Archive for the ‘Argentina 2011’ Category

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.

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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.20111124-192807.jpg

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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’.20111124-192632.jpg

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.20111124-192614.jpg

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After lunch, we returned to the Extreme Sports School of Argentina for their goalkeeping sessions. We brought Lee, Parker and Drew with us to observe. The sessions were quality.20111124-192544.jpg

Independiente & Game Day

Posted: November 23, 2011 in Argentina 2011

Today, the coaches toured the Independiente training camp about 40 minutes away. We observed training of their second team and their first team. We met with their coaches and asked questions about their approach. A lot of intense 5v5 play. In fact, both squads played a modified 5v5 game for about 90 minutes. 20111123-192831.jpg20111123-192844.jpg20111123-192912.jpg

Can anyone guess who is with me in this picture? Hint: plays for Argentina national team and is Messi’s best friend. This picture rocks.20111123-192930.jpg

We returned to the country to see the boys play their first game. It was a very good game. The boys played well and worked their butts off. Half was 0-0, final was 3-1 Estudiantes. Clayton scored for Florida assisted by Jose.

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A Dog’s Life

Posted: November 22, 2011 in Argentina 2011

Left our apartment and drove to “the country”. This is what everyone calls the Estudiantes training camp outside of La Plata. It is a large campus with perimeter guards, a preK through 6 school, a huge swimming pool, picnicking areas, field hockey areas and of course football facilities. It’s beautiful and serene. The grounds are neat and orderly.

So We drove to “the country” and met the boys after breakfast. Watched all of the teams emerging from the locker rooms. All played soccer tennis over benches, chairs or whatever.

The Argentinean players are SO good. I have never seen anything like this pool of players. They all are quite good; in fact, they are amazing by our standards.

Morning training was good. Several Argentinian players were mixes in and they played 3v1s, 4v2s, 4v4s and 11v11.

Did I mention “the country” has a half dozen dogs that roam the campus freely? They are totally cool. They jog with the players and sleep under the coaches. They are with us constantly.

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Monday Wrap Up

Posted: November 21, 2011 in Argentina 2011

Training in the AM, afternoon walk-about around La Plata and then a Estudiantes game in the evening. Pretty interesting day. Game was terminated early due to some unruly fans – very disappointing. The culture is so passionate about football. The love of the game is evident everywhere.

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Monday Morning Training

Posted: November 21, 2011 in Argentina 2011

After breakfast, boys trained with Estudiantes coaches. Picked up several new ideas. Boys did well – the communication gap was fun to watch and listen to. Watching the players try to figure out what was supposed to be occurring was interesting.

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