Buenos Aires – At the entrance to the facilities at Club Atletico Talleres which has hosted training for two days, our youngsters are quieter and calmer than usual. It doesn’t happen often but the energy they’ve expelled in the past days is the evidence for why. We make the most of the moment and get straight to work. Before setting up the pitch and starting with training, we meet the local coaches Ezequiel, Santiago, Marcos and Julián to tell them how best to organise training according to the Inter Campus principles. Intensity, minimising the number of breaks, looking to involve as many children as possible with exercises that focus on fun and variation are the key principles. There are warm-up drills and relay drills. The focus is always on the game and therefore the fun of it. The first stage of training has a more rigid technical focus with concentration on improving as they work on close control, receiving the ball and kicking. These are the three technical aspects which we work on together with the local coaches even after months away as we’re in constant contact to monitor development. The third situational phase then sees the children in one-on-one or two-on-one drills as a replication of possible match situations. Here, the children are a lot more involved mentally as they have to make decisions for themselves. The final match is for assessment as the local coaches observe how the children are moving and evaluate if they’re putting previous lessons into practice.
After the educational start, we’re ready to go and split the children and according to age and we’re off! In this situation, it’s vital to manage the relationships between the children and possible conflicts. As they often live in difficulty circumstances, they need a positive outlet for their emotions and energy. What happens on the pitch depends a lot of this as does their improvement as players and everything goes well today. They all feel important and involved, nobody needs to assert themselves over another. What prevails is the will to play and give the best account of themselves,
The hour and a half of training passes too quickly and I don’t know if that’s thanks to the situation, us or the humble shirt which is anything but humble for them but the session goes by quickly. The session is over, we say goodbye to the children and local coaches with the promise to come back in a few months to keep following their progress.