Player who attended ESI small group sessions for one full year or more.

Player Corner - Eshaan Singh

For Eshaan Singh, the goal is simple: play soccer at the highest level in Europe. In order to meet this challenge, Eshaan is making the most of his experience at ESI. He joined ESI in 2019 and has appreciated the opportunities to travel internationally, play futsal, and to develop more rapidly and completely as a player through 4 to 5 practices each week. He also recognizes the positive implications of the Institute’s core values and player objective.

“What’s different about ESI compared to my previous club is focusing on player development instead of trying to win the game,” said Eshaan. “Stéphane has taught us to focus on certain topics during the game instead of just trying to win, and at my old club my coach taught us to do anything necessary to win the game. This allows each individual player to develop their game one aspect at a time while also improving the overall team chemistry.”

Eshaan has also enjoyed the unique opportunities of playing soccer internationally – like traveling to Spain and the French Caribbean.  During his time in Spain, Eshaan scored a hattrick and was able to keep the opposing team’s pennant - what he calls his proudest soccer moment to date.

Eshaan & Taran Singh

Eshaan Singh and brother, Taran.

“I’ve had two international experiences, one being in Barcelona where I had the opportunity to play against local Spanish clubs,” Eshaan says. “I played with other American players and was coached by La Masia coaches where we were taught how to play the Barca way. Overall the experience opened my eyes and made me realize how much hard work is needed to play at the highest level.” 

Eshaan also went to Guadeloupe, France with ESI. The March 2020 trip was cut short by Covid-19 but Eshaan was still able to participate in practices with players from around the globe. He acknowledged the next-level experience and exposure to high-end talent as something that definitely supports his goal to play at the highest level one day. 

“We had a couple practices at Pole Espoir and the players there were disciplined, fast, and aggressive,” Eshaan said. “Even though we only got a short glimpse of how the game was played there, it was obvious that these players put a lot of work in their craft.”

Of all his experiences with ESI, playing in Futsal Nationals stands out as a special highlight. To get to Nationals Eshaan had to re-learn the game of futsal with a fresh approach – retraining in such a way to play futsal the “ESI way.” 

“Playing futsal at ESI is completely different than other clubs,” Eshaan said. “We (ESI) focus a lot on the technical aspect of the game like dribbling, passing, movement, etc. along with the speed of play and defensive strategies. At my old club it really was just run around and try to score a goal. I never experienced learning how to play the game the right way.”

Meeting the challenge of ESI futsal to play “fast, technical, and smart” was ambitious and Eshaan had to work hard to adapt to this style of play. He can clearly see how Stéphane’s coaching and guidance through futsal season transferred into new skills and improved performance of the team during the outdoor season.

These collective unique opportunities are some of the great ways Stéphane keeps ESI’s program challenging and competitive, which keeps Eshaan motivated. “I’m always waiting for the next challenge.”

Eshaan knows that Stéphane and his ESI teammates provide all the tools that support his player progress and growth. Eshaan says, “Stéphane has a different view toward the game than other coaches. He is not focused on winning the game but helping each player develop technically and tactically to reach the next level.” 

Part of the step up in development has also included learning the value of becoming a better teammate.

“A life lesson I learned at ESI is being a team player because in life or sports if you are trying to win, you can only do that by supporting others on your team so they can succeed at their job,” Eshaan said. 

For the 2020-2021 season, one of his newest teammates is his brother, Taran. Supporting his brother on and off the field is rewarding on multiple levels, including raising the level of both of their play - with additional time to refine skills outside of practice.

“Playing with my brother is a great experience that many players don’t get to have,” he said. “The benefits of playing with him is that we have the brother-like bond so we know what each other is going to do. We get to practice together outside of ESI and talk/implement the things we’ve been working on at practice to master them which is a big part in developing your game.”