Renowned fitness coach Paco de Miguel spoke at the U.S. Soccer + SPARQ Player Development Summit, discussing how to create a professional training plan and apply it on the training field. De Miguel, considered the right hand man of former Inter Milan and Liverpool head coach Rafa Benitez, spoke to summit attendees Wednesday morning before putting his words into action and leading the U-18 Men’s National Team in a training session during the afternoon. ussoccer.com asked de Miguel about the process of planning out a training session and how the new coaching curriculum can help U.S. coaches develop consistent training methods over the course of a season.
Your talk here at the summit was primarily focused on the importance of planning out training sessions over the course of a week, season or year. How important is it for coaches to use the knowledge at their disposal to properly plan their training sessions?
Paco de Miguel: “It’s really important to plan your workouts well. It’s the main tool we have to make our players better so we have to care about the planning and pay attention to it. We have to give our best in the full process to be sure we can change our teams and make our players better.”
In your case you have worked with players at the top levels around the world. For the coaches at this summit and the coaches who read this curriculum, things will be a bit different. How do your thoughts on the planning of training sessions relate to coaches who are primarily working with younger players?
PdM: “They have to do the same thing. You have to understand that the content of a training session and the objectives can be different, but the process is more or less similar. Coaches have to understand what they do and they have to realize that working with young players is always different. But whenever you are a coach, you have to make sure the training methods are good and everything you are doing is correct, so in that case it’s not that different.”
How can coaches use this new coaching curriculum to plan their training sessions during a season?
PdM: “I think the curriculum is a very helpful tool for all the coaches because it’s a guide. The curriculum can teach all different levels of coaches and it’s more than just a list of exercises. It shows a method to the coaches. Not every coach has good knowledge in terms of planning and for those who need more help to plan their training the curriculum will be the perfect tool.”