Following a partnership between the MLS and La Liga (Spain), on top of a partnership already established with the Fédération Française de Football, MLS Academy directors and coaches with the EFCL (Elite Football Coaching Licence) licence have the opportunity to further their formation with a 10-day program, during which educators will visit well-known academies in world soccer. They will share information with coaches and sporting directors from big international clubs on topics like youth development, scouting and athletic development.
The Academy director Philippe Eullaffroy is representing the Montreal Impact.
Here is his diary.
Friday, May 12 2017 – Nice (France)
After leaving Montreal and its 12 degrees, I arrive in Nice on a warm day, with the sun shining, the blue and calm Mediterranean Sea and the palm trees of my hotel on Promenade des Anglais, facing the beach. The best conditions to start working on the same night, despite the tiredness. My mind is fresh and I’m ready to learn.
I’m happy to see my colleagues from other academies again, as well as some new faces [LAFC, the expansion team in 2018].
The first conference was at the hotel and given by Nicolas Dyon, a well-established, young fitness trainer with a lot of experience (Rennes, Saint-Étienne, Nice, Zurich). He’s also the man who founded the MyCoach RPE software, a tool being used by many fitness trainers that we also want to use at the Academy.
In front of us stands a passionate man who gives us a firework of data. It’s going in all directions, as he is more than willing to share his experience and what he went through. It’s great, but my fingers have a hard time typing everything on my iPad keyboard!
We learn that soccer injuries went up by 30% in 15 years, because of the intensity and repetition of the games. The player not only has to be ready to play and be in shape, but he can never be injured. It’s a challenge for any young athlete; for instance, at the Ajax academy, the kids have 10 training sessions every week.
In Switzerland, he noticed that it was important for the player to know, through the grade that the coach gives him, what the coach was thinking about his previous performance. He was asking both the coach and the player to rate the game.
It’s now 8:30pm and I left Montreal the day before. My fingers are on fire, just like my head. We went to eat at a good restaurant, in the old part of Nice, to recharge the brain. After a 30-minute walk at a good pace along the water, I’m already prepared for the next day.
Saturday, May 13 – Nice (France)
We leave for OGC Nice’s stadium, the Allianz Riviera, which is also the headquarters for MyCoach (the logo is on every piece of equipment of the Nice educators). We meet with Alain Wathelet (academy director), Emers Faé (U17 coach) and visit the stadium, as well as seeing the first team training session, who are playing tomorrow.
To be continued…