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On June 19th, the last informative session held by the Methodology Area for this 2019-2020 season will take place. With the online presence of all the youth football coaches, there will be a review of all the general action plans for each age group, as well as the closing of the contents that have been exchanged throughout the season, the presentation of the summary of the methodological, didactical, pedagogical and technical project of our youth football and the presentation of the general guidelines for season 20-21. From this point, the continuous coach education plan will be considered terminated for the present season.
Initially, a post-season training camp with all the youth football coaches was programmed to be held in Girona. Unfortunately, given the exceptional situation generated by the state of alarm, this couldn’t be accomplished and has been replaced by the aforementioned online formative session for the closing of the season.
During the course of 11 months, the youth football coaches of the club have had occasions to optimise their tools as educators through different curricular areas, being these as follows:
- Individual and team follow-up meetings (daily basis)
- R&D Deliveries
- Ordinary Formative Sessions
- Amplification Formative Sessions
- Barça Coach Summit
- Intra-Season Formative Sessions
- Barça Coach Development Program
- End of season Formative Session
- Procedural Formative Sessions
Individual and team follow-up meetings (daily basis)
These formative sessions have taken place on a daily basis with the coaches providing feedback on the different documents and projects that have linked, continuously, the coaches with the Methodology Area, with special mention to the 3 Heads of Methodology, that are split into 3 different group stages: Iban Cuadrado, former Barça player, supervising the U16-U19 age group; Marc Quintana, supervising the U12-U14 age group; and Jordi Fernández, supervising de U8-U10 age group. This space, with great value within the formative project framework of the club, has been generated with the intention of providing the best service to the players and teams, as a continuous direct contact between the ‘La Masia’ coaches and the Methodology coordinators, in order to individualise the formative materials and to assess each coach and staff.
Taking into account both spaces of exchange, there have been 531 meetings, to which should be added the uncountable other exchanges that have been as rewarding and have been in addition to the creation of a unique formative context for the players, the future of our institution.
With the intention of creating a “HUB” with the entity’s know-how, the weekly sending of articles and other referenced documents related to the player’s optimisation has been one the tools that has been implemented by Xavi Damunt, Head of Technical Development and Innovation. This content has focused on different approaches and topics such as complex systems, neuroscience, pedagogy, etc.; and has been delivered in different formats, preferentially videos, papers or blogs. A total of 38 R&D deliveries have been executed, meaning an average of 1 hour per formative content.
Ordinary Formative Sessions
These formative sessions have taken place fortnightly at La Masia’s Auditorium “Centre de formació Oriol Tort” and have been held by the Methodology Area and led by the Director, Paco Seirul·lo, and his Deputy, Isaac Guerrero. Under the topic of “Our play”, its content has focused on the practice procedures that bring Barça’s game idea, represented by passing games, rondos and position and situation games. Occasionally, other topics such as the session plan structure, tactical insights or the pedagogical exchange between the coach and the player have been also introduced.
Amplification formative sessions
Throughout 28 sessions, some of which have been established online due to the COVID-19 crisis, external formative sessions have been offered to staff across the different areas of youth football: 50 youth coaches, the coaches from the Barça Academy, the Strength and Conditioning coaches, Scouts, Coordinators, Data and Game Analysts, Coaching Staff from Barça B, Women’s B Team, Women’s 1st Team and Men’s 1st Team. These sessions, moderated by the Deputy Director, Isaac Guerrero, and the Head of U16s – U19s, Iban Cuadrado, have seen the presence of prestigious professionals from different areas such as professional training and technical direction, methodologic development, sports science…, and ex-professional players from the entity have also contributed towards bringing valuable knowledge, in order to continue assisting our players on the same journey they have been through already.
Barça Coaches Summit
The Barça Football Coach Summit II Edition took place during the month of November at the Auditori 1899. The youth football coaches had the option to attend the congress, which was oriented towards the pedagogical capacity of the coaches at an elite level “Exchange with the player. Does the professional continue to improve?”. The attending coaches got to know, first-hand, the vision of coaches at the top level with regard to their exchanges with players, and insights on the professional coach’s role, considering this is an important asset to understand the optimisation process of the player’s development and performance.
Following the purpose of the previous edition, there was the presence of young coaches who carry out their work in elite teams, understanding that they will be the ones to mark “the line” in the coming years. Through 6 presentations and a round table, it was possible to enjoy the experience and knowledge of the following professionals: Nenad Bjelica (Dinamo Zagreb), Franc Artiga (Juvenil A FC Barcelona), Juan Carlos Unzué (Girona), Lluís Cortés (FC Barcelona Female), Míchel Sánchez (Huesca), Jagoba Arrasate (Osasuna).
Intra-Season Formative Session
During the month of January, special formative sessions took place in the presence of the renowned coach, Oscar Cano (CD Castellón), and the Handball first-team coach, Xavier Pascual.
Barça Coach Development Program
In February, the Methodology Area organized the V edition of the Barça Coach Development Program, a formative course oriented to all the sports coaches at the club. During the month, the attendees could attend lectures run by external specialists, as well as lessons from the Methodology Area itself and other lecturers from our institution. Under the coordination of Pere Gratacós, Head of Coach Education, and Xavier Damunt, Head of Technical Development and Innovation, 41h over 22 sessions spanning 11 days, and relating to 14 formative blocks, took place.
Procedural Formative Sessions
Throughout the season, coaches were offered a wide range of extra courses such as the obtention of free access to all the Barça Innovation Hub material, a course oriented to video analysis and edition software (Hudl Sportscode) and formative sessions for the use of our internal platform to generate sessions and other reporting in regards to the teams and sportsmen of the entity.
Additionally, in over 20 sessions there were formative exchanges between the Methodology Area and other professionals or institutions from the global football landscape, following a think tank format. The objective was to contribute towards the generation of the aforementioned knowledge “HUB”, turning this back into valuable know-how from which our sportsmen could benefit. In these sessions, we had the presence of the coaching staff from teams such as Legia Warsaw or Slavia Prague, both during their stay for the Youth League championship; Methodology Departments from Athletic Club and SC Corinthians Brazil; and professional coaches, experts in motricity and neuroscience, and others.
Sports visits, meetings and congresses
Finally, the Methodology Area also participated in several exchanges, congresses and summits, amongst which the Brasil Futebol Expo, organized by the CBF, the annual football congress of La Liga, the Barça Sports Science Week, the Aspire Global Summit Football conference, the Motor & Skill Acquisition Ireland (MSAI) 2020, the USC Convention Baltimore and the Annual Football Congress from the University Foro Italico can be highlighted.
We are what we know
The commitment towards the knowledge and the preparation of FC Barcelona professionals is ongoing. More than 300 players that are part of our youth teams are the prime beneficiaries of this overall knowledge circuit generated by the club, our club, which in regards to formative material is more than a club.
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