This trip to the Shanghai SIPG training center was a unique opportunity that took months to think about, plan and finally realize. Ever since I took up the role of Physical Education teacher and coach of our football team at our school, I have always felt the need to show our students what high performance and training really is and the life of sports professionals, in this case football.
Because I am Portuguese and a professional football coach, the possibility arose in a forum of Portuguese coaches in which I was present, to speak with Vítor Pereira (coach of Shanghai SIPG) and to know the possibility of taking my students to observe what is the life of a football professional (player、coach、physiotherapist etc). Fortunately, the coach accepted and was available since the first minute to give us this possibility. It was a unique experience for the students as it allowed them to see all the infrastructure and organization that exists beyond what they see on TV or in the stadium. All the preparation that exists before the games, in the training sessions, making observations of their training sessions and games and the opponent’s games, and how the work of all the different staff departments are synced so the football team can have the best results possible in the games. Unfortunately we couldn't accomplish what we had initially foreseen due to the limitations created by Covid-19, such as being able to watch the match in the stadium referring to the training day we went to watch, but even with these limitations, the club allowed us to see the facilities, observe the training session and interact both with the players and the technical staff. For that, you have my sincere thanks.
I started coaching our football team last year and from the first minute I realized that we have many students who are passionate about the game. Unfortunately, most of them didn’t had contact with this sport since an early age, and, as such, their technical and tactical level is somewhat limited when compared to other students or athletes in the same age range.
Therefore, my first goal within this team was to try to create links between the students and show that being them better or worse, they need to support each other so that the team as a whole can improve. This is the fundamental point. Only then can a team grow and improve. Next, the aim was to explain my idea of the game, to show how we should train, what intensity we should have in training and in the games, what they should do regarding the position and role they have, and, last but not least, to allow students to show their individual quality in a collective sense, that is, to extract the best from everyone with a goal that is the team, because the whole is more than just the sum of its parts. Finally, to have fun playing, training and seeing this club as a second family. We are all together to help each other. The good atmosphere within the club is the proof of that.
I think that this mentality and all the commitment present on the part of all the players has allowed this club to grow, to evolve and to predispose itself to more and more ambitious goals. Due to various limitations we have in terms of infrastructures, at the moment we usually train once a week, but we are working so we can eliminate some of these limitations and have more weekly trainings, so that the evolution, development and growth of this team can be more constant and systematic. The holding of games against other schools is already part of our annual calendar, but we intend to manage the periodicity of these games better, since due to some limitations we cannot hold games as often as we would like, not even in our own facilities, which forces us to travel a lot.
We hope as a club that year after year we can do more and better.