Blanes, Spain - The 2020 Top12 Experience not only invited aspiring youth futsal players to Blanes, Spain, but also coaches that actively strive to progress as teachers of the game.
In the latest Top12 recap, United Futsal provides an overview of coaching education.
The 2020 Top12 Experience consisted of coaching education led by Xavi Closas, FC Barcelona Futsal B head coach, and his iOX Futsal staff. In each age division, coaches from the participating countries were selected by the Top12 staff to lead the teams. The Top12 coaches attended three classroom sessions instructed by Closas. In addition, Closas and his iOX Futsal staff led on-court training sessions while the Top12 coaches assisted.
At Top12, Closas emphasized that it is important for coaches to understand the underlying principles of the drills practiced. Although coaches may be able to implement a training session, they may not understand its overall objective.
"We explained why we do exercises," said Closas. "Sometimes coaches copy the exercise but don’t think about why they use them. It’s important for coaches to understand the objective of the exercise. They must also be able to translate the training objective to the players."
Closas also highlighted the importance of evaluating the skill level of the players and determining what level of difficulty to implement while maintaining the same objective.
"I have one other requirement," said Closas. "It’s important to progress to the next level with the same objective and also go down a level with the same objective. Go up and down. When I watch and the playing level is down, I need to bring the level of the exercise down. This is very important."
United Futsal is beyond grateful for Closas and the iOX coaching staff. The Top12 coaches were exposed to an amazing staff that was accessible during the training section of the event.
As mentioned by Closas, the objective of a training drill must be completely understood by the coach, which is not always the case when taught in a classroom setting. For coaches in attendance, the on-court presence of Closas and his staff provided a fundamental aspect of the learning experience.
"Sometimes in the classroom ideas only work when you understand what you are doing," said Franklin Burton (England) from Braintree Futsal Club. "So to actually see live how coaches put the training sessions on, what type of tempo they use, how they speak to the kids and the way they translate their message is vitally important. For us, as coaches, that is a great element to take away."
The on-court presence also allowed for the Top12 coaches to witness and assess the practices of those that are more experienced. For clarity, Closas and his staff were available to answer any questions during training sessions.
"It was great to have him on the court," said Adrian Rodriguez from New York, USA. "We were able to ask just about any question. It really made it easier to transition with groups that we never met before. When you are expected to train a player that you know for just a couple of days; having someone with a more professional background to aid and assist you helps significantly."
Moreover, the Top12 Experience was an opportunity for trainers to evaluate coaching methodologies. For Guillermo Lopez of Forms Academy (Dallas, Texas, USA), the one-on-one interaction with Closas provided valuable insight about how his club's training curriculum could be improved.
"It was awesome to hear Xavi and his staff’s evaluations of our theories back home," said Lopez. "My club hasn't played futsal very long. It was great to see that we have similar ideas. We are definitely going to implement their feedback and will come back stronger for the upcoming United Futsal tournaments."
United Futsal is appreciative of the dedicated youth futsal coaches at Top12. The commitment and focus of the trainers provided the Top12 players with immediate and long-term benefits.
Stay tuned for more Top12 coverage.