Insights Training Session – Marijn Beuker
Was that a good training session?
In a recent Leadersinsports article, Marijn Beuker, Sport Development Director AZ, explains that a lot of training sessions do not adequately promote a clear learning effect.
“We know how to effect changes in the muscles through training and recovery, but how can you change the brain in the process of training and have an effect for the long-term?”
AZ’s ability to identify and develop talent has been a cornerstone of its success and stands testament to the fine work of the club’s trainers. AZ academy graduates include club captain Teun Koopmeiners, a 22-year-old midfielder coveted across Europe, and the promising forward duo of the 21-year-old Calvin Stengs and 19-year-old Myron Boadu. In fact, during the past five years, over 45 per cent of all in-game minutes at AZ were played by home-grown players on average. Across Europe, only Athletic Club in Spain’s La Liga boast similarly impressive statistics.
“We discussed about the facts of neuroscience and learning retention within all the different age categories and, more importantly, how training can be calibrated in all details on the field to increase the learning effect and to create the desired changes in the brain. ”
He says: “The biggest mistake that people make nowadays is that they think repetition is key. What we discovered is that you have to vary smart repetitions to use the perception-action process and to avoid autopilot.”
It’s important to understand we don’t learn from repetitions – we learn through variation in repetitions. We as coaches have to provide these variations within training sessions.
1️⃣ Training sessions should be no longer than 90 minutes.
According to Marijn, people place too much emphasis on quantity.
2️⃣ Randomized trainings play a key role at AZ’s youth academy.
Even though the academy’s trainers often feel discomfort because of the chaos, the players are constantly sharp, focused, and show a lot of energy. At the same time, it appears they learn a lot of new skills & techniques.
3️⃣ Players benefit from playing barefoot.
To quote Marijn: “Shoes limit the connections your feet are making with obstacles and therefore foot development”. The AZ programme has mapped out exactly how much time needs to be allocated to training on different surfaces like grass, artificial turf and concrete.
Thought these insights were interesting?
Read the full article at https://leadersinsport.com/performance/how-your-training-sessions-can-better-promote-athlete-learning/