Danish Project Revolutionizing the World of Football
Global Football Training is a new project travelling the world to map, analyse and boost training techniques for future generations of footballers.
Kenn Schmidt Nielsen is the driving force behind Global Football Training and he set off on the first leg of a world tour in October 2010. Three years on, the trip is coming to an end; however, the aim remains the same: to map the world of football by visiting footballing institutions across the globe.
“Spending hours watching teams train and play is a necessity to collect data and one thing is certain: talented footballers come from all parts of the world,” says Kenn Schmidt.
But Global Football Training is not about scouting players for clubs in Europe.
Mapping structures and developing a philosophy to enhance player development is the sole purpose of Global Football Training.
Football: a way of life
To spend three years travelling the world and analyzing coaching techniques, player development schemes, scouting programmes and philosophies, football has to be a way of life.
And Kenn Schmidt has been involved with football his whole life. Before the launch of Global Football Training, he coached some of the best youth players in Denmark and personal savings have funded the trip.
“My aim is to nurture talented footballers that are gifted athletes with a unique skill set, and Global Football Training has made it possible to gain access to some of the best setups in the world,” explains Kenn Schmidt.
Visiting leading universities and academies within popular sports such as tennis, basketball and American Football also provided a valuable insight into new ways of producing better footballers.
Culture and football closely linked
Outside of the training ground, the perks of travelling the world include experiencing local culture and life, meeting agents and talking to footballing personalities. Major sports are often seen as being an inherent part of local culture. Studying cultural settings should thus lead to an in-depth understanding of coaching techniques, footballing philosophy and player development.
If able to identify successful patterns and transform them into a universal coaching technique, lesser footballing nations might be able to produce more gifted players.
“To do so, we need to look at more than coaching. Factors such as culture, nutrition and way of life play a huge part in producing talented athletes and footballers,” says Kenn Schmidt.
A world tour is needed
At the start of 2013, Global Football Training had visited more than 80 footballing institutions across Europe, Africa, Asia, North and South America. The world tour started off at Liverpool FC before heading through Europe to Spain, ending with a visit at FC Barcelona.
Global Football Training got to meet exciting personalities and watch some of the best youth players in the world in action, as well as visit impressive academy setups and stroll into fabled stadiums. And to experience such a variety of approaches to player development highlighted the fact that every professional setup has its pros and cons.
Africa – a world apart
Africa was next on the agenda. Global Football Training went to Egypt, Tanzania, Ghana and South Africa and studied the setup at successful clubs as well as private academies – some of which were run by former world stars such as Marcel Desailly.
Africa is blessed with bags of passion for football, but lack the infrastructure of its European counterpart. Nonetheless, a large contingent of African footballers is plying their trade in Europe, and an in-depth study of their coaching techniques, cultures and setups should tell us why.
After Africa, it was time to board a plane for South America. The talent to come out of this region is amazing, but it is necessary to look beyond the powerhouses of Brazil and Argentina to get to the core of the region´s success.
“Football is a way of life in Brazil and Argentina, but the whole continent has given so much to the sport – and the passion in Uruguay is out of this world”, says Kenn Schmidt.
Global Football Training visited a host of revered and successful clubs in Uruguay, Columbia and Peru – as well as Brazil and Argentina. But the visit to Uruguay will live long in the memory, and true football fans are encouraged to follow in the footsteps of Global Football Training and spend time in Montevideo with local clubs Nacional, Peñarol and Wanderers.
More to come from Global Football Training
A trip to the U.S. followed soon after. Football plays a secondary role in the U.S.; however, this leg of the trip showed that much can be learnt from studying other popular sports.
Global Football Training travelled up the east coast and took time to visit clubs, high schools and universities, as well as study other major sports. From the start, this trip showed that European clubs are not operating to the full extent of technological advances – but more on this later.
Next up is a trip back to the U.S., followed by visits to clubs and academies in Mexico, India, China, South Korea and Australia. To follow the final leg of Global Football Training´s world tour, check out the travel calendar at www.globalfootballtraining.com.
Stay tuned for more news on Global Football Training and thoughts on regional differences in coaching, scouting and player development.