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CoachesNet Speaks with Rene Miramontes Before Educational Trip to Argentina Next Week

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CHICAGO (Feb. 3, 2010) – CoachesNet caught up with current U.S. Soccer National Staff Coach Rene Miramontes to review the upcoming coaching education trip to Argentina. Miramontes, who led 45 coaches to Buenos Aires last March, discusses U.S. Soccer’s focus and what he expects for the return visit to Buenos Aires.

Open to all coaches, CoachesNet attendees will head to Buenos Aires, Argentina on Thursday, Feb. 11 and return to the United States on Friday, Feb. 19. This unique trip will allow coaches the opportunity to study and learn from two very successful international clubs and specifically, the clubs training cycles and youth development philosophies.

The first few days in Argentina will center on professional teams in Buenos Aires, where coaches will participate in lectures and observe youth and professional training sessions. Coaches will also attend two professional matches and take part in lectures led by the Argentina Football Federation (AFA).

Upon departing Buenos Aires, coaches will head south to the city of La Plata where they will spend the next few days with professional club Estudiantes. During the visit with Estudiantes, coaches will focus on how the club’s teams prepare, train and play from their youth to professionals sides. Coaches will attend training sessions, take part in lectures and interact with their coaching staffs. This opportunity will give coaches a unique view on how Estudiantes, a club known for developing players, prepares and trains their players.

CoachesNet: What should a coach expect for attending the Argentina coaching education trip?

Rene Miramontes: “This will be an excellent opportunity for professional development for our coaches. Not only will they get to learn and interact from top coaching personalities as well as age-tested programs in the business but also they will have the opportunity to experience first-hand the Argentinean soccer culture. This is invaluable to our coaches, because it leads to understanding of the style of soccer the country plays as well as to expanding our coach’s knowledge in training.”

CN: Is there a specific theme or a set curriculum that U.S. Soccer will follow throughout the week?

RM: “Yes, the overall theme that we will focus on will be Match Analysis. We are very fortunate to hear from top professionals in the sport and we want to hear these personalities share as much of their knowledge as they can. It is for this reason that there will not be a set curriculum but rather, a well defined theme which will be Match Analysis. All instruction will be taken from this perspective.”

CN: Coaches will spend time with professional clubs studying and interacting with their training staffs on how they develop players. What will you look for during these sessions?

RM: “Our national team coaches generally reflect on the lack of technical development in our players. On this trip, the constant will be the emphasis that Argentina places on continued technical development at all ages and levels of the game. They will also look into their methods of match analysis and how this determines not only player development but also the exportation of players throughout the world. Finally, our coaches will get a glimpse of the dedication, discipline and the passion it takes for a young one to become a professional footballer there.”

CN: Will participants take part in field sessions?

RM: “Our coaches will be there mostly as observers, however, during the session’s staff coaches from the host club will be on hand to answer questions or make points as the session is going on so our coaches can get a better idea of why they do what they do.”

CN: How do you feel educational trips like these help coaches develop?

RM: “Coaching is a never ending learning endeavor. As such, we must not just stay abreast of all the latest coaching trends but because this is truly a world game we must learn all we can from other countries. We cannot take an isolationist perspective and we must always be questioning and seeking new knowledge at home as well as abroad. I have no doubt those experiences such as this one will lead us to either questioning or reassurance in the way we coach and the way we see the game; and as long as we question, we are on the path to development as individuals as well as a soccer nation.”

CN: Can you give example?

RM: “Up until our last trip to Argentina, the way I did match analysis was pretty much based on systems, general tendencies, set pieces and then, important match-ups. Based on the coaching notebooks developed by U.S. Soccer, Marcelo Vivas, former director of player development for Estudiantes de La Plata, was intrigued by the way we did our match analysis. Based on this, a most interesting exchange took place. He introduced us to match analysis from the match-up perspective and we explained our way of analysis. Personally, I learned a new way of analyzing matches but more importantly, I now have a good idea of how Argentineans look at the game in terms of analysis.

CN: What will a typical day include?

RM: “Participants will enjoy full days. A typical day will begin around 8:30am and finish with a dinner late in the evening in typical Argentine style. In the course of the day we will observe specific training based on a theme and age we requested, we will interact with coaches at all levels from the youth coach to the national team staff, we will be at hand to watch first division matches and as the schedule allows, some time for shopping and enjoy one heck of an “asado” (Barbeque) during our visit.”