Saturday, 14 February 2015


As probably everyone knows in September 2015 after returning from my coaching experience in Palo Alto (USA) I accepted the role of Head of Coaching & Sports Science at the International Futsal Academy based in Loughborough. One of the jobs that I have in the new role is to be the Head Coach for Loughborough United Futsal Club competing in the FA National Futsal League Midlands Division 2. At the beginning of season we established as our main target to get promoted to Division 1, which meant to win the League. We started the season with a defeat against our main rivals. Since then we have won all the games however I was not very happy. I felt that the team had a lack of something... and I started to think. Well, let's go to be honest... overthink.

As everyone knows too, during the last 2 seasons leading Sheffield FC Futsal we had success given the different circunstancies in each season. Specially, during the season 2012-2013. The most successful season ever for the Club. A season that I will never forget. A season that gave me too many friends. I know that comparisons are always bad, but my target was to achieve that level in the new team. Since those players, that group of players, that TEAM had something special. And I know that if any team wishes to achieve what Sheffield FC Futsal achieved that season there have to be some values in the changing room. An internal force that drives the team to success.

Resultado de imagen de jugar con el corazonThat overthink gave me... well... Xesco Espar (Former FC Barcelona Handball Head Coach) gave me those internal forces. Some time ago, I read his book "Jugar con el corazón. La excelencia no es suficiente" (Playing with the heart. Excellence is not enough). Xesco Espar explains the 5 values that are needed to have to work in a team. Five values that all the Sheffield FC Futsal players had and showed on the futsal court in every single training session and game. 

Therefore, once I realised that our problem was not technical, physical, tactical or social, I decided to have a meeting with the captains first and the players then to explain those five values needed in a team sport and show them a couple of videos. 

Let's go with the 5 values from Xesco Espar's book:
1. Generosity: Basically, every player has to give to the team more than the team expects from him. If a player is not doing his job, I have to do my job and his job because I know that in a reverse situation he would do the same for me. Probably, you will understand that with the following video:

2. Humility: If you have a bad day, you must let people help you. Let your mates shine. Let your mates take the penalty if you have a bad day even if you are the usual taker.

3. Confidence: Team dares to step forward when situation is not clear. As Xesco Espar explains, confidence is like a table. The more legs, the more solid the table is. If after a mistake, the player is punished, it is like cutting off one of the legs of the table. However, if after something good by the player, you give him positive feedback you are building his confidence.

4. Enthusiasm: Enthusiasm is everything, without it, we are nothing. Besides, enthusiasm is contagious and its lack too. So the lack of enthusiasm is very dangerous for the team. Coaches must be leaders in creating this enviroment. Teammates on the bench, must encourage all the time. That encouragement will make your teammate to win the 50-50 challenge.

5. Commitment: Commitment starts when fun finishes. It is really easy to commit to something when is funny and works perfectly. But that it is not commitment. Commitment is when we show the same values when things do not go well.

I finished the meeting showing the video that Tommy Pearson, my Performance Analyst at Sheffield FC Futsal, made to show/motivate the players in the changing room before playing the semi final of the Grand Finals 2013 against Baku United. A game with a cruel end, but that resumes a perfect season against a professional team. 

And a video that shows all those 5 values needed to success in a team enviroment. I asked my players to find all those 5 values, and I think the did it.

Eight days after the meeting; the chemistry, environment and relationships in the Loughborough United FC team have improved. We are a better team, we are a TEAM, and we are a bit closer to get the target that we wanted to achieve at the beginning of the season. Only 3 more games.






Thursday, 18 December 2014


Dr. Markus W. Laupheimer and myself are very proud to announce that yesterday a post about futsal was published in the BASEM Blog (British Association of Sport & Exercise Medicine). 

We hope that these small things help to develop and spread this amazing sport around England, UK and the world.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014


Incredible and amazing last 5 days!

On Thursday I travelled to Granada to delivered a talk at the University of Jaén in the II Congreso International de Educación a través del Deporte (II International Congress of Education through Sport). The conference was a success, I met great people, and I had the opportunity to spend 2 days with one of my best friends and his family from my days in Toledo.

After that on Friday night I took a flight to Barcelona to join the England Futsal team and head off to Andorra for our last 2 friendly games before the EUROS in January 2015 in Malta. We ended up winning both games 2-3. Perfect weekend and ready for the tournament next month!

As promised at the conference in Jaén as soon as I had time I would put online my presentation. Therefore, please click the following link to download the pdf with my full presentation.

Finally, I would like to thank Dr. Amador J. Lara Sánchez for his invitation and his hospitality during my short time in Jaén and our Head Coach Peter Sturgess for allowing me to join the team in Barcelona rather than travel with them from London.


Thursday, 4 December 2014


The II Congreso International de Educación a través del Deporte (II International Congress of Education through Sport) will be held by the University of Jaén (Spain) between the 10th and the 12th of December 2014. On the 11th of December, before travelling to Andorra for our 2 friendly games with England Futsal, I have been invited to deliver a talk representing The FA and The IFA entitled "Educando jugadores de fútbol sala para el alto rendimiento" (Educating futsal players for the high performance). It is going to be tough and difficult due to my current work rate, but I cannot wait to see old friends again.

In my presentation I will talk about our way of work within the England Futsal Team and the International Futsal Academy teams, our approach to educate players, and our commitment to their education.

If you want to register for the Congress, please follow the link. Registration is completely free. If you want to know the full programme click here or see the picture below.

Everyone is important when a congress or a conference is organised, but I would like to congratule my friend Amador J. Lara-Sánchez for his invitation and his hard work in the last years to achieve what he has achieved. 

Well done Amador!!!

Sunday, 23 November 2014


What a weekend! The first ever futsal conference in England has been a great success. I am very proud to say that the last 3 days have been ones of the best ones I have ever had with the England Futsal Team. Together with the first ever qualification for the next round in Lithuania in January 2013, last weekend will be something that I will never forget.

I have had the chance to work, talk, chat, spend time, share ideas and learn with and from people from all around the world.

In particular, I have had the chance to meet some great people and share 3 days with fantastic friends. Thanks a lot for your time, your words, your knowledge, your advice, your experiences and of course your jokes to Manuel Fco. Aranda Carmona, Maria Rodrigo, David Jennings and Javier Lozano Cid.

 You are great!!!

Finally, I would like to thank all the people who attended my talks over the 2 days. Thanks a lot for your feedback. It has been amazing! Also, as I promise please click in the following link to download my presentation. Feel free to share it.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014


I am very glad to announce that my friend Alex Huntly has published his first ever paper in an International Journal. The article is a fantastic review about the use of acupuncture and dry needling in sport and common conditions. The paper has been published in the American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine.

There is an evidence base of varying strength for the use of acupuncture in conditions, such as chronic low back pain, myofascial trigger point, osteoarthritis, pain relief, performance enhancement and respiratory disorders. The aim of this study was to review the evidence base of acupuncture for common conditions that occur in sport. A literature review of how acupuncture works and what it can treat was performed. Evidence for each condition was critically appraised. There are significant differences in the perceived effectiveness of acupuncture for different conditions and mechanisms. Chronic low back pain, myofascial trigger point, acute low back pain and osteoarthritis were perceived to be effective. All of the reviewed mechanisms of acupuncture were perceived more effective than Chinese meridian. Those conditions that were rated as less effective generally had less supporting evidence or were not relevant to sporting populations.

Keywords: trigger point, low back pain, traditional chinese medicine.

The whole reference of the article is as follows:

To download the paper in pdf format click here

Congratulations Alex!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014


The Football Association announced last month its first ever dedicated futsal conference. The conference will take part at St. George's Park at the end of November.

At the end of last month, The FA confirmed the final line-up for the conference which include Benny Meurs, ex-Belgian Head Coach, and Javier Lozano Cid, ex-Spanish Head Coach and current President of the LNFS (Liga Nacional de Fútbol Sala).  

Also, I am glad to confirm that after The FA's invitation I will be able to deliver two talks at the conference. The talks will be one each day, therefore people will have the choice to attend any of the days without missing any other content. The FA and I agreed to put a very open title for the talk ("Fitness and conditioning for futsal"). That is the reason beacuse I would like to invite you to send me your feedback, your questions, your enquiries... about what you would like to be covered in those talks. 

"Conferences should be designed for the attendants, not the speakers."

The conference, entitled "A Catalist for Change", is open to all levels and designed for any coach interested in futsal as a primary coaching pathway or as a development tool and will provide an ideal opportunity to network, learn and share new ideas.

You can find the full conference's programme here.

Book your place click here.

And more info here.

Looking forward to meeting you at the conference and receiving your questions.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Basketball Training Load: The validation of the BATLOC Tool

I am glad to announce that one more paper from my PhD Thesis was recently published in the American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine.

The main objective of a coach is to optimize athletic performance. The best performance improvements come from prescribing an optimal dose of physical training with proper recovery periods to allow for the greatest adaptation before competition. The main objective was to validate an inexpensive, easy, non-invasive, real time tool to control and monitor the training load in basketball: the BATLOC tool. Fourteen elite female basketball players from a top-4 team that competes in the England Basketball League Division I volunteered to participate in this study (20.50 ± 2.31 years old, 174.21 ± 4.17 cm, 75.21 ± 15.38 kg, BMI of 24.67 ± 4.23, 177.29 ± 7.60 cm of arm span, 19.01 ± 2.34 % of body fat, and 45.18 ± 4.17 ml/kg/min of VO2max. Two mesocycles were analized: pre-season (6 weeks) and in-season (10 weeks). Training load was controlled and monitored daily with the BATLOC tool. Heart rate was monitored for every player every 5 s in each training session. The RPE was measured using the 6-20 Borg scale. The Pearson’s product moment correlation between the means of intensity, RPE, heart rate, maximum heart rate and equivalent training load showed an excellent concordance (>0.75). To conclude, based on the results in this study and the literature reviewed, the BATLOC tool seems to be a good method to control global internal training load in basketball. This method does not require any expensive equipment and may be very useful and convenient for coaches to monitor the internal training load of basketball players.

Keywords: RPE, heart rate, periodisation, team sports.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014


Either if you are a futsal coach, a futsal assistant coach, a futsal goalkeepers coach, a futsal sports scientist, a futsal manager, a futsal referee, a futsal fan or a simple futsal lover, you should check the next website:, is an on-line meeting place for futsal coaches and fans. It was born in February 2013 with the objective of being a reference of CPD courses for coaches, instructors, trainers, S&C coaches, goalkeepers coaches and anyone interested in improving day by day and seeing first hand the work developed by the best futsal coaches in the world. In the technical staff section we can see people such as: José Venancio López Hierro (Spain’s Head Coach), Federico Vidal (Spain’s Assistant Coach), César Arcones de la Calle (Spain’s GKs Coach), or Dr Antonio Bores Cerezal (Spain’s S&C Coach); but the collaborators are lots and their quality is amazing.

In the last issue, I have been lucky enough because one of my exercises has been pubished. The task aims to improve the speed endurance (displacement speed, dribling speed, and speed of 1x1) in futsal players developing a 1x1 twice after a zig-zag sprint followed by a 2x0 in the other goal plus an optional defensive balance. Following the next link you will see my drill: CLICK HERE.

For more info they are also on Facebook and Twitter: