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Q&A with Juan Carlos Michia About Upcoming Educational Trip to Madrid, Spain

Coaches Net caught up with National Staff Coach Juan Carlos Michia to discuss the upcoming coaching educational trip to Madrid, Spain. Michia discusses details about the upcoming trip, what a coach can expect and much more.

To register, visit Questions can be directed to Space is still available.

Coaches Net: What can a coach expect for attending the trip to Madrid, Spain?

Juan Carlos Michia: “To me the trip offers so many different things, from enjoying some of the best soccer in the world, to interacting with coaches you typically would not meet, to learning about a different culture. We chose Spain for these factors and certainly feel that our group will learn a great deal and create some lasting memories.

“Madrid is currently home to three La Liga teams and is one of the top leagues in the world. Being able to stay on the campus where the Spanish National Team and Real Madrid train will give coaches an inside perspective that they might not normally get to experience. We will also be able to attend two Real Madrid games. Watching stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Xabi Alonso, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Sergio Ramos and Iker Casillas will be a terrific experience.

“Another part of the trip that is sometimes overlooked is the interaction amongst the group. Similar to a coaching course, coaches have a great opportunity to talk about soccer all day and learn from each other.”

CN: Is this trip open to all coaches?

JCM: “Yes, this trip is open to all coaches. We have arranged it similarly to the CoachesNet trip we took this past March to Buenos Aires, Argentina. The focus will once again be on youth development and we plan to take advantage of the various clubs in and around Madrid. Our goal is to offer coaches an opportunity to learn from the professional teams we visit, from youth on up to the first team.”

CN: Can “A” license coaches earn Continuing Education Credits?

JCM: “Yes, “A” license coaches will earn eight credits for attending. We feel this trip and the Argentina trip are terrific opportunities for all coaches and “A” license coaches in particular. When we began to think about organizing these types of learning opportunities, we felt it was important to target “A” license coaches. We understand how important it is to maintain your license and at the same time continue to grow with the game. I think these opportunities allow them to do both.”

CN: Do attendees earn a license?

JCM: “We do not issue a license but all coaches will receive a certificate. For attending the Spain trip, coaches will receive a U.S. Soccer certificate.”  

CN: Is there a curriculum that will be followed during the week?

JCM: “The trip will focus primarily on the development ages and specifically how Spain develops youth players. We feel like this gives our coaches an ideal learning environment since a majority of them train youth players.

“The Spanish National Team, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Sevilla and many other clubs in Spain play the game the way many of us admire. What we want to learn is how players like Xavi, Fernando Torres, Cesc Fabregas, David Villa and Iker Casillas developed. You watch these players and see just how comfortable they are with the ball whether they are under pressure or receiving a cross field pass. Collectively, I think we can agree U.S. players are not as technical as some countries. The goal is to learn how coaches in Spain develop players and incorporate some of their philosophies into our daily training."

CN: How do trips like these help coaches develop?

JCM: “I think more than anything it allows coaches to expand their thinking. For some coaches they may take with them lesson plan after lesson plan and for others it may be a few changes to a training session that will make them better.”  

CN: Can you give example?

“National Staff Coach Rene Miramontes, who led the CoachesNet trip to Argentina this past March, was extremely impressed with the one-day clinic that professional club Estudiantes de La Plata organized. Their willingness and eagerness to share their knowledge was tremendous.

“Their entire staff from U-10s to U-18s was involved. They showed just how much energy and detail they spend daily on technical exercises and team shape. How does the back-four shift when the ball is switched? While basic at times, it was great for our coaches to see how detailed they get with the kids. These are the things that make us all better.”

CN: Attendees will stay on the Spanish FA complex. Can you explain what it is like to stay at the City of Futbol hotel? View Map

JCM: “It is truly a fantastic experience. It is a beautiful campus and we will not only be able to enjoy lectures and field sessions at the facility but we will also be able to stay in the same place that Raul and Xavi have stayed in.”

CN: Coaches will be able to see two Real Madrid games; one home and one away. What is the atmosphere like during a Real Madrid game?

JCM: “You cannot describe the feeling to be in Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. You are talking about a beautiful stadium with capacity for 80,000 people and 98 percent of those people are Real fans. Home or away, the atmosphere is terrific.”

CN: What will a typical day include?

JCM: “Each morning will begin with breakfast at the hotel. On the weekends we will attend youth matches in the morning to get a feel for the level of play at the various ages. During the week we will attend first team training sessions and take part in lectures. The lectures will range from pre-season training and preparing for the season to the coaching curriculum the Spanish FA follows in their coaching schools and the topics they teach. The evenings will be spent enjoying some fine Spanish food. The days will be filled and the dinners typically late so come prepared to rest after the trip!” Sample Schedule

CN:  What is included with the trip?

JCM: “Registration includes a certificate of attendance from U.S. Soccer, NIKE traveling gear, meals, accommodations, two Real Madrid games and a full-time bilingual guide. We have also arranged for a group flight from Newark, N.J., that coaches can take advantage of.

“U.S. Soccer’s Coaching Education staff will also be attending as it is a very good way for us to interact, listen and discuss the issues, challenges and successes coaches see with their clubs on a day to day basis. Our knowledge grows when we share our different experiences.”

To Register

Download the application form and either fax (312-808-9708) or mail to:
U.S. Soccer
Attn: CoachesNet
1801 S. Prairie Ave
Chicago , IL 60616

We hope you will be joining us next year in Spain!

Questions should be directed to