INTERVIEW WITH RCD ESPANYOL ACADEMY COACH ENRIQUE MATHEO GARCIA
Between October 25- 28 we hosted La Liga club RCD ESPANYOL here in Stockholm, Sweden.
The Coaches Clinic ( 9 hours theory, 5 hours practical/observation ) was delivered in immaculate style by RCD ESPANYOL Academy . The Swedish coaches attending this brilliant educational program where given an insight in to the philosophy and methodology behind player development in Spain.
The players camp provided a unique chance for 30 players to learn and experience how young players are developed and coached at one of the world’s best football schools- SPAIN.
Many thanks to RCD ESPANYOL coaches Enrique Mateo Garcia and Jordi Peris Llorach for a highly inspiring 4 days in Stockholm.
During the Espanyol Coaches Clinic here in Stockholm there was a discussion about perception. If we consider the Perception-Understanding-Decision- Execution chain we know that with traditional models the focus has been on the execution of the technique. At what age do players start working with perception at Espanyol ?
ENRIQUE: In RCD Espanyol we start working with perceptual mechanisms with 7-8 year olds . The perceptual elements we use are very simple, and as the player develops , we increase the complexity of the number of stimuli.
What methods do you use to help develop perception in the young player
ENRIQUE: We use simplified game situations ( small games where the play is isolated within the game context : 1×1 , 2×1 , 2×2… ) and contextualised ( global game with all team members focussing on the offensive and defensive aspects ) .
Do you think that many coaches underestimate the learning ability of children ?
ENRIQUE: Some coaches underestimate the cognitive potential of children to understand different game situations. These coaches must also go through a learning process to realise that children are able to learn quickly and easily.
What is the first thing that you look for in a player that makes you think that he / she can become professional ?
ENRIQUE: The ability to respond to and solve game situations with ease. We are looking for smart players who can develop different actions within the context of the game.
You have just finished 4 days of coaching in Stockholm. What is your opinion of the young Swedish players that you have worked with ?
The Swedish players have a great technical and physical level , but have difficulty solving tactical situations and interpret different game situations.
How do you see the future of player development ?
ENRIQUE:. It is very important to develop a program from an early age that is different from the current traditional methodology . A program using mental stimulation. The whole program should be focused on improving the cognitive aspects of football.
Enrique with ex La Liga player Henok Goitom and Costa Rican international Celso Borges at the Espanyol training camp Stockhom October 2013.
For more information on Espanyol events in the Nordic Region http://www.espanyolfootball.com/