Continuing the club's committment to development based on best practices across the world, coaches Andy Lee and Christian Lavers went to Valencia, Spain for 9 days in December to learn from some of the best coaching educators and youth development experts in the world. During the trip, 20 ECNL coaches from across the country studied under renowned youth development expert Raymond Verheijen, founder of the educational organization World Football Academy, and from the staff and directors of La Liga club Valencia CF, considered one of the top development clubs in the world.
The content of the courses conducted on the trip varied from philosophy of training and principles of development, to concepts of teaching tactics and communication, to practical review of sessions with Valencia youth players, and more. The trip also included tactical match analysis of two matches - Valencia vs. Celta Vigo, and Barcelona vs. Villareal.
“The amount of information and detail that was presented to us by the Valencia CF coaches and Methodology Department was outstanding. Not only that but the access we were given to the coaches, players, training, and games was extraordinary for a club of Valencia’s stature,” said Andy Lee. “I’m bringing home a wealth of information that is instantly transferrable to our players at FC Wisconsin. However, it was also rewarding to see that in terms of our own methodology and long term development model, we are already in a great spot, as there were many similarities between the Valencia model and our own. I’m fortunate to work for a club like FC Wisconsin, and in the ECNL, to be given these opportunities. Both organizations understand that better coaches will in turn create a better environment for our players.”
"We are constantly evaluating what our development model looks like, and whether it is the best way to train and teach players," said Christian Lavers. "The ability to have this type of personal interaction, and deep engagement, with some of the top practitioners in the world, helps us insure that we are serving our players the best ways possible, and that we are doing our part to help them maximize their potential."
For more on World Football Academy and Raymond Verhiejen, click here.
"FC Wisconsin will continue to invest in the development of our coaches, because that is how you help develop better players," said Lavers. "These programs are not tourism and marketing programs, but deep dives into pedagogy and methodology that test and sharpen our staff."