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Availability Games - Espanyol Youth Academy

Hello everyone, and welcome back to Barcelona, Spain. We just completed the 12th week of the MBP Master in High Performance Soccer, and throughout the course of the week, we finished the training methodology, attended live youth academy training sessions, and attended the La Liga match between Espanyol and Malaga. As I discussed in the previous post, there are multiple components to the MBP training session design, and last week we discussed the activation phase (coordination circuits and perception games). In this edition, I want to discuss the group of exercises that are within the ‘main sub phase’ called “Availability Games” or “Recalling Games”. Dr. Rude explained to us that the last pha

MBP Coordination Circuits

Hello everyone, and welcome back to Barcelona, Spain. As I mentioned in the previous post, we have completed the 168 tactical fundamentals pertaining to the individual, line, and team as a whole (starting game zone, building game zone, and finishing zone). Okay, so now we have all of this information on the optimal responses for given situations that occur over and over in matches, which is great but we (coaches) must now create an optimal learning environment for the players (training sessions). Dr. Rude explained to us that a training method is the choice of a path to follow in order to reach a particular objective. He continued by explaining that a method allows the coach to take the team

An Application of 'Deep Practice'

“Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes myelin, and myelin makes perfect.” – Daniel Coyle According to Daniel Coyle (2009), an athlete can engage in deep practice under the parameters of the three rules including, “chunk it up, repeat it, and learn to feel it” (pgs. 79-90). Within the context of soccer training, coaches can implement the three rules of deep practice in order to aid the successful development of players. For instance, a coach could implement the three rules of deep practice within an exercise that teaches strikers to score goals off of cutback passes from wingers on the goal line. A coach could develop the exercise with four groups of players including groups of player

Tactical-Physical Training Model

From a physical perspective, the sport of soccer requires players to have strong levels of endurance, strength, speed, quickness, and flexibility (to name a few). For that reason, I felt it was necessary to formalize my education of strength and conditioning, because as a soccer coach, every training session or game is a prescription of exercise. I formalized my knowledge with the National Strength and Conditioning Associations’ – Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist certification because my vision for training and development is a holistic one. However, often times, there is a strong disconnect between the soccer coaches and the strength and conditioning coaches, and in all honest

Universal Fundamentals & Know Your Why

Hello everyone, and welcome back to Barcelona, Spain. We just completed the 10th week of the MBP Master in High Performance Soccer in which we completed the universal tactical fundamentals, attended the Champions league match, and had our third sports psychology session with Xavi Garcia. To begin the week, Eric Lira taught us the Universal Fundamentals for the three zones of the field – Starting the Game Zone (SGZ), Building the Game Zone (BGZ), and Finishing Zone (FZ). To clarify, the ‘Universal Tactical Fundamentals’ are the optimal responses in each zone. The idea is that the fundamentals in each zone apply to any player that enters that specific zone. For instance, if the game brings the

Soccer is Hyper-Complex

Hello everyone, and welcome back to Barcelona, Spain. The 9th week of the MBP Master in High Performance Soccer included lessons on the next soccer structure, the team, in addition to two more lessons on physical conditioning from Dr. Altarriba. Here we go. As I said in one of the first posts, soccer is a game full of uncertainty, and it is the coach’s responsibility to reduce as much uncertainty as possible. In order to do so, the coach must manage all of the soccer structures. Do you remember them? … Meta-Game, Game, Team, Infra-Team, Constellations, Player, Infra-Player, Coach, and Infra-Coach. After learning the 168 tactical fundamentals, I thought I had seen it all in terms of being blo

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