Day 1: ‘Dual careers : Sporting and academic development for the sportspeople’ | GERMÁN PARGA - FCB

The director of the FC Barcelona Masia 360, Carles Folgeura, led a workshop on Tuesday titled ‘Duel career: Sporting and academic development for the sportspeople’ at the 1899 Auditorium at Camp Nou. The talk forms part of the activities programmed for ‘Setmana de la Masia’ (La Masia Week), events dedicated to various aspects of the all-round development of the young sportspeople at la Masia.

For Folguera, the importance of the Masia 360 programme lies in its emphasis on “learning, sporting values but also in accompanying the sportsperson.” The project begins when the “youngster arrives at the Club, full of fears, doubts and uncertainty. They then go on to move through the different age groups until they reach the professional stage and once that is over the circle is complete as they become sportspeople who become vital to the Club as they can continue to work with us to help them and also the Club.”

“The centre of the Masia 360 programme is always the sportsperson; they are the central character and it goes beyond simply hours of training.

“We are talking about the relation with the players’ families, about their frame of mind, injuries and other hurdles to overcome.

“The family is another important aspect because they are leaving us their most treasured possession. We include them in the process of accompaniment,” continued Folguera before asserting: “Being better people will make them better sportspeople.”

The figure of the tutor is also key in the development of the youngsters at la Masia according to Folguera. “They are the people who accompany them in their day to day life at the Club,” he said.

In conclusion Folguera added: “The distance between where the youngsters train and where the professional train is very short but to get there, there are a whole series of obstacles they not everybody can overcome. For that reason, it’s very important for the all players to have an education.”

Other contributors to the talk were quick to express the same valuable point. José Maria Amorrurtu, sporting director of Lezama, Athletic Club Bilbao’s equivalent to la Masia, explained: “A player’s education has to be understood in all its complexity and dynamism, within a culture of learning, participative and self-critical and geared towards performance.”

Susana Regüela, responsible for Youth Development at the Sports High Performance Centre in San Cugat, near Barcelona, added: “The academic and human education of each individual is more important than the sporting one.”

In a similar vein, Chiara D’angelo, psychologist at Italian football club AC Milan, maintained: “We accompany all the sportspeople during their whole time at the club with an all-round education.” Finally, Pablo Borras, coordinator of the youth teams at Club Estudiantes basketball team, highlighted the importance of the figure of the mentor. “Players have to know how to behave, have respect, think of others, know how to use social media and how to deal with novelty of earning money and that can only come about with the help of a specially trained individual,” he concluded. 

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