The Swiss women’s U16 has played against two teams of the FC Porto Dragon Force Valencia Soccer School, football club managed by Soccer Inter-Action with FC Porto.
Football Stages in Soccer Inter-Action not only serve to train in elite sports facilities. This week it was possible to see how Grasshopper Club Zürich, one of the most important clubs in Switzerland, dressed in his official match shirt to play two friendly football matches. Matches that have been against teams from our FC Porto Dragon Force Valencia-Enguera Football School.
In fact, the first players of the Soccer School to play against the Grasshopper Club Zürich were the U16, which served the Zürich women’s team to see the circulation ball rhythm with which they play in Spain. Rhythm and intensity with the ball that are very important in the methodology implemented by Soccer Inter-Action and FC Porto, whose results are already being seen in the young footballers members of the School and the Academy.
As for the second friendly soccer match played by the Swiss team in the High Performance Football Center of Soccer Inter-Action (where the players in addition to training and playing also had time for leisure thanks to, among other things, bike rides or billiard and ping pong tournaments) highlight that it was a great match. The Grasshopper Club Zürich Frauen U16 and the FC Porto Dragon Force played to the maximum of their sporting performance and they could see on the spectacular pitch great goals.
Videos and photos of the stage
The Swiss club, one of the most recognized in its country in terms of professional football, is staying at the SIA High Performance Sports Center with its women’s team U16.
The month of April is ending and in Soccer Inter-Action it does with the important visit of Grasshopper Club Zürich. This Swiss football team debuts at our High Performance Sports Center (SIA Center) with one of its teams that have the most potential: the U-16 Women’s team. In fact, this team, which is stay a one-week here in Enguera (Valencia, Spain) has arrived very motivated and ready to demonstrate their football skills.
With three coaches leading the staff, Grasshopper Club Zürich will use all the numerous resources that Soccer Inter-Action has provided them. Starting with the spectacular natural grass field, the important Swiss team is doing training in the morning and in the afternoon. However, not only are they enjoying the playing fields, but they also have other services such as physiotherapy, leisure rooms, gym, medical clinic or restaurant with personalized menu for elite athletes.
Parallel to their hard training, many of these young players and their coaches are sharing experiences with the members of our Soccer International Academy and FC Porto players and coaches. This makes everyone benefit from the different ways of understanding football, where from Soccer Inter-Action and FC Porto we reward and champion the Tactical Periodization.
In addition to all this, the Swiss U-16 team will play against two teams from our Football School FC Porto Dragon Force Valencia-Enguera and the International Soccer Academy. The first friendly match will be against one of the our teams male U16 and the second soccer match against our U16 women’s football team, which is making a spectacular season
Photos of the stage
When we talk about football we are referring to the”king of sports” being played by children, teenagers and adults of either sex. Obviously, the levels at which the game is played are very varied: from kickabout between friends to international competitions involving elite athletes, so it will be difficult to generalize with the recommendations that can be drawn from this article and nutrition for football players. In addition, we all have in mind the physical differences between Neuer (Bayer Munich goalkeeper) and Jordi Alba (FC Barcelona Lateral), which makes it difficult to group all the recommendations into one. We must even differentiate according to the time of the season (Holway & Spriet, 2011).
The differences can also be wide within the same group of players. For example, there may be a midfielder who has covered 12 km on average, almost a third of which has been at high intensity, while his team-mate may have total marks of 10 km with 2 km at high intensity.
In general, we will try to refer to nutrition for players who play at least one match a week and have at least two training sessions (training sessions such as those at the FC Porto Dragon Force school within the Soccer Interaction academy), so this text may be useful for those who compete in lower divisions even for fathers and mothers.
As we know, football is a highly intermittent sport with high intensity racing and very specific actions that demands a great capacity for resistance. Maximum effort actions are alternated with periods of jogging or walking in which active or passive recovery takes place. In this way it is clear that different metabolic pathways are involved in obtaining energy (Williams & Rollo, 2015).
More or less, on average, during the 90 minutes of the match, the field players (all but the goalkeeper):
- They cover a total of 9 – 13 km on average.
- They perform a total of approximately 1350 game actions (including direction changes every 4 – 6 seconds).
- They run about 220 races at high speed, reaching speeds of around 32 km/h.
- On average, approximately 1100 kcal are spent.
Obviously, in matches where extra time is required and the time increases to 120 minutes, all these numbers will be increased.
All these efforts will lead to partial (or total) depletion of glycogen stores, dehydration and hyperthermia, which may be related to fatigue. In fact, it has been observed that the number of sprints, high intensity races and distance covered are less in the second half and especially in the last 15 minutes, something perfectly logical.
The search for strategies aimed at reducing this fatigue will be the key to trying to make a difference with the opponent and achieving victory.
Not only will metabolic factors or energy requirements be important when structuring the diet before a match, but the location of the match, the time available for meals and the players’ own tastes will be essential.
If we talk about star’ nutrients in terms of fuel for football it would be carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates, are the sugars, starches, and fibers found in a wide variety of foods such as fruits, grains, vegetables, and dairy products. They are called carbohydrates, because they contain carbon, hydrogen and oxygen chemically.
Carbohydrates are one of the basic food groups and are important for healthy living. They are macronutrients, which means that they are one of the three main forms of substances that the human body uses for energy or calories. All macronutrients must be obtained from the diet; the body cannot produce them on its own.
Carbohydrates provide the body with glucose, which is converted into energy, which in turn is used to maintain body functions and physical activity.
The healthiest sources of carbohydrates are the unprocessed or minimally processed ones such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and grains.
Less healthy sources include white bread, cakes, sweetened soft drinks and other highly processed or refined foods. So we can distinguish according to the”rise in blood glucose” between:
Knowing this we must reach a compromise between consuming sufficient quantities and avoiding gastrointestinal problems during the encounter that could arise as a result of excessive intakes.
Something that has been observed in studies of top-level players, such as this one by Lian Anderson, is that, although the energy and carbohydrate requirements are higher on match days, due to the stress generated by the match or the possible trip that players may have to make, the eating pattern is altered, making it difficult to adapt to the requirements (Holway & Spriet, 2011; Anderson L et al, 2017).
Graphic 1: Taken from Jeukendrup A.
Although, as in almost every field of nutrition, there are both pros and cons, the evidence strongly suggests that eating a high-carbohydrate meal before exercise is beneficial for performance. Something that may surprise many people is that many studies are in favour of the fact that the carbohydrates that must be consumed before exercising should be low glycaemic index, since it has been seen that this type of carbohydrate maintains constant blood glucose levels for longer than those of high glycaemic index, also favouring the greater use of fats as fuel and exerting a protective effect on glycogen reserves and delaying the appearance of fatigue. Another point in favor of low glycemic index carbohydrates as a pre-exercise meal is that they seem to prevent the sensation of hunger from appearing.
In view of these results, it seems appropriate to choose foods that provide low glycemic index carbohydrates, which should be consumed in the 2 – 4 hours prior to the match. However, as we said at the beginning, in football, not only is an energy route used to satisfy the demands of play or training, but in explosive efforts they require the degradation of glycogen (carbohydrate deposits in the muscle and liver) and phosphocreatine for the rapid production of ATP (energy). This is very important because it is known that the use of fats as the main fuel, in this case derived from the consumption of low glycemic index carbohydrates, is not capable of providing energy fast enough for the demands of high intensity exercise (Williams & Rollo, 2015).
Undoubtedly, achieving a balance between high and low glycemic carbohydrates will be vital to achieve:
- Start with glycogen deposits at maximum.
- Maintain adequate blood glucose levels throughout the match.
- Avoid the appearance of fatigue at the end of the meeting.
- Reach the recommended amounts of carbohydrates without causing discomfort.
In order to achieve this, the recovery strategy after each match and training sessions will be very important, as we will see later on, especially when there is little time (2 – 3 days) between matches.
As a general recommendation, we could say that the type of carbohydrate (low or high glycemic index) will depend on how the athlete’s glycogen reserves are (Holway & Spriet, 2011; Williams & Serratosa, 2006). That is, if the recommended amounts of carbohydrates have not been consumed after the previous match or after a series of intense training sessions to ensure the replenishment of the reservoirs, it is possible that high glycaemic carbohydrates may need to be emphasized in the pre-game meal.
It has been observed that, although the time between meals is insufficient (<3 hours between meals) to regenerate the liver and muscle stores, an increase in reserves of between 11-15% can be achieved by ingesting carbohydrates with a high glycaemic index, something that does not happen after the consumption of an equivalent amount of carbohydrates with a low glycaemic index (Williams & Rollo, 2015). On the other hand, if post-match/post-training recovery has been adequate, moderate-low glycemic index carbohydrates placed as pre-part meal may be a very good option given the benefits described above:
A FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION MUST BE ASKED BY THE ATHLETE: WHAT SHOULD I AND SHOULD I NOT EAT?
- 4 hours before training: The meal should contain carbohydrates + protein and very little fat, e.g. pasta or rice with chicken breast and steamed vegetables.
- 3 hours before training: The meal should contain carbohydrates + protein, e.g.: hot-cakes with honey and turkey breast + 1 cup of light milk.
- 2 hours before training: The meal should contain carbohydrates + low protein, e.g. turkey breast sandwich, fruit with light yogurt and granola or oatmeal.
- 1 hour before training: Meal should contain carbohydrates, e.g. low-fat cereal bar, jam sandwich, fruit with oats and honey.
- To avoid: fats, fibre, irritants and foods that are difficult to digest ,fried or breaded foods and whole grains, sauces, spices or seasonings.
Another of the problems that a footballer faces in each match is a decrease in energy due to a reduction in glycogen reserves, which leads to a decrease in the number of meters travelled, in the intensity and in the slowing down of decision making. That is why it is important to take hydrates during the game such as isotonics, gels, gummy jellies, etc. using breaks in the game and rest as key times to introduce them (Holway & Spriet, 2011).
Based on the existing evidence, we can say that the consumption of carbohydrate enriched drinks (concentration of 6%, i.e. 6g of sugars per 100ml) together with electrolytes during the match offers clear advantages over water intake, such as improved sprint speed, motor skills and even mood in the final minutes. These positive effects have also been observed when the subjects started with good pre-exercise glycogen levels (Williams & Rollo, 2015).
With the number of times we’ve mentioned glycogen in this article, you’re sure to be able to guess where the recovery strategy is going. Indeed, trying to regenerate these valuable reserves of muscular and hepatic glycogen so that they are full in the next match, although it will also be very important to accelerate the repair of muscle damage produced in the match and the rehydration of the footballer. This is especially important when matches are played within days (Ranchordas et al., 2017).
This is important as there is a higher recovery rate of glycogen in the first 2 hours after exercise, so delaying carbohydrate and fluid intake beyond this range can compromise the restoration of deposits. This is why footballers should be encouraged to consume replacement drinks or snacks as soon as possible after the final whistle (Williams & Rollo, 2015).
The general recommendation for carbohydrate intake within the first 4 hours after the match is between 1 – 1.5 g/kg weight/hour, preferably taken frequently (every 30 minutes) rather than over longer periods of time and with a high glycaemic index. Similarly, the addition of 0.2 – 0.5 g/kg
protein weight to carbohydrates may improve glycogen resynthesis and improve the repair of muscle damage (Ranchordas et al., 2017). In general terms for a 60kg person this should take about 60g-90g of hydrates and about 18-30g of protein.
Food options for the supply of 50g of carbohydrates for quick absorption. Extracted, translated and modified from Ranchordas et al., 2017.
- 250-350 ml milk shake or fruit smoothle
- 2 slices of bread/toast with jam, banana or honey.
- 2 cereal bars
- 300g of stuffed baked potato
- 2 gels carbohydrates – 2 gels
- 700 -800 ml of sports drink
- Fruit Macedonia with 200g of yoghurt
- Sandwich with meat filling
- Sports bar
- Rice cakes – Rice cakes
- Stuffed wrap-type pancakes
- Medium bowl of popcorn
- Medium bowl of sweet potato
- Medium sized pizza with a thin base
Easily digestible food options that provide 10g of protein for the immediate recovery phase. Extracted, translated and modified from Ranchordas et al., 2017.
• 300 ml de leche o batido lácteo
• 20-30g de barrita deportiva enriquecida en proteínas
• 10-15g de proteína whey en polvo
• 200g de yogur griego
• 250g de flan bajo en grasa
- 300 ml milk or milk shake
- 20-30g protein enriched sports bar
- 10-15g whey protein powder
- 200g Greek yoghurt
- 250g low-fat flan
An important aspect is to avoid gastrointestinal discomfort due to large intakes of carbohydrates, something for which carbohydrate mixtures of multiple transporters (glucose : fructose, maltodextrins : fructose, etc.) are very useful, as we saw in the article on gastrointestinal discomfort.
Beyond the post-match period, the carbohydrate recommendation for the overall day in weeks of maximum match demand (2-3 matches/week) is 6 – 10 g/kg weight/day, which is recommended to be consumed in 3 – 4 main meals supplemented with frequent snacks.
The truth is that unlike carbohydrates, there is little written about the fat and protein requirements for football players. However, some authors (Ranchordas et al., 2017) recommend protein intakes between 1.5 – 2 g/kg weight per day, while fat would represent the remaining energy until the requirements are met. In addition, they recommend distributing these proteins in several doses (about 6 x 20 – 25g of protein; total 120 – 150g protein/day) every 3 hours.
As for the post-partum, these same authors speak of the fact that introducing a small amount of protein (40g is enough) is beneficial for maximizing muscle protein synthesis and mitigating muscle damage. If you look, a protein intake of 35 – 40g of protein in a player of 75 kg would be about 0.5g/kg of weight approximately, so it would meet the recommendation to enhance glycogen recharge.
On the other hand, it is difficult to find concrete recommendations on the amount of fat to be consumed by these athletes, since they simply represent the remaining energy of the carbohydrates and protein intake. If we look at a collection of articles collected by Holway & Spriet in 2011, in which the dietary intakes of more than 300 professional and semi-professional footballers were collected, we see that the daily percentage of energy corresponding to fat is, in the vast majority of cases, between 25 – 35%.
As in many other sports, footballers have repeatedly been found to have some degree of dehydration even before the start of a match or training session (Holway & Spriet, 2011; Maughan et al., 2007). Given the clear relationship between dehydration and factors such as fatigue or cramping, controlling fluid intake will be as important or even more than adjusting macronutrients.
Image 1. Consequences of dehydration in football players.
In addition to water loss, one of the main causes of muscle cramps and spasms is the loss of sodium through sweating. This will depend a lot on the sweat rate and the salt loss of each player, which can vary between less than 1 g and more than 10 g. In cases where there are large sweat losses, drinks providing between 20 – 25 mmol/L of sodium can be really useful (Maughan et al., 2007).
It has been observed that the consumption of about 600 ml of water or sports drink 30-45 minutes in advance leads the athlete to a good state of hydration (Holway & Spriet, 2011).
Other factors that will affect the hydration status of the athlete are the stress of the day of the match, which can alter the usual patterns of fluid intake, and that the match is played in hot climates with high humidity.
A simple strategy to try to control the hydration level during the match is to ensure that approximately half a litre of sports drink is consumed during the break.
During the post-match recovery, rehydration is especially important, especially if the next match is to be played in a few days or if we are talking about days with a double training session. Evidently, the composition of the drink used will influence the rehydration capacity, with the recommendation (Heaton et al., 2017) being to consume between 1 – 1.5 L of drink per kg of weight lost, containing 20 – 50 mmol/L (Heaton et al., 2017; Ranchordas et al., 2017) and 6 – 12% of carbohydrates.
Sodium, in addition to being the main electrolyte lost through sweating, improves the palatability of the drink and stimulates the desire to drink, which, together with its ability to promote fluid retention, make it an indispensable element of replacement drinks.
With regard to carbohydrates, we must bear in mind that the most concentrated drinks (10 – 12% carbohydrates) are more susceptible to generating gastrointestinal discomfort, something that can be solved, for example, by combining carbohydrates from multiple transporters, as we have already mentioned, by introducing high molecular weight carbohydrates or simply by consuming drinks with more moderate concentrations and that have been tested previously.
Water as such is not a good make-up drink as it lacks electrolytes and carbohydrates.
As mentioned above, the intake of liquids and carbohydrates can be done in different ways: with sports drinks, with gels and water or with natural fruits.
Correct hydration with electrolytes during the match will help to prevent muscle cramps and prevent the player’s performance from diminishing during the match. It is difficult to predict hydration losses as they are closely linked to the ambient temperature and to each player. Players must learn to know their usual level of perspiration to ensure proper hydration.
- Sports drinks provide energy, electrolytes and hydration. It is recommended for use in both training sessions and prolonged competitions.
- Gels are a convenient and quick way to eat carbohydrates and should be accompanied by water as a source of hydration.
- The bars provide carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals. It’s an easy way to make intakes before the game or after the game. They do very well during endurance training programs.
- Shakes mainly provide carbohydrates and proteins. In low volume they provide a large amount of energy. They are a quick solution for making a recovery intake after physical activity or before resistance training. It is well tolerated by the stomach and is used by many sportsmen and women who have gastrointestinal problems as a result of eating solid food before the match.
- Vitamin and mineral supplements are indicated when travel makes it impossible to count on an adequate supply of food.
There are very few studies that have directly demonstrated (due to the lack of studies and the difficulty of conducting them in football) the benefits of nutritional supplements on football performance. Creatine is one of the most widely used supplements, as there is evidence of the benefits of creatine loading on performance in episodes of repeated high intensity physical activity with a short recovery period. The indicated dose of creatine loading is between 20-30g per day spread over several intakes over 5 days. The proper amount for maintenance decreases to 2-5g/day. Creatine intake should be made in conjunction with carbohydrate foods to improve response. It should be noted that the creatine load produces a weight gain of about 1kg, supposedly of fluid retention.
Caffeine can improve the performance of prolonged exercise by reducing the perception of fatigue. A dose of 20mg of caffeine per kg body weight is enough to be effective. It should be taken just prior to the onset of fatigue.
With everything explained here, below you can see a menu of a professional team as an example.
- Breakfast: Cereals or bread ,Milk and coffe , Fruit.
- After training: Proteins and carbohydrates milkshake, Fruit.
- Lunch: 1st dish: rice, pasta, legumes or potatoes. 2nd dish: meat, eggs or fish (blue or white) Vegetables garnish Dessert: Fruit or yogurt
- Snack: Fruit, milk, yogurt, dried fruit or sandwich.
- Dinner: Carbohydrates (just a few) Vegetables Dessert: Fruit and dairies
Miquel Pérez Martí.
Dietista- Nutricionista. Col CV00849.
F C Porto- DF Valencia-Enguera
- Bangsbo J., Mohr M., Krustrup P. (2006). Physical and metabolic demandas of training and match-play in the elite football player. Journal of Sports Sciences.
- Heaton L. E. et al., (2017). Selected In-Season Nutritional Strategies to Enhance Recovery for Team Sport Athletes: A Practical Overview. Sports Med.
- Holway F.E., & Spriet L.L. (2011). Sport-specific nutrition: Practical strategies for team sports. Journal of Sports Sciences.
Maughan R.J. & Shirrefs S.M. (2007). Nutrition for Soccer Players. Current Sports Medicine Reports.
- Nédélec M. et al., (2012). Recovery in Soccer. Part I: Post-Match Fatigue and Time Course of Recovery. Sports Med.
- Ranchordas M. K., Dawson J. T., Russel M. (2017). Practical nutritional recovery strategies for elite soccer players when limited time separates repeated matches. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.
- Russel M. & Kingsley M. (2014). The Efficacy of Acute Nutritional Interventions on Soccer Skill Performance. Sports Med.
Williams C. & Rollo I. (2015). Carbohydrate Nutrition and Team Sport Performance. Sports Med.
- Williams C. & Serratosa L. (2006). Nutrition on match day. Journal of Sports Sciences.
- Liam Anderson, Patrick Orme, Robert J Naughton, Graeme L Close, Jordan Milsom, David Rydings, Andy O’Boyle, Rocco Di Michele, Julien Louis, Catherine Hambley, John Roger Speakman, Ryland Morgans, Barry Drust and James P Morton Energy Intake and Expenditure of Professional Soccer Players of the English Premier League: Evidence of Carbohydrate Periodization. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. Ahead of Print 2017.
Jacob, Xavier and Jason will spend a long time at the High Performance Center of Soccer Inter-Action in order to adapt to the demands of European football and prepare to take another leap to his career in the world of football.
Weeks of much football are await the three new footballers from Australia who have arrived at the sports facilities of Soccer Inter-Action. And is that our High Performance Sports Center located in Enguera (Valencia, Spain) has since this April in its ranks with three soccer promises ‘aussies’ willing to make a name in this sport: Jacob, Xavier and Jason.
Jacob, 20 years old, was the first one to put himself in the hands of the professional technicians of FC Porto that we have in SIA while Jason and Xavier have been the last to join the party. However, the great level existing in the International Soccer Academy of Soccer Inter-Action has not been an impediment to their adaptation. In fact, the other members of the Academy have been very helpful to that these three Australian players feel from the beginning as one more.
In this way, and with a lot of days ahead, both Jacob and Xavier and Jason will enjoy the innumerable resources of the SIA Center. In this excellent sports complex they have at their disposal from fields of natural and artificial turf, to gym, medical clinic, restaurant, leisure rooms or technification pitchs. In addition, not only will they train under the successful methodology implemented in Soccer Inter-Action and FC Porto, leader of the NOS League, but they will also enjoy all the ins and outs of Valencia. In fact, there are many activities that will be carried out in order to get to know the Spanish culture, language and climate.
Two players with experience in SIA Clinic are summon by Norway
The U15 team of this Nordic country will have footballers William Bjeglerud and Christos Zafeiris, two promising players who have improved their soccer skills in the Soccer Inter-Action sports facilities in Spain.
Very good news comes to Soccer Inter-Action from Norway. Their national U15 team has given its list of players summoned for a important tournament in Italy and the names of William and Christos appear on it. William Bjeglerud and Christos Zafeiris are two young cracks who have chosen the SIA Clinic program in more than one occasion in our sports facilities located in Enguera (Valencia, Spain). Both players have done several SIA Clinics with the objective of training with the profesional coaches of our International Soccer Academy and Football School FC Porto Dragon Force. The methodology implemented by our coaches is one of the secrets for these football promises will can improve their skills and they will can play in the elite of this sport.
In fact, the improvement of William and Christos is glimpsed at first sight every time they have passed through the Center of High Performance of SIA and this has been key to now become part of the national team. The ‘Delle Nazioni’ tournament will be in April and May and in this tournament 16 important teams from all over the world will compete. Norway will play the first phase against Portugal, Costa Rica and Austria.
Soccer Inter-Action will be very attentive to the development of this competition because it is a great opportunity to see the great level of William and Christos, as well as the rest of the members of their national team. The relationship with Norwegian soccer is excellent at Soccer Inter-Action and a lot of young players from this country have train in our High Performance Football Center in Spain. Here, they have been able to enjoy with the sports facilities perfectly suited for the elite footballer, with fields of natural grass, artificial grass and pitchs of technification. In addition, it has all kinds of resources: from restaurant to physiotherapy, clinic, leisure or video analysis rooms.
Clinic High performance program
The young Norwegian defender improves his football skills inside of the Clinic in a full week of football and emotions for him
With excellent feelings continues Petter Dyrkorn on the spectacular playing fields of Soccer Inter-Action in Enguera, Valencia (Spain). The young Norwegian footballer has not wanted to miss the opportunity to continue develope his skills and has opted for a new program completely personalized with the mission to achieve his dream and play the English Premier League.
DCAPI training, friendly match against the Olimpic de Xàtiva, training with the powerful Juvenil A of our Football School FC Porto Dragon Force Valencia and a lot of more practices have served to complete a week round. In fact, it was more than proven that our methodology works when the young Norwegian passed in the friendly match to play Right Back when his usual position is Central Back. The Norwegian player knew how to adapt to this new position and shone with its own light, leaving with a very good taste the FC Porto’s technicians and those present in the stands.
For even greater importance to his new step through the High Performance Football Center and the International Soccer Academy, Petter was able to enjoy the excellent weather in a Holy Week in which he has seen from the first row the organization of the Camp of Technification 2018. Camp with which the already versatile Norwegian footballer has shared coaches and fundamentals that have helped him improve.
And it is that in the sports facilities of Soccer Inter-Action (SIA) located in Enguera, Valencia (Spain) are given the best conditions for the practice of elite football. Fields of natural and artificial turf game, high performance center, gym, clinic, high-end hotel, leisure rooms, video analysis rooms and other resources suitable to improve, but above all enjoy.
Video of the Petter’s clinic
Competition and base football. Compatible or utopia?
A decade has passed since the Spanish National football team, along with its top-flight league, established themselves on the podium of footballing excellence. Far from it are those idioms, bad jokes and laughs about the representation of our team in World Cups and European competitions, giving way to a constant feeling of hope, high expectations and, above all, enthusiasm for titles. But has it been a matter of luck, or the result of years and years of hard work and effort?
Undoubtedly, as with any other type of performance, the end result does not depend on short-term planning or last-minute effort, but rather on building “the house” well reinforced from the ground up. Spain has a long and extensive football culture, with large investments in training and education from the ground up. Nowadays, we have countless base football schools that are in charge of teaching the children of the country from a very young age in order to get the most out of the footballing potential that each one of them has.
But it is precisely in the concept of “base football” where people are often confused, as there are many controversial aspects of their implementation that are not clear how to implement them. These confusing points are the ones that give rise to errors in training and in their demands, which can lead to a series of psychological pressures on the child that, without sufficient means to face up to these demands will make him or her feel uneasy and, in the worst cases, may lead to the withdrawal from sport.
The star topic on the discussion forums is competition at an early age. On the theory, the childhood stage in an athlete is to acquire tactical and technical concepts, and above all to develop the child as an athlete with the values inherent in his or her practice. But it is impossible to isolate those aspects that need improvement and to focus only on them, as you cannot take your eyes off the competitive nature of the sport, because a football match has a scoreboard and its purpose is to score more goals than the opponent. Both dimensions, development and competition, make up the whole essence of football, but assembling them in a natural and balanced way is a difficult task that requires a lot of reflection and planning.
The problem arises when it comes to establishing a line that separates pure training, and its development as an athlete, from the competition applied on the field of play. Both are not necessarily incompatible concepts, but referring to the childhood stage in the footballer’s training, and depending on whether we only want development or only competitiveness, the learning process can be seriously conditioned. This means that if efforts are focused on achieving success and trophies, the working method and training can be impregnated with demands and the frustration they generate in the child.
To delve further into the subject properly, it is interesting to take into account Nicholls’ (1989) and Roberts’ (1993) “goal-achievement theory”, in which the relationship between task orientation and the motivation that the athlete perceives in terms of these is mentioned. According to the theory, there are the goals of ego orientation, which are characterized by being more focused on the result and on the comparison of one’s own competencies with those of others; and on the other hand, there are the goals of task orientation, characterized by a focus on process, task mastery, development and learning. In the case of task orientation, the athlete will react with fewer levels of frustration to a failure, as he or she sees its development as a process, with ups and downs and variety of execution. In contrast, the ego-oriented will suffer from higher levels of frustration in the face of defeat or failure, as the importance of performance focuses on the outcome and victory. If we extrapolate it to the field of motivation, in the face of continuous episodes of failure and with the focus on victory, the player’s motivation levels can fall because of not reaching the established goal. Therefore, and to mitigate the effects of this decrease in motivation, it is interesting to give importance to the learning process and above all to show players that there are other goals that are not reduced to achieving a victory.
Is high competitiveness better for training?
Thus, it is necessary to warn that in base football sports plans that are positioned for high competitiveness it is possible that players may suffer decreases in motivation if they do not see a victory. Above all, we must prevent young people from reaching the point of abandonment, since this would be the most drastic consequence, although there are other fatal consequences that are not abandonment and can also harm our children, such as depressions. Despite this premise, I think it is a mistake not to set objectives that seek a certain degree of competitiveness, because otherwise children will not become familiar with football at its best and in the future it will slow down their development as footballers by being less prepared.
In conclusion, there is no master formula by which to find the secret of where to set the goal at each stage of child development, but it is more appropriate to design a strategy to gradually increase competitive demands and thus awaken the desire in the athlete to improve their sports conditions. As well as taking into account that it is more interesting to broaden the focus on the personal development of the player than to have to reduce the importance of competitiveness. After all, only the coach knows his squad and the personal status of each of his players. We must not forget that they are children and that, as such, they must enjoy their development, learn from the demands and defeats, but always extracting the positive side and how to improve as a person and sportsman.
Javier Rivera Triguero
Psicologo Deportivo FC Porto DFV
The team led by Toni Seligrat opted for a stay at the SIA sports facilities (Enguera, Valencia) to prepare his football match against Club Deportivo Alcoyano, of Group III of Second Division B.
The month of March drains his days of league competition and in Soccer Inter-Action (SIA) it does it with a new important Stage. The Centre d’Esports Sabadell Futbol Club repeated his stay at the sports facilities located in Enguera (Valencia, Spain) to prepare his football match against Club Deportivo Alcoyano. Group III of Second Division B demands the maximum performance and the Catalan team did not hesitate to draw on our services.
After concentrating at the High Performance Center of Soccer Inter-Action on mid-March, this club did not want to miss the opportunity to use our high level resources. Pitch of natural grass, artificial field, soccer pitch for technification, restaurant with personalized menus, High Performance Center with high quality level, rooms of physiotherapy, room of video analysis or rooms of leisure have been elements that shined with own light.
In addition, the players of valencian coach Toni Seligrat shared space and time with the young promises of the International Football Academy of Soccer Inter-Action. In fact, the academy footballers were able to see the working of a influential soocer team that it also had the opportunity to watch the matches that the F.C. Porto Dragon Force Valencia soccer school played at home.
Presided this season by Esteve Calzada, one of the most important figures in sports marketing, this historic team has no limits when it comes to aspiring to achieve great objectives. The C.E. Sabadell hopes fulfill its mission to return to be team of the importan Second Spanish Division, always being faithful to the rigor and humility, values that share with Soccer Inter-Action.
Photos of the Stage of the C.E. Sabadell
The two soccer international cracks are training at SIA High Performance Football Center with the mission of improving their football skills through the successful methodology taught by the professional technicians of FC Porto.
Spring has arrived and with it the perfect climate to improve your football qualities. Soccer Inter-Action continues with its Clinics program and this time it is preparing Tarjei Nordby and Danilo. They are two young cracks who come from Norway and they follow in the carrer of Petter Dyrkorn and William Frediksen, players who successfully completed their development here in Valencia.
In the sports facilities of Soccer Inter-Action all the factors are fulfilled to improve all the soccer skills. Natural grass field, High Permormance Center with high-end residence, technification fields, restaurant with personalized menus, leisure rooms, psychologist, physiotherapy room and, above all, a methodology that guarantees success.
In fact, the methodology with which Danilo and Tarjei are improving their football skills is taught by the professional coaches of F.C. Porto. The famous Portuguese club has put at your service all its huge resources too in order to develop to the fullest the young soccer cracks that seek to reach the elite.
For this, the training has a wide variety of practices, so that Tarjei and Danilo are improving in all aspects, both defensive and offensive. This will make sure that in future European club elite professional tests have no problems adapting to their demanding training. All this leads our players to make their dreams of reaching the elite of football closer.
Soccer Inter-Action is also responsible for administering the aforementioned tests in the main European clubs, something that the young soccer stars of our International Soccer Academy and players of our F.C. Porto Dragon Force Valencia-Enguera know well. Many of them have already traveled to entities across the continent to be observed and have also shone on our campuses and tournaments that we have organized throughout the year.
High performance football center in Spain with natural grass fields
The Second Division B club relied on the Soccer Inter-Action sports facilities to concentrate before their important game against Ontinyent CF.
Full weekend at the Center of High Performance Soccer Inter-Action. The CE Sabadell FC didn’t hesitate to bet on the high level services of SIA to perform a Stage in that they prepared their important football match in Spain against Ontinyent CF, corresponding to Group 3 of the Second Division B.
This club prioritized the video, physiotherapy and leisure rooms before resorting to the amazing training grounds and they shared a lot of time with the players of the SIA International Football Academy. In addition, they enjoyed the restaurant and its personalized menu for their soccer needs and they attended all the matches of the FC Porto Dragon Force Valencia Football School.
CE Sabadell FC, who finally managed to take a valuable draw from their match against Ontinyent CF, finished completing their preparation stage with quiet walks through the sports facilities of the High Performance Center of Soccer Inter-Action and they played a lot of funny ping-pong tournaments that it created a sensational and suitable atmosphere.
This football team, a veteran of the competitive Second Spanish B Division, once again demonstrated its competitive nature for Valencian lands and this is an importante aspect that it shares with the philosophy of the FC Porto Dragon Force Soccer School and his methodology, that guarantees level high trainings so that the future soccer stars adapt to the elite with total ease, something that is easier when you are surrounded by an International Soccer Academy like the one that has Soccer Inter-Action.
Photos of the Stage of the C.E. Sabadell