Brain Training, Is it the answer to England’s playing and coaching problems, A very interesting Article!, what is your view ?


(this is the link to the interesting brain training link if you would like to see)


This is an interesting view on the way we think about what kind of development we prioritize to our players from when they are academy players all the way until they reach the peak of their professional careers.Over the last 10 years UEFA A Licence coach Michel Bruyninckx has been training young players with a concept of “Brain Centered Learning” and to remarkable effect, some players he has coached has come out of his program a new player and being able to achieve techniques they were never able to do before such as the story of  Faris Haroun, who was sent to work with Bruyninckx and the Belgian International returned to his club being able to use his left foot with enough ability his club thought he was a natural left footed player.

“Based on the premise that the brain is at least 1,000 times faster than any computer, Bruyninckx’s intention is to make sure the young players he trains are programmed to take full advantage of the body’s “hard disk” and become more skilful and intelligent footballers” (John Sinnott- BBC NEWS)

Many reasons have been given for England’s failures in major tournament and their lack of credibility to compete on the world stage. In the summer of 2010 there could have been a million reasons and every English man,woman and child had an opinion on England’s downfall. Questions have certainly been asked and for the first time in my life in which i can remember past tournaments i saw and still see a collective disbandment of belief in England in tournaments, people get worried when we play Algeria and there is a new culture of  a thought process that defeat and underperforming is the accepted characteristic in English football and i find it hard to disagree as we build ourselves up in our minds and through the media to be the all mighty all-conquering world-class England but in actual fact we are decades behind any other half decent national team, outplayed by everyone in the world cup and the germans with a new team of youngsters humiliated our national team.

Michel Bruyninckx believes that England have a lack of a football brain which hinders our ability to move with the modern times of world football and that the old belief in England of “on your head son” is now culturally detrimental to the state of the game in this country.I t is no surprise that Bruyninckx has had so much popularity recently when he has Barcelona as his personal bibliography and the way they play using his and professor Wolfgang Schoellhorn learning policy. England apparently develop physically strong and quick players but they aren’t very clever players or receptive to phases of play in games which means they miss opportunities in those phases and their brains don’t allow them to see those creative opportunities where as Barcelona,Mainz and other european nations adopting this modern training will be able to see those opportunities.

“With his methods endorsed by ex-Belgian national coaches Paul van Himst and Robert Waseige, Bruyninckx estimates 25% of the 100 or so players that he has coached have turned professional or are in the women’s national squads.Compare this one-man Belgian football academy’s success rate to England where, according to the Professional Footballers’ Association chief executive Gordon Taylor, of the 600 boys joining Premier League and Football League clubs at the age of 16, 500 are out of the game by the time they are aged 21.”  (John Sinnott- BBC NEWS)

“We need to stop thinking football is only a matter of the body,” the 59-year-old Bruyninckx commented. “Skilfulness will only grow if we better understand the mental part of developing a player.”   (Michel Bruyninckx -BBC NEWS)

“Cognitive readiness, improved perception, better mastering of time and space in combination with perfect motor functioning.”   (Michel Bruyninckx -BBC NEWS)

“Bruyninckx points out that in Spain there is no 11-a-side football before the age of 15. He also believes that if you want to produce technical footballers then forget the idea of competition.”I create players that can play to win at the right moment, but firstly you have to explain that learning is more important than winning games”    (Michel Bruyninckx -BBC NEWS)

The reason i have put this last quote in Bold is because i think that is a very important aspect for us to remember and if you look at my coaching theory and go down to small sided games you will see that this is something i believe very strongly in. I think we have been massively let down by the FA as far as this is concerned. Children should never be thrown into competition at the ages that they are in this country and its been a fundamental structural issue since the beginning of organised football in England. Football should always be a small sided until they reach 15 this is where they learn to deal with certain phases of play and the improvement of their technique before boring them to death with tactical formulas

I believe there is one main reason for England’s failure in tournaments and the failure to produce enough players with ability to be world-class in order to win tournaments and that is the fact that the standard of coaching in England and the structure and hierarchy is appalling.England is far behind other European nations in respect to coaching standards, i am not sure whether it is pure arrogance from the heads of the FA that govern the coaching qualification procedure or whether it is incompetence to have let us get into this dire situation, but you will never hear that from the top they will always tell you it is being worked on and things are looking up but the stats and the facts behind the disaster and failure speaks for itself.


“There are 2.25 million players in England and only one Uefa-qualified coach for every 812 people playing the game. Spain, the World Cup favourites, have 408,134 players, giving a ratio of 1:17. In Italy, the world champions, the ratio is 1:48, in France it is 1:96, Germany 1:150 and even Greece, the Euro 2004 winners, have only 180,000 registered players for their 1,100 coaches, a ratio of 1:135. ”  (Matt Scott – The Guardian)

This statistic is pitiful and as a coach fighting to achieve mine , and that is what it feels like a fight to get that in England i can assure you it is tough, it is even tougher when the instructors don’t turn up. In the last few months i have heard of countless stories where instructors have not shown up for key parts of modules leaving no explanation, a friend of mine who was due to take a Futsal coaching course through the FA didn’t turn up and then when they have finished the course the applicants aren’t hearing feedback and then face another fight to retrieve their certificates which they have paid for and earned. This malpractice is huge in respect to the reason why our ratio is so poor when it is so very difficult to climb the ladder here.

“three years ago an official report concluded that coaching is the “golden thread” leading to international success, but new Uefa data shows that there are only 2,769 English coaches holding Uefa’s B, A and Pro badges, its top qualifications. Spain has produced 23,995, Italy 29,420, Germany 34,970 and France 17,588.Between them those four nations have provided eight of the 12 finalists at all the World Cups and European Championships since 1998. England, meanwhile, have not appeared in a tournament final in 44 years.”  (Matt Scott – The Guardian)

This is atrocious reading for people are trying so desperately to gauge a career in the game, to know that if they were in any other european country they would be at the top of the game right now.What this has done is drive aspiring coaches to leave England myself included i am looking to leave and go back to the USA or anywhere there are more coaching opportunities. The price is also an issue, considering we have one of the weakest numbers in B Licence coaches why on earth do we pay so much more for our’s ?, you would think they would be dropping the price and the ridiculous pass rate.The fact is european nations have B Licence coaches creating programs for their children and their local communities giving young children an avenue from the bottom to the top to train at an elite modern level and the children of England get the Jose Mourinho wannabe on a sideline kicking a ball in the middle for an hour and shouting at young children teaching them to be rude with the language they use rather than intelligent and progressive sports people.Now i don’t mean every coach is at that standard in England but the trouble is all of those B licence coaches are at professional clubs and those professional programs aren’t available for the normal local community so how are we supposed to develop a team capable of winning tournaments when we can’t even have the intelligence to accept the structure is wrong and needs changing.

Because of the above issue id tend to believe that it is the neglection of football development in this country rather than we possess unintelligent footballers which is the reason for our downfall although that doesn’t mean that i don’t think Michel’s Brain training is essential as it is a new modern development in coaching and one we should adapt too and who would argue with his references from the way Barcelona play.I will leave you with this revelation ……

“At the current rate of progress it will take 123 years for England’s resource of Pro-licensed coaches to match Spain’s today.”

Brain Training, Is it the answer to England’s playing and coaching problems, A very interesting Article!, what is you’re view ?.


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