MADRID, Spain | The first-ever LaLiga Formation Methodology Level 1-Spain course takes place Feb. 2-11 throughout Madrid. Eighteen coaches representing 15 clubs and 10 states are attending this intimate immersion into LaLiga methodologies.
This Level 1-Spain course represents the ultimate progression in the popular LaLiga Formation Methodology series, which features Level 3 (introductory), Level 2 (advanced), Level 1-U.S. (expert, part one) and Level 1-Spain (expert, part two) opportunities. To date, about 1,500 coaches from 400 clubs have been educated in LaLiga philosophies and methodologies through this educational series.
LaLiga methodology experts Hugo Blanco, Carlos Casal and academy directors from FC Barcelona, Athletic Club Bilbao, Celta de Vigo, Villarreal, Getafe and RCD Mallorca will lead this Level 1-Spain course. The delegation will also visit the youth academies of Real Madrid, Atlético de Madrid, Real Valladolid C.F., A.D. Alcorón, C.D. Leganés and more.
Today is the final full day in Madrid, as the coaches are awarded a closing ceremony by LaLiga at the Real Madrid facilities. As they have been this entire course, LaLiga officials are rolling out the red carpet for these coaches. They'll be gifted a goodie bag with LaLiga gear and merchandise, as well as a certificate of completion.
Afterward, the group will tour Real Madrid's stadium and museum. Post-lunch, our coaches again have the afternoon to explore Madrid in their final night before departing for the U.S. tomorrow.
The delegation watched more live youth games today, but these age groups ranged from U-16 to U-23. After yesterday's younger age groups (U-10 to U-15), the coaches were able to observe methodologies progressing from younger players to older players.
Then, the coaches were set free in Madrid, able to explore the Spanish capital or return to the home hotel to catch up on work. Tomorrow is the final day of this journey.
Over the next two days, our coaches will watch LaLiga youth academy games of varying ages. Today is of the younger age groups - U-10 to U-15 - while tomorrow is of U-16 to U-23.
Tonight is another highlight of the trip, as the delegation takes in the Granada vs. Atletico de Madrid game.
We're officially past the halfway point of this journey, but there's still plenty to learn. The day began with a session by LaLiga clinicians on scouting and talent identification, followed by Villarreal's Luis Arnau's presentation on creating an effective academy model.
After lunch, the delegation travels to Atletico de Madrid for a stadium tour. It'll be a much different environment the following day when the group takes in a game between Atletico de Madrid and Granada at Wanda Metropolitano.
A session by LaLiga methodology experts on physical and performance tactics served as the opening for the day. Immediately following that, Miquel Gomila - Mallorca's Methodological Director - presented for two hours on grassroots organization structure.
After lunch, Diego Muriarte Solana, fitness coach from CD Leganés, visited with our coaches. “At the U-8 to U-12 age groups, the players arrive ecstatic to play and learn, and we have to take advantage of that. What we teach them at this age, when they’re hungry for soccer, will stick forever.”
Tonight, the group travels to Atletico de Madrid for an exciting lecture and opportunity to observe training.
Today is a day that these attendees have been especially looking forward to: it's the day they visit Real Madrid. The delegation spends almost the entire day at the famed facility, listening to lectures and watching training sessions. Raul Gonzalez Blanco, the Real Madrid legend and former LaLiga Country Manager, took time out of his busy schedule to meet our coaches.
Two guest presentations from LaLiga clubs greeted the American coaches this morning. The first was delivered by Athletic Club Bilbao's Andoni Bombin about his club academy's methodology. Immediately following that lecture was RC Celta's Eduardo Covelo who went into detail about structures and organizational tactics.
After lunch, the group traveled by train to Real Valladolid CF to once again observe a training session at the club's facility. The 18 coaches also heard from club directors in a special lecture.
After a brief welcome by US Club Soccer CEO Kevin Payne, LaLiga methodology experts opened the week-long immersion course by discussing the Spanish youth soccer structure.
Then, Isaac Guerrero, of FC Barcelona, provided insight on developing an effective game model. After lunch and a couple hour-long break, the delegation traveled to A.D. Alcorcon for a guest lecture and to observe training. For the most coverage, be sure to follow @USClubSoccer on Instagram for behind-the-scenes Instagram Stories.
Today is reserved for arrivals of all the participating coaches. Course curriculum kicks off bright and early on Monday, so these coaches arrive at the Madrid airport today - most via red-eye flights - and have the remainder of the day to acclimate to the time change from their U.S. home base.
A National Association member of the U.S. Soccer Federation, US Club Soccer fosters the growth and development of soccer clubs in order to create the best possible environment for players of all ages.
Anchored by Players First and its five pillars of Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety, US Club Soccer offers registration, league- and cup-based competition platforms, player identification and a variety of other programming, resources and services.
US Club Soccer is sponsored by Nike and supported by LaLiga through a technical partnership.