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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’s degree in Recreation and Sports Sciences with a concentration in Soccer Coaching.

In terms of certifications and coaching licenses, I currently hold my USSF National “E”, NSCAA National Diploma, NSCAA Advanced National Diploma, and I am also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist via the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Now that you know a little bit of my background, let’s talk Barca!

For the next 4 months, I will be a student in the Sport Networking – MBP (Making Better Professionals) School of Coaches, studying the Master in High Performance Soccer. The program will specifically focus on players 14 years old through the professional level. The course does not allow for more than 5 coaches at a given time to attend the school due to the specificity and complexity of the material. I am the first coach from the United States to attend the program, and I will be learning with 4 other coaches (1 from Mexico and 3 from Holland).

Yesterday was our first official day of the program, and for two hours, Dr. Albert Rude introduced us to the methodology that he will be teaching us for the next 4 months. Over the next 16 weeks, our schedule will consist of 4 classroom sessions per week, lasting 4 hours each, in addition to attending lives games such as FC Barcelona and Espanyol, in addition to the other clubs in Barcelona. In essence, the program is theoretical and practical since we will be acquiring knowledge in the classroom, followed by applying the knowledge in a live setting (MBP has their own academy), and then transferring the knowledge to our next coaching environment.

Dr. Albert Rude explained to us that the methodology that he and his colleagues designed began from his inclusion in a research group that consisted of coaches and researchers from the biggest European soccer clubs and universities. Due to different reasons (family, personal, professional etc.) the research group split apart, but Dr. Rude kept the studies going. After many years of hard work and determination, a formalized methodology was developed.

Although yesterday’s session was only an introduction to the course, I left the office (did I mention the office is right across the street from the Camp Nou?) knowing that I made the right decision to come to Barcelona and learn everything about football! Just the other day, my roommate said, “You know, if you want to become an engineer, you go to MIT. If you want to become a lawyer, you go to Harvard. If you want to learn about football, you go to Barcelona!”

I look forward to sharing my experiences with you all over the next 4 months.

If anyone has any questions, feel free to leave a comment!

Twitter: @brettuttley & @togsoccer

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