Last week the eight annual World Football Academy Expert Meeting took place in Split, Croatia. 50 coaches from all around the world participated in this edition that was the best one to date.
The Expert Meeting is the Level 2 course for coaches who want to educate themselves independently from subjective opinion and local federations. At the level 1 there is the Football Periodisation Mentorship, Football Tactics Evolution and Football Braining Experience that you can read more about by clicking the links.
After the Expert Meeting coaches can progress to the Level 3, Pro Course and the Level 4, Personal Development Course within the World Football Academy Pathway.
As a mentor at the Expert Meeting in course there was some very interesting observations, especially in terms of how the subgroups evolved during the week that will be explained in detail in a future blog post.
Walking back and forth between the 8 subgroups meant that we as mentors got a snapshot of what the group was working on and how the interactions within the group was developing. All 8 subgroups started out with very different ideas and concepts on the topic for the week; “Developing an individual training methodology within the team training”
This bottom-up process of each group independently from each other developing their concept was very fascinating to follow. All the groups came up with something that was unique in relation to the other groups. This was football coach evolution in practice.
During the week there was plenary presentations on different topics and with external experts such as Rene Maric, Nikos Overheul and doctor Tea Galic in addition to an in depth presentation of the Hajduk academy by Mario Despotovic.
Every evening Raymond Verheijen and Marcel Lucassen had a practical session with the Hajduk B-team consisting mostly of Croatian national team players. It was a real eye-opener for many of the attending coaches to see the level of these players – they were extremely good.
The training sessions and the evaluation of these session was a central part during the course and connected to the overall theme of how do develop individual players within the team context.
The environment at this years Expert Meeting was made exceptional by the incredible hospitality of Hajduk Split. They not only let us train with their best youth players, a majority of the players are on the national team (!), but also their staff at the stadium went above and beyond in their service and assistance to us which made us feel at home in their stadium.
This years Expert Meeting was the best because of multiple factors; the coaches participating were all very hard working, dedicated to their personal development and intelligent people while the atmosphere created by being at a beautiful hotel in a beautiful city combined with the superb hospitality and generosity of a fantastic club created an environment where failure was not an option.
Hajduk Split made 50 new supporters during this week and the beautiful city of Split has probably enticed many of us to come back for a holiday next year.