THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Always speak in football language, stresses Raymond Verheijen

Raymond Verheijen at the "Conditioning Conference for Football Coaches" in India

For Raymond Verheijen – the renowned Dutch football fitness coach who is in India to conduct a three-day Conditioning Conference for Football Coaches – the overall outlook of fitness in football should be addressed in ‘football language’ – which stays the most important aspect.

“It’s not about endurance, rather it’s about maintaining football for 90 minutes,” he stressed several times on the first day of the Course which is being organised by All India Football Federation at the Federation House, FICCI in New Delhi. The Course which kicked-off on Tuesday will continue till Thursday (February 14).

“You see you have to talk in football language. If you tell your player that you don’t have enough endurance to last the entire duration of the match, his doubt will never be clear. Rather you should tell him that his actions per minute were becoming less in the dying minutes of the match,” he maintained.

“The actions per minute can improve by making players play football with say four versus four. This increases action per second. After you have done that in your training sessions, you’ll see the difference on the pitch, 11 versus 11,” he added.

“Recovery time is also very important for a player to give his best throughout the duration of the match at that same pace,” Verheijen, who has worked with the likes of Guus Hiddink, Dick Advocaat, explained.

It’s not every day that someone of the stature of Raymond comes calling to India. You glance through his CV and you will find out that he has worked with FC Barcelona, Chelsea, Manchester City, etc.

The Dutchman, who was part of three World Cups and European Championships, maintained throughout the morning theory session that football language stays the most important thing and fitness is interrelated to the basics of football.

“If I speak Dutch with you all now, you’ll walk out of this room after some time. Similarly a fitness trainer should talk about his trade in footballing terms, football language I repeat. Like for example, the four versus four exercise to increase a player’s action per minute is in itself a fitness programme explained to you in football language,” he maintained.

In the practical session post lunch, Verheijen stressed on dynamic stretching rather than static stretching apart from passing and quicker recovery techniques.

Later explaining his activities on the pitch in the evening theory session, the former FC Barcelona Advisor of Periodisation said: “The reason I avoid static stretching is because it relaxes your muscles. Before a game you should always opt for dynamic stretching. Otherwise when you are not playing, you can have sessions of flexibility and static stretching.”

The list of participants:
Santosh Kashyap (ONGC), C Pinho (ONGC), Djair de Miranda Garcia (Prayag United), Anjan Nath (Prayag United), Anthony Fernandes (Air India), Simon D’Souza (Air India), Aaron Symons (Pailan Arrows), Sujit Chakraborty (Pailan Arrows), Oscar Bruzon (Sporting Clube de Goa), Alex Alvares (Sporting Clube de Goa), Thangboi Shingto (Shillong Lajong), Gumpe Rime (Shillong Lajong), Derrick Pereira (Pune FC), Tariq Sheikh (Pune FC), Henry Picardo (Mumbai FC), Vivek Rawat, Melbin Thomas (United Sikkim), Francisco, Bitan Singh, Pradip Datta, John Keneth Raj, Hilal Parray, Gautam Ghosh, Sajid Dar, Aqeel Ansari, Anadi Barua, Biby Thomas, Surinder Singh, Kundan Chandra, Vivek Nagul.

(AIFF Press Release)