GVC launches BuildUp Becoming a better footballer

As a student, you are eager to learn. At the university, you are developing yourself every single day: lectures, practicals, internship, thesis work. All this work will turn you in an expert in your chosen field of interest.

Being so eager to develop, you quite likely want to improve yourself also in your beloved sport. Of course: cheer fun, physical challenge and competitive excitement are the most important reasons to play football. But at a given moment, once you start feeling that you learn nothing new, training sessions and matches are no longer satisfying. In football, there is no roof, no ceiling – as a footballer, there are always so many things to improve.

And actually, stimulating the development of a football player should not be that difficult. With just a few constructive words a footballer may learn about a particular weakness he or she was not aware of. And with just one extra sentence of spot-on coaching a player may get the tools to improve a particular football skill. A coach merely has to trigger and guide the process of development – in the end, the person who really achieves the development, through hours of practice, is the player him- or herself.

As Student Football Club, GVC considers any stagnation in the development of football skills of students to be a missed opportunity. For this reason, in the season 2019/2010 GVC will start BuildUp. BuildUp is a personal development program in which trainers/coaches and team mates help you to become a better footballer.

So, how does it work? Spread out over a period of few months, BuildUp consists of the following components:

  1. Together with a trainer/coach, make a detailed assessment of your current skills and determine specific improvement targets (self-evaluation);
  2. With the help of trainer/coaches and skilful team mates, get instructions for how to reach your improvement targets;
  3. During training sessions and around matches, practice your personal learning goals;
  4. During training sessions and around matches, obtain personalised, specific feedback;
  5. Evaluation and possibility to start with (i) again, i.e., determine new targets.

So, these are the steps that form the general outline of BuildUp. Yet, this is just a rough ‘helicopter view’ – each step in itself has lots of specifics. Starting already with the self-evaluation, in which many different elements of your football game will be addressed – some of which you probably did not even think about before. The first phase requires a fair and honest attitude towards yourself – the first phase in any development is to become conscious of your incompetences.

The skills that BuildUp will cover are divided in two categories: Actions with the ball, and Actions without the ball (involving positioning, movement and awareness). Both categories require an instructional phase, a practice phase and a feedback phase. The trainer/coach has especially an important role in the feedback phase: Stopping the play at the right moment, to intervene if a player does not execute a certain action in the right way or at the right moment. To give you an idea, basic instructions / advises for ‘Actions without the balls’, may be (level of players of GVC2): “Look up, not down!”, to a person who has little game overview. “Check your shoulder – you again didn’t do it!”, for a midfielder who wants to improve its’ functioning as a progressive link between defence and midfielder. When this last person advances, a new point of feedback, at a slightly higher level of play, could become: “Stand open when you receive the ball, with your body towards the playing field.”

Lastly, some extra things you should know about BuildUp:

  • You are in the driving seat. BuildUp is a trajectory that is guided and supervised by trainers and coaches of GVC, but you yourself are in charge. As a football player, you set your goals, take actions to obtain the necessary information to improve (look at other football players perform, ask for feedback) and determine when you reach your goal and ready for new objectives. Within this trajectory, the trainer/coaches serve especially to confront you. For example, when you overestimate certain skills or overlook important weaknesses. In addition, the trainer/coach will bring you in football situations in which you can practice your learning goals.    
  • What is the difference from the ‘normal’ coaching/training at other football clubs? First of all, the amount of personal coaching. And secondly, the type of coaching. At other clubs, trainers/coaches are often focused at improving the team performance as a whole – feedback to players is geared towards moulding players in a particular tactical system. In BuildUp, the coaching/training is much more personalised. Coaching remarks are specific towards your learning goals – which for all players likely are different. As such, there will be possession games in which the rules are the same for everybody, but in which all players have their own, specific training objectives. These exercises will mostly be done at the beginning of the week, or the beginning of the training – leaving sufficient time for the tactical exercises needed to prepare for the upcoming match.  
  • All for one and one for all. In BuildUp, we recognise that different players have different qualities. One player has a strong header. Another player positions himself correctly for intercepting counter attacks. Yet another player has a beautiful long range pass. And then, hopefully, the team has one or two goalgetters. So… We can all learn from each other. BuildUp encourages team members to share the ‘secrets’ behind their top skills. And also, to give each other feedback, in a respectful but honest way. The idea is to create an atmosphere in which all players of the team help each other to become better. And hence: to improve the team performance. Although BuildUp has a strong personal touch, the ultimate performance of a football player is to contribute to team victory. Hence, all learning goals of BuildUp are geared towards becoming a functional football player.

Enthusiastic? BuildUp is exclusively for GVC full members (i.e., members that play KNVB competition matches for GVC). BuildUp will launch in October 2019, after the Introduction Weeks, the formation of the teams, and the start of the competition. At the end of September team leaders will make an inventory of who wants to join.

BuildUp Becoming a better footballer