Blanes, Spain - The final day of training at the 2020 Top12 Experience came to a close yesterday in Blanes, Spain. The annual youth futsal player experience will now see five countries (Australia, Brazil, England, Spain and the United States) compete for international glory at the Top12 Cup starting on Friday, February 28.
In the second recap, United Futsal takes a look back at Top12 training.
During the opening four days of the Top12 Experience, international youth futsal players attended two sessions per day at Ciutat Esportiva Blanes. Xavi Closas, Top12 Director of Coaching and FC Barcelona Futsal B head coach, and his staff developed the curriculum and supervised the training sessions on five courts. Each day addressed a skill for developing a complete futsal player.
“Every day focused on a specific futsal skill,” said Closas. “On the last day, we observed all the things that were taught each day before.”
To begin, the first day of training emphasized possession. The second day focused on 1v1 situations. Transition was the emphasis of training on day three. To conclude, the coaching staff addressed formations such as 3-1 and 4-0.
"On the first day, I learned about possession and the importance of your hip stance," said 13-year-old Maddie Campbell from Melbourne, Australia. "We learned how to control the ball, turn and what to do if a player comes towards you."
"I learned about transitioning from attacking to defense," said 16-year-old Aaron West from Perth, Australia. "I have to defend quickly when we are attacking and lose possession. I have to work my butt off to get back to defense to help my team out."
Closas openly acknowledges the talent present at the Top12 Experience. However, two particular areas lack sufficient understanding by the players in attendance. First, Closas cited transitioning from offense to defense as a skill that players must improve, which was previously addressed by West.
"A principle problem is the concept of changing from offense to defense," said Closas. "Specifically, when players do or do not have the ball. Some players don’t understand this concept. They change the role a few seconds too late, and then the other team goes forward. They need to change from offense to defense in one second."
Secondly, Closas identified that players do not actively evaluate the best positioning to receive a pass from teammates.
"Players run without thinking about what the best line for a pass is," said Closas. "It needs to be coordinated. The timing in this situation is very important."
The FC Barcelona Futsal B head coach further emphasized futsal to be a collective sport. Although technical talent may result in personal success, the overall quality of a team relies on the players being in sync with the decisions of their teammates.
As the Top12 Cup kicks off, Closas hopes that the players take what has been taught these past four days and apply it to their game.
Best of luck to all the Top12 players that are competing over the weekend! Stay tuned on our social media accounts for more coverage of the Top12 Cup.
View the Top12 Cup schedules below!