David Villa, Ambassador of the PAPA Project

David Villa, see the world-renowned professional football player for Barcelona C.F. and member of the Spanish Football Selection that won the 2010 World Cup, ampoule talked to the PAPA team in Barcelona expressing his commitment to the project. During the interview it was reflected how important the PAPA background and the Empowering coaching program principles were in his sport career, since he was a young player through to the present.

David emphasized the importance of playing sport to improve children’s health and well-being.  In his own words:

“The kid that plays sports, the kid that plays football in this case, is going to have a healthier life than another kid that does not want to play sport.”

He also pointed out how significant the climate created by the coach was in order to reap the positive benefits that sport participation can offer, such as enjoyment, making friends, improvement, etc. His key to success? Passion for what he does:

“Passion, more than anything, for this profession. Since I was a child I have always adored this profession. (…) We come out onto the pitch to have fun. I think this is the fundamental basis, it turns out to be a game at the end and you want to enjoy being on the pitch, although you have some goals to meet”

He expressed how important coaches were to him in optimising his development from an early age:

“Truth is that coaches have helped me out a great deal through all of my life.”

David knows the important role that coaches have in the creation of positive motivational climates on their teams.

“When I was a child, I had many coaches that tried to help me identify what I need to do to develop as a player and be the best I can be. I think this is vital, especially when you are young. I have been lucky because my coaches have always tried to help me out with things that I wasn't good at. As you move toward the future, this makes you improve.”

The philosophy of the coach determines whether kids have a positive/negative experience in sport and the empowering coaching approach helps coaches create motivational climates that enhance children’s enjoyment, performance, engagement and well-being. Coaches matter!

This news story was contributed by Tania Jauni - University of Valencia. For more information about this story or other PAPA news, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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