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Midfielders – Manchester United – Espanyol

Hello everyone, and welcome back to Barcelona, Spain! When you last heard from me, we were finishing up the Individual Fundamentals per Position (IFP) of the full-backs and I was talking about our experience at the Camp Nou! This past week included everything from the IFP’s of the midfielders, attending the Espanyol vs. Valencia match, and hearing from a coach that worked at Manchester United. Let’s first begin with the IFP’s of the midfielders. Once Dr. Rude began explaining the IFP’s of the midfielders, one thing became clear, coordinating the movements (offensively, defensively, and in transition) of the three midfielders (in 1-4-3-3) is a complex process. Due to the continuity of the mid

Full-backs and the Camp Nou

Welcome back to Barcelona, Spain! When I last posted, we were studying the Individual Fundamentals per Position (IFP) of the center-backs. To begin the week, our focus was still on the center-backs. We had our first tactical workshop (tactical workshops consist of analyzing the IFP’s in video clips that Dr. Rude has organized) and it was a way a great way to apply our knowledge. How it works: Dr. Rude will play a short (~9 second) video clip of a game, and then it is our job to identify the specific IFP. They key take away from the tactical workshops is the idea that we must apply the conceptual information learned in class to the real life situation of analyzing live games. After we complet

Player Structures and IFPs

Welcome back to Barcelona, Spain. In the final two sessions of the week, we started to dive into the structures of the player in terms of how to develop training sessions in addition to the Individual Fundamentals per Position or IFP from a tactical perspective. Let’s first begin with the structures of the player in relation how to train the player. Dr. Rude explained to us that when designing a training session, the coach must first analyze the player and adapt the session to the specific structures of the player. When speaking about ‘structures of the player’, I am referring to six structures that exist (or should exist) when developing a ‘structured training’. In essence, there are three

Drills vs Games

“Too many drills will kill the young players’ innate potential!” – Horst Wein The game of soccer is filled with continuous movement and flow, with unpredictable occurrences happening at any moment. Therefore, training sessions must prepare players to read and understand the game in order to experience success during their career. Within a training session, a coach can utilize different ways of teaching the game. One method of teaching soccer is by utilizing ‘drills’. According to the US Youth Soccer Coaching Manual, “Drills are generally an absence of thought. An individual repeats the same movement or patterns exactly the same way each time” (Fleck, “The Official US Youth Soccer Coaching Ma

Press Conferences & Tactical Understanding Posted on September

Welcome back to Barcelona, Spain! The past three sessions have been packed with fantastic information, and I hope to bring you all up to date. To kick off the learning week, we began with the mock press conferences. As I mentioned in the previous post, Dr. Rude explained that as a professional coach, one of the best ways to manage the meta-game is thr Specifically, we discussed the Jose Mourinho vs. Pep Guardiola confrontation in the media during the 2010-2011 season. Due to the dominance of FC Barcelona in the ‘game’, Mourinho went to the ‘meta-game’ to try and defeat FC Barcelona and Pep. In the build up to the 2011 UEFA Champions League semi-finals – FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid, Pep final

Psychology and Paradigms

MBP School of Coaches: Class #3 and #4 In class #3 (Friday’s class), we participated in another 4 hour session, but this time, we were learning from Xavi Garcia, who is one of the most important sports psychologists in all of Spain. Needless to say, we are incredibly fortunate to be able to learn from someone like Xavi. During the course of our first 4 hour session with Xavi, we discussed a wide range of topics ranging from identifying and regulating the emotions of yourself, the players, and the team as whole to discussing the term leadership and all it encompasses. To begin the session, Xavi asked each one of us to share our biggest dream/goal as a coach, and one by one, each of us verbali

Soccer Structures

“In soccer, the master of the game is not the coach, but the game itself.” Welcome back to Barcelona, Spain! Today was our first real lesson in the MBP methodology, which lasted roughly 4 hours, and let me tell you, the time flew! To begin class, Dr. Rude presented us with 3 questions, which at the time seemed relatively simple to answer, but at the completion of the 4 hours, I truly realized the complexity of the questions and the sport as a whole. We were asked: What is soccer about? What elements comprise soccer? What characteristics does soccer have? In order to help answer such questions, we watched the opening 15 minutes of the 2008-2009 Barcelona x Real Madrid match in which Barca won

Welcome to Barcelona, Spain

For starters, I just want to quickly introduce myself before I bring you along my coaching journey in Barcelona, Spain for the next 4 months. My name is Brett Uttley, and I am 25 years old, currently living in Barcelona, Spain where I am attending a coaching school in order to learn a high performance coaching methodology. In order to embark on this unique opportunity, I decided to take a sabbatical from my role as an assistant coach with the Quinnipiac University Men’s Soccer program. In addition to attending this coaching school in Barcelona, I am also continuing my graduate school coursework at Ohio University (…I am not commuting, the program is online) as I am working towards my master’

Small-Sided Games in Zone 1

“The tragedy of coaching young players focuses on the fact that many coaches may know a lot about the game, but they don’t know their young pupils.” – Horst Wein Players such as Neymar, Alexis Sanchez, and Zlatan all of something in common other than being world-class professional soccer players, and that is they all grew up playing street soccer. Due to the soccer cultures that they grew up in (Brazil, Chile, Sweden), competing with friends in the streets was the norm, while dreaming of becoming a professional player. Brazilian player Juninho said, “We all grew up playing in the street. That’s the custom. With small goals in the street. And from there we got better” (Kevin Baxter and Vincen

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