Sunday, July 10, 2022

SUPERKICKS _____ Behind the scenes: the official Superkicks futsal tournament that didn't happen

NOTE: Hi! I recently posted an update clarifying Benedict Boo's role in this series, you can read it here. You can also read other posts in the Superkicks: The Secret Journals series here.
Hello! And welcome back. Glad you're following this series of posts about my Superkicks books for kids. These are thrilling and action packed stories about a group of students who get picked to join the prestigious Superkicks football programme.

As I've mentioned before, writers who really enjoy the creative process often keep journals to track everything along the way, from loose ideas to the publishing and business side of things. I'm definitely one of them. Recently I've been going through the old notes in my Superkicks journals, and reminiscing about how the whole project unfolded.

It's amazing that we've published three books so far: Time to Play (Book 1), Best Shot (Book 2), and Dare to Dream (Book 3).

* Yes, that makes it a hat-trick.

I created the series and wrote all the stories, with some help from one of my sons, who co-wrote a few of the really funny bits. But clearly it took more than just the two of us to make this happen. There was a really good team involved, with diverse talents, covering everything from editing to design, illustrations, marketing, distribution, sales, and more.

* As the popular saying goes, teamwork makes the dream work.

In my Superkicks stories, the football training programme for students is a great success all around. But in real life our journey to promote these books turned out to be a lot more challenging.

For example, there was supposed to be a big Superkicks futsal competition in 2018, to bring some Superkicks action to schools in Singapore.

A number of people worked really hard behind the scenes to put together the administrative and logistics support for this. Pretty amazing effort, which I sincerely appreciate. But in the end this event didn't happen. It had to be cancelled, to some disappointment. (This was a while before the pandemic.)

* You could say someone dropped the ball.

Also, among other proposals, we considered an ambitious plan for a Superkicks tie-up with Shonan Bellmare, a professional football club in Japan. One of our partners said he would bring young footballers from Singapore to visit and train with them. It did seem so promising. Quite a shame that this, too, did not actually happen.

I had to learn some important lessons from all this, especially regarding teamwork, fair play and character values. Like, giving someone a public endorsement before they've actually proven themselves might inflate their sense of self-importance and cause them to get carried away. They somehow forget to be grateful and cooperative.

* They become too big for their boots.

Sometimes we might try to be nice and make allowances, or accept excuses, but this does backfire. It's often important to give honest and firm feedback, and also address the shortcomings openly and frankly.

* Because to really succeed, one needs to cover all the bases.

(Heh, hope you're amused by how I've been working all these * sports phrases into this blog post.)

I've been reflecting on these lessons and recording my thoughts in my Superkicks journals, because this is really good inspiration for future sports stories. It could be a new series about badminton players, or skateboarders, or competitive climbers, or even dart players, the underlying human truths remain constant. And writing fiction is a wonderful way to help young readers develop an awareness about all this.

That's it for now, take care, and always remember to imagine happy days ahead!


— Don