MADRID, Spain | Eighteen coaches returned to the United States yesterday after 10 days in Madrid, learning from some of the top soccer minds in the world during the first-ever LaLiga Formation Methodology Level 1-Spain course. The delegation represented 15 clubs and organizations from 10 states around the country.
Some coaches in attendance have achieved their U.S. Soccer “A” licenses, while others are newer to the profession. All share a commitment to bettering themselves and their players. Each of the 18 coaches had completed previous introductory and advanced levels of the LaLiga Formation Methodology coaching series – effectively raising their knowledge and passion in soccer, in what will positively impact generations of players at their home clubs.
“Our guiding principle is that if we want better players, we need better coaches. And if we want better coaches, we need to have a better system for developing coaches,” said US Club Soccer CEO Kevin Payne. “Part of that is continuing education and giving them opportunities to be exposed to the best thinking from around the world. Certainly, some of the best thinking – in terms of coaching development and player development – is right here in Spain.”
LaLiga leadership ensured a first-class experience in Madrid for all attendees. Highlights from the course include: lectures, guest presentations, a surprise visit from Unai Emery, a meet-and-greet with Raúl González Blanco, visits to LaLiga academies and attendance at an Atlético Madrid pro game. You can view photos, including coach profiles, via our Facebook gallery.
“It’s very useful for our coaches to be exposed to different types of thinking from different parts of the world,” added Payne. “The intention of the program has been to try to help our American coaches develop their own methodology by understanding the way methodology is organized and deployed here in Spain. That’s a different way of thinking than we’ve had traditionally in American soccer. These are not licensing courses. This is continuing education.”
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, Villareal, Getafe and RCD Mallorca led this Level 1-Spain course. The delegation visited the youth academies of Real Madrid, Atlético de Madrid, Real Valladolid C.F., A.D. Alcorón, C.D. Leganés and more.
LaLiga Formation Methodology is a staple of the US Club Soccer/LaLiga partnership, which stems from US Club Soccer’s Players First initiative. Players First is a branded, holistic club soccer experience for parents and players, which emphasizes the development of each individual to his or her full potential, and helps parents make better choices about where their children should play.
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.