I thought I had Argentina sort of figured out until this morning. We traveled to the Extreme Sports School of Argentina and found the most high tech training grounds imaginable. Here’s the basic idea: Take in good players who didn’t quite make it as division I players (at no cost to them) and put them through a highly technical program where everything is measured. And I mean everything. It’s a large walled complex with various areas that have computers and sensors that record the players’ results. Passing accuracy, dribbling time, and landing position and force are just a few examples.
After completing the program, the school tries to sell the players to clubs. To say that the school is well funded is a big understatement.
This is the passing wall. It’s about 100 yards long with sensors in the wall that record where a ball makes contact. There are 3 starting gates ( white, yellow, red) with corresponding stripes on the wall. A play scans an ID card at the entrance gate and must run making wall passes to themselves hitting the appropriately colored stripes. After down and back, they get a left foot/ right foot score.
This is me with Michelle and Robert from Arkansas. Robert is the state DOC for Arkansas. Michelle and Robert have coached at every level: youth, college and professional. Married 15 years and having coached together all that time, they are true ‘football junkies’.
Shopping in La Plata was fun. We got to a number of shops and did our best to support the local economy. While shopping for some soap in a Farmacia, we asked the pharmacist for directions to a wine store. Guess what, she walked us to it! Pictured below with our friend Belen is Michelle, Robert, Bill and Mel.