How to grow as an individual in football


Teams put the evolution of the whole team before individual progress. How to progress ones self in an environment that’s focused on group progression?

In a team it’s not always easy to find personal space to individually progress. Training sessions are usually focused on improving the team, on making the team gel together and preparing for the next match. Competition, a necessary and essential component in football, dictates priorities and coaches see themselves obliged to choose group progression over individual progression. It’s a perfectly normal dynamic in team sports. So, how is it possible to progress as an individual in a group focused environment?

“Specific training sessions that are centred on technique are needed as a learning pillar”, Quim Peña explains, who’s in charge of the Annual Course for goalkeepers at Fundación Marcet: “Unlike standard training sessions at clubs, where they train to win and put emphasis on tactical cohesion and teamwork, at Marcet the primary objective is personal improvement”.

A perfect complement

It’s not about replacing one training method for another, but to expand on the original method with individual methods. “It’s a matter of offering a perfect complement to the training footballers already receive at their respective clubs”, states Peña, highlighting the positive link between the two types of training. “Any progression made with individual technique can later be put into practice with teamwork and achieve excellent results”.

On these types of courses essential tools are offered to make a better football player. Trainees are given sessions in technique, to then learn and automate them, and finally put them to work in a team environment, whether it be during a match or another training session. For the process to work it’s important that the courses can be worked around each players schedule with their clubs. With this as an objective, it’s ideal for them to be held on days that they don’t have training with their clubs.

“Here at Marcet we offer various options so that schedules don’t overlap”, says Peña. “For each category we have sessions on Fridays and Sundays, in order for each trainee to chose and adapt around their teams schedules. Some of the players prioritise the Annual Course over their own clubs training and there usually aren’t any issues. As they only come to improve their technique, their clubs usually allow them”.

What is really important is to be able to work in a regular and continuous way. At the end of the day it’s only one training session per week, and without devotion it isn’t possible to progress. Usually players work on the same attribute for various sessions, this way players can learn the techniques much better and consolidate them. They can then put them into practice at their respective clubs.

But it’s not always about technique. Peña has pointed out that in the last few years football intelligence has gained enormous importance in the development of outfield players as well as goalkeepers. “Our goal isn’t only to get attendees to improve and consolidate technical attributes. At the same we want to offer them insight into unknown areas in football training. Our goal is to show the players how to think for themselves and make correct decisions. And to make mistakes, of course. Errors at the end of the day are a very important part in the learning process.


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