr. Aditya Thackeray, Hon’ble Cabinet Minister of Tourism & Environment, Government of Maharashtra; AIFC Founder & Director Mr. Dinesh Nair; Mr. Pullela Gopichand, Chief National Coach, Indian National Badminton Team; Mr. Bharat Madhavan, Director Heartfulness Education Programs launched the program.

Sport is one of the facets that drive holistic development among children and connect to their hearts. Sports coaches, therefore, play a crucial role in inspiring children to achieve their dreams. Often coaches are mentors to the children on and off the fields. The influence of coaches is beyond the games as they imbibe life skills such as discipline and consistency. A coach’s strength is in the calmness of his mind, cool temperament, tons of talent and self-belief. It’s the coach that finds diamonds in the dust. In many ways, coaches enable the mental, physical, psychological, and personality developments within children. The Coach to Heartful Coach Program enables football coaches to connect with the infinite potential of their hearts. The three-day immersive program that starts today includes Heartfulness Practices for inner peace, self-transformation, and overall well-being. The program hosts a 75-minute session on topics like coaching with the heart, being a heartful role model, and achieving coaching excellence.

Speaking on the launch, Mr. Aditya Thackeray, Hon’ble Cabinet Minister of Tourism & Environment, Government of Maharashtra, said, “As sportsmen, most of us want to excel and win, bring laurels for the country and society, at various levels. We want to play fair, win and create a name for our team, ourselves, and our sport. It is the spirit of winning that creating champions in sports. But the idea is to go one step further and create champions in life. A coach wields the art of nurturing and bring out the best in society. We have brought all coaches across India for Heartfulness. Today’s sport is about life and being a winner in whatever role you play in your life besides sports. The art of nurturing are aimed at learning and absorbing and sharing from each other at an international level for a better future.

AIFC Founder & Director, Mr. Dinesh Nair said, “Every child who plays a sport may not become a champion, but as coaches, our role is not only to create an Olympian or a gold medallist but to nurture children and look at the overall holistic development of a child to create role models and responsible citizens. We need to nurture a child’s mind, so let us embark on the journey of a ‘Coach to Heartful Coach’.”

Mr. Pullela Gopichand, Chief National Coach, Indian National Badminton Team said, “In the 35 years of my life as a player and coach, it has revolved around producing champions. Around 11 years after I began to coach, I realised that the number of people who come out confident in sports is a lot lesser than those that come out of sports dejected. It’s not about how many champions we make, but how many of them are on the journey. For too long sport has been for the winning few, who are genetically endowed, have better facilities, and it’s time we need to change that. Sports gives us more than medals – it helps us to share with the team, being part of the team, and gives life lessons. It is in the art of the coaching and heart of the coach – integrity, compassion, and trust are important for a coach. Being connected with the self is very important.”

Mr. Bharat Madhavan, Director Heartfulness Education Programs, said, “The launch of the Heartful Coach, coincides with International Peace Day. It is in the alignment of peace and relaxation with success and happiness. Inner peace is the secret formula to success in any field. The qualities of a coach to observe and not react, to let go and stay relaxed, and show empathy and compassion are necessary for a coach. Harmony between the inner conscience and the inner coach is possible only for a calm mind to achieve the peak performance and be in the zone. For an effortless performance, the Heartful Coach training programme comes in for inner integration that helps in tapping into intuitive capabilities for both the coaches and the players.”

Last year, Heartfulness Education Trust and AIFC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to introduce the transformational ‘Heartful coach – Let’s Coach with our Heart.’ The ongoing program is intended to help sports coaches from all strata and regions of the country.

About Association of Indian Football Coaches (AIFC): The Association of Indian Football Coaches (https://www.the-aifc.com/) is the premier association of coaches in India formed in 2017. Indian football has been growing at a rapid rate and alongside this development has come professionalism. The impact of a coach is widespread; one coach can impact an entire team. Envision the impact that the AIFC can have on the development of football in India. Coaches in India have come together to exchange ideas, working in cohesive solidarity for the welfare and assurance of coaches and the improvement of the sport. A brain-child of Ex-India Goalkeeper Dinesh Nair, who went on to rope in four other eminent personalities including Arjuna Awardee IM Vijayan, former India-U23 Coach Derrick Pereira (currently with ISL team FC Goa), celebrated coach among youth football, Thangboi Sing to (currently with ISL team Hyderabad FC) and Sanjoy Sen, a name revered in Kolkata football (currently with ATK Mohun Bagan) as the Directors of AIFC. Since the inception, we have so far reached out to more than 5000 coaches through various mediums and platforms like Coaches Conference, Workshops, Webinars, Coaches Welfare. Ongoing coaching welfare program titled ‘AIFCforCoaches’ is in progress – an initiative to help 1000 coaches & families with basic supplies who are affected because of the pandemic. The webinars conducted during the pandemic saw speakers like former French National Team Coach Raymond Domenech, South African Women’s Team Coach Desiree Ellis etc.

About Heartfulness Education Trust (HET) was conceived with the vision of re-imagining education & training of children and youth in the country by integrating the ‘Heart’ in learning, training and coaching methodologies. Our programs and initiatives run across over 20,000+ schools, universities and educational institutions across the country. Programs offered by HET are designed to enable educational leaders & administrators, principals, teachers, coaches and students, imbue a ‘heart-centric’ approach to training and learning. This allows for education to be more joyful, experiential, inspirational & empowering thereby offering immense possibilities for inner transformation and excellence. To know more about HET please refer our website- https://heartfulness.org/education/

About Heartfulness Institute: Heartfulness, is a Raja Yoga system of meditation, which is also known as ‘Sahaj Marg’, or the ‘Natural Path’. It originated at the turn of the twentieth century and was formalized with the founding of the Shri Ram Chandra Mission in 1945 in India. With several million practitioners worldwide, Heartfulness meditation is a set of practices for self-development that help us find inner calm and stillness in our fast-paced world. The easily adopted practices are appropriate for people from all walks of life, cultures, religious beliefs and economic status, over the age of fifteen. Ongoing Heartfulness meditation training can be found at thousands of schools and colleges, and over 100,000 professionals are meditating in corporations, non-governmental and government bodies worldwide. More than 5000 Heartfulness Centres, known as HeartSpots, are supported by many thousands of certified volunteer trainers in 130 countries.

Annexure: Program Schedule:


Day Theme Key Concepts
Day – 1 Coaching with the HEART Infusing the HEART CONNECT in coaching

Experiential Heartfulness Practices Session – I

Coaching & Training Students Heartfully- Interactive Q&A -I
Day – 2 Evolving as a ‘Heartful’ Role Model Coach as a ‘Heartful’ Role Model for his/her students

Principles for Self- Development

Experiential Heartfulness Practices Session – II
Coaching & Training Students Heartfully- Interactive Q&A -II
Day – 3 Self-Management for Coaching Excellence Managing Stress & Emotions as a Coach

Experiential Heartfulness Practices Session – III

Coaching & Training Students Heartfully- Interactive Q&A -III

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *