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European Academy Training Session PDF

European Academy Training Session

Between 7th and 20th of February 2016 I was in Belgium and Netherlands on a coaching internship.
First I visited Sint Truiden (Jupiler Pro League) where I could observe coaching work within first team and academy.
In Netherlands, I visited PSV Eindhoven (Eredivisie) where similar like in Belgium I had the chance to observe the work and talk to coaches of the first team and academy.
In few articles I will describe my experiences and the most interesting conclusions from that educational time.
I will start with training forms that do not include the presence of opponent, which I observed in „De Herdgang” (PSV Eindhoven Training Ground).
I thought that was very interesting, because I saw such forms used relatively often in PSV Academy.
I had the opportunity to observe many training sessions of age groups from U11 to U18 and unopposed drills were rather regular part of their session
They were usually based on schemes of passing drills and some examples of those I will present below the text.
Why it was surprising for me?
It is not a mystery that drill without opponent are always present in the initial phase of football education.
I thought that players who are part of PSV Academy, due to their high skills, work mainly with more complex drills and small sided games.
Football is such a complex sport, that the current trends are revolving around a training process possibly similar to environment of rivalry of a match.
The base for such point of view are tests for how our brain works.
For example, player who is able to be very effective and quick in dribbling and moves without the presence of opponent, could be completely ineffective during the match.
It happens because the very execution of drills is only one part of the activity.
The rest is based on decision making and perception.
And that is influenced by distance to opponent, moving ball, the area, opponents’ and teammates’ positions. 

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