About Valencia Soccer Academy
Club Training Philosophy: The Spanish Style of Soccer
VSA is a professional soccer club devoted to advanced player development. VSA uses training methods derived from the Spanish style of play. VSA teaches soccer as a technical and tactical art form. Rondos, overloads, and transition/possession based games are emphasized daily.
Functional technical work represents the foundation for everything. From day one, players are taught individual technical skills that are functional to the game. The process consistently explores first touch AND the movement off the ball. Who is receiving the pass? Who is delivering the pass? Are we in central or wide spaces? Which third are we in? Which part of my foot should I receive/pass with? Which foot should I use? All of these questions must be asked in order to use our technical skills on match day. With these fundamentals, we can understand and play with possession based game that we desire to execute.
Players are inspired to develop to the best of their capabilities with the following curriculum points:
Club Philosophy: Values and Psychological Approach to Coaching
Each player and team presents an individual project. A coach’s goal is not to be the best team in your league, community, club, etc. A Valencia Coach’s priority is to develop players and teams to become the BEST VERSION OF THEMSELVES. This is how we measure true success.
Team First: Every action and decision made by coaches and players will prioritize team. When the teammate next to you looks like he/she is about to quit, don’t let him/her. In addition to coaches, players should inspire one another. You, as a coach, have done your job well when the players are able to motivate/guide one another. This environment directly reflects the values of the coach and club. Players should criticize one another constructively. They should hold each other accountable. We are mentoring young adults to think for themselves. Most importantly, they should lead one another.
Work Hard: We work hard for every goal we want to achieve. Every session and game is played with integrity and hard work. Any time we are on the pitch, our hard work is a representation of the club and what we stand for.
Be Attentive: Players must pay attention to all details addressed in trainings and games. In order to be as prepared as possible, we must focus on every direction.
Do Your Job: Execute the specific tasks presented by the coach. Execute on the things that you as an individual player do well. Make a sincere effort to improve on that things that you do not do well.
Always remember that we are here for the OVERALL development of players. We value competitive drive. We value positive results on the pitch. However, the most important aspect of coaching is to inspire each player to have confidence in themselves. Not every player is talented. Not every player will be a star. Some will play a lot. Some not as much. Your most important job as a coach is to manage these situations independently and instill value and self-respect in every individual. Empowerment through Nicknames is a very useful tool. A player may not be talented, but perhaps they are funny, charismatic, or unique. Perhaps they lack in technical skills, but work hard to win the ball. Always bring out the positive characteristics that you see in a player. Make sure everyone feels as if they are part of the team.
"Never try to be better than someone else. Learn from others, and try to be the best you can be. Success is the by-product of that preparation.
- John Wooden"
Emphasis on a player’s ability to control the ball with all surfaces of the feet and body. Ability to pass, cross, and shoot. Ability to use feints, pull backs, and misdirection moves in 1v1 situations.
The understanding of when, where, why, and how to use specific techniques in match situations. Functional technique relates more specifically to player positions, movement, and shapes within the game.
At the early stages of development and beyond, players will be challenged in trainings with 1v1 exercises. It is a critical teaching point that players are capable of taking on defenders 1v1.
Emphasis on a player’s ability to read the game. When do I pass? When do I dribble? When do I shoot? Players must understand when and how to penetrate, how to switch, and how to reset play. Furthermore, players must understand how to press and defend as a team. Counter-pressing and counter-attack are two key principals that are discussed in training sessions.
Determination to Compete
Players and teams are to compete with a passion for the game. In order to develop to the highest potential, players will possess the determination to become the best version of themselves possible. Pressing, physical fitness, discipline, and respect are instilled in every session. The determination to win the ball from an opponent is equally as important as the enjoyment of possessing it.
Physical Strength, Speed, and Overall Conditioning
Valencia Soccer Academy has an exclusive partnership with premier performance company, AP2T. AP2T has trained and developed a multitude of USDA, collegiate, and professional soccer players. Each team trains weekly with AP2T throughout their Fall and Spring seasons. Players are expected to be in peak physical condition for match day.
My approach was always to relate to each player as a whole person, not just a cog in the basketball machine. That meant pushing him to discover what distinct qualities he could bring to the game beyond taking shots and making passes. How much courage did he have? Or resilience? What about character under fire? Many players I’ve coached didn’t look special on paper, but in the process of creating a role for themselves they grew into formidable champions.
- Phil Jackson (Sacred Hoops)