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The 6th Edition of the Barça Coach Development Program launched on the last 22nd February, an educational initiative addressed to all the educators and coaching staff at FC Barcelona and which is organized by the Methodology Area under the coordination of its Head of Innovation & Technical Development, Xavier Damunt.
This will take place all the way until the 24th March, in daily-based sessions that will complement the youth football coaches’ ordinary curriculum, with the presence of 69 lecturers that will share their know-how throughout 3 different formats:
- Rounds of short presentations
- Round tables
The nature of the different sessions will also be established in 3 different curricular areas:
- 7 external sessions
- 12 internal sessions
- 12 co-information sessions
As per the topic blocks, it will be framed in:
- Player optimization (13 impacts)
- Science, technology and football (5 impacts)
- Professional experience (10 impacts)
Over 150 professionals from FC Barcelona will be the receivers of these 41 hours of continuous education, amongst which we can find members from the First Team, men and women, Barça B, Youth Football, Barça Academy, Scouting Department, Officials of the Amateur and Professional Sections, Analysis Department, Masia, Barça Innovation Hub, …
The inaugural lecture of this Barça Coach Development Program was held by Roger Garcia, former resident from La Masia and former player from our First Team, currently professional coach. Roger, under the title “Experiences: from La Masia to the First Team”, shared reflections in relation to his journey through de grassroots, his arrival to the first team, as well as the key aspects of his current position as a coach. Roger highlighted the importance of having a defined game idea that should be internalized and comprehended by the players at the first development stages, going beyond the immediate returns and a result-centered approach that is harming youth football in the present times. Garcia remarked that “the failure in 7-a-side is not to lost a league, the failure would be not having all 12 players at the club in the next year. Improving the player and prioritizing what we already have at our home (La Masia) should be our main objectives as coach-educators”.
In the second round of the BCDP we enjoyed an exceptional round table, under the title of “The integral preparation of the football player”, and moderated by the Deputy Director of the Methodology Area, Isaac Guerrero, which counted on the presence of Angel Cappa, coach with an extensive experience in professional football, Paco Seirul·lo, Director of the Methodology Area, and Fernando Signorini, who, amongst other responsibilities, has been Diego Armando Maradona’s trainer (1983-1994) and Strenght & Conditioning coach for the Argentinian National Team. After more than two hours of dissertation, these 3 representatives of the international football landscape, have reflected about the holistic preparation of the athlete, as well as the humanistic vision that the three of them shares about the game.
The third session counted with the presence of the 3 Technical Coordinators from the Barça Academy (Pau Casassa, Jordi Arasa and Bernat Villa) who covered the “Multiformity of football around the world”, exemplifying how the idea that gives identity to our Club, is also conveyed around the globe, whilst reflecting endless possibilities of practice that the different environments promote at the different latitudes in which the Barça Academy has presence.
The third round was completed with the lecture of Francesco Farioli, current assistant coach at Analyaspor from the Turskish Super League and, until last season, member of the coaching staff of US Sassuolo from the Italian Serie A, led by the renowned coach Roberto de Zerbi. Francesco, under the title “A matter of taste: Football as will and representation” spoke about the need of finding the perfect balance between specialization and exploration.
The fourth round had as guests the Heads of the Nutrition Department of FC Barcelona, Mireia Porta and Toña Lizárraga, who conveyed the importance of the pedagogical factor, personified in the coach figure, under the scope of promoting healthy food habits amongst our sportsmen and sportswomen.
For the fifth session of the BCDP, we could presence a conversation that covered the topic “The optimization of the game idea”. At this roundtable, moderated by Xavier Damunt, member of the Methodology Area, different coaches from our youth and professional football participated. At this fifth round, we concluded with the presentation of Sergio Llana, member of the Data Science Department of FC Barcelona, who presented the project in which, alongside the Methodology Area, they are tracking the basic concepts and knowledge of our game.
The sixth round counted with Carles Bargalló, member of the Technology and Innovation Department of the Club, who talked about “Technology and Sport”. Carles presented the possibilities that technology offers to optimize feedback with our athletes, addressing the analyst’s role as well in regard to the irruption of positional data.
At the seventh session of the BCDP “The coadjuvant training in youth football” was covered, with the participation of Daniel Romero, fitness coach at the First Team, and Marc Madruga, Strengh Coach at Barça B. Both approached the role of perturbation in the motor development of our players. This seventh round also end up with the participation of different coaches from the Barça Escola, who presented a sample of the R&D projects that are planned to be developed throughout the season (the development of interpersonal Mindfulness for the players, the emergence behavior within our procedures and the need for generating meta-stability to optimize the player).
The eighth session of the BCDP counted with the presence of Jordi Guerrero, who has been the assistant coach of Domenec Torrent at CR Flamengo from the Brasilian League this season. Jordi has spoken about the “Set Pieces at professional football”, undertaking his development plan in relation to this game aspect.
Finally, the ninth session counted on the presence of the Local Projec Directors of the Barça Academies in Japan, Columbus (USA) and Warsaw, who has spoken about the key aspects to implement a Barça culture at a foreigner country.
"I would like to emphasize how important are these (in)formative experiences in regards to enhance the knowledge about the play of Barça Football around the world, based on the values that allow our athletes to be free, creatives and cooperatives. In some of the lectures that we were able to enjoy during these days, it has been highlighted a reference point in our practical proposal, which is to understand the competition not as a place of confrontation but a place in which the play manifests those values, being the disposition of the ball the means of expression around everything that happens on and off the field" states Paco Seirul·lo, Director of the Methodology Area, after the first two weeks of the Barça Coach Development Program, to which Isaac Guerrero adds "in diverse occasions we have pointed out that this differential game idea is the greatest asset of the Club and it's a reference all around the world, but this way of feeling and understanding the game doesn't have to be considered a closed and stereotyped model, but as a series of emerging intentions, comprehending our pedagogical exchange proposal, methodological and didactical as the key aspect to facilite the emergence of this game idea. At times we fall into the error of focusing our training on the behaviors that emerge, and not on those aspects that provokes that this idea emerges, and this is where makes sense to do more than 700h of continuous (in)formation, in different formats, that are promoted by the Methodology Area. The exchange of know-how with the coaches is key to guarantee that our athletes comprehend the IDEA throughout the optimization of the abilities that our facilitators (coaches) will acquire from the BCDP, amongst the other coach education initiatives that are developed in the heart of the curricular project of the Club".
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