The Matrix system for the monitoring of the strengths and weaknesses of specific footballers is based on more than 140 detailed measurements.
“Soccer is everything to me,” Erik Sánchez admits. A fascination that first sparked in Orlando when he was a young child. “One day, on my way home from school, I saw some older kids playing soccer, I loved it and immediately told my parents that I wanted to give it a go. That’s how I started and I haven’t stopped since.”
Erik is never seen without a ball. He trains with his team, plays at school and often spends his free time practising, even if all he has at his disposal is a wall. Once the academic year of 2017-18 was over, his parents thought that such dedication could not go unrewarded. They decided to enrol him in a High-Performance course in Barcelona and bring him closer to his dream of becoming a professional player.
At age 15, Erik crossed the Atlantic to train for a month at football’s international hotspot. Upon arrival, he learned his first lesson: if he wanted to improve, he had to know his strengths and weaknesses. “In the US I wasn’t ever properly evaluated, but now it’s obvious that it was a fundamental part of knowing where I’m excelling and where I’m lacking. Without that, there isn’t much you can do to improve.”
“if we’re talking about shooting, we’ll break the concept down into its different variants such as interior, instep, toe, volley, etc.”
Since his first training session at Marcet, the American playmaker acknowledged the advantages of having a team of technicians to film every practice. The objective being to evaluate as thoroughly as possible every student on the intensive courses for an in-depth understanding of both their current condition and necessary objectives.
“I have been rated on a scale of 0 to 40 in more than 140 aspects,” says Erik, referring to the Matrix, a system of objective rubrics based on specific measurements continuously reviewed by experts. “This methodology is designed so that each player knows their strengths and weaknesses,” says Jordi Aumatell, head of Marcet’s Evaluation Department: “For example, if we’re talking about shooting, we aren’t just analysing the shot itself, but we’ll break the concept down into its different variants such as interior, instep, toe, volley, etc.”
“From there, we establish personalized and very specific objectives so that the player can make progress in exactly what he or she needs to,” adds Aumatell. “Each student is constantly evaluated so that we can monitor their evolution and design a clear roadmap.” With these Matrix rubrics based on the principles of tailor-made philosophy, the player can actually feel the difference and progress made, which is fundamental in terms of motivation and positive reinforcement.
After the first evaluation, Marcet’s professionals adapt the learning process to each trainee’s personal characteristics, creating courses and sessions specifically designed to improve certain aspects of their technique, tactical awareness, decision making, etc. “This is not like anything in the US, where the training sessions lacked such structure,” explains Erik. “At Marcet everything is ready before the session begins, the coaches plan everything in detail and they know what they’re going to do all week. Next year I want to go back and make even more progress.”