Saturday, 6 February 2016


The Fitness Module that I have delivered this morning in the UEFA B Futsal Course can be downloaded from the link below. 

It has been a great experience and I hope you have enjoyed the day. In the presentation you have all the drills, exercises and games that I have performed and other ones. I tried to pick the ones that I thought were more relevant and you would like to see more. As I said, if you have any question about anything, any suggestion, feedback or recommendation for the future ones, do not hesitate and contact me.

I would like to finish saying a big thank you to all the players who took part in the session from Liverpool Futsal Club, the U19 Midlands CoE, and especially to my 2 fantastic goalkeepers in L'boro Futsal Club, Tom Dennis and Mark Croft or Mark Croft and Tom Dennis (the order does not matter and you really deserve what you are achieving this season, thank you!!!), without you the session had not been the same.

Thursday, 25 June 2015


Although with almost 18-month delay I am very glad to announce that finally the futsal book that I was writing with Jonny Steel and Dave Jennings has been published. Also, I would like to thank Vava Marques (USA Futsal Assistant Coach, World United Futsal Academy and Stanford United Soccer Club) and Guillermo Wallace (England Fustal and Real Betis FSN player) for writing the preface and prologue of the book. I hope you find it helpful. Enjoy it!

Title: Futsal: Technical & Tactical Concepts.

Authors: Berdejo-del-Fresno, D., Steel, J. Jennings, D.

Editor: Asociación Didáctica Andalucia.

ISSN: 978-84-939866-5-0

Year: 2015

The book is in an online format and completely free. To download the book just here.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

VO2max Changes in Futsal Players after a Period of Small-Sided Games Training

Futsal is a high-intensity, intermittent sport where accelerations and short sprints are performed at maximal or sub-maximal intensity. These efforts are interspersed by brief recovery periods, during 2 halves of 20 minutes stopping clock. Aerobic endurance inevitably plays a key role in the players’ performance. The aim of this study was to analyse the VO2 max progression and the agility (with and without ball) of English futsal players during a 6-week period of small-sided games practice. Two teams volunteered to participate in this study; an experimental group (EG), which performed a specialised small-sided training regime and a control group (CG) (normal training regime). VO2max was estimated from the results of the 20-metre Multi-Stage Fitness Test. The VO2max of the futsal players in the EG improved significantly (58.73±2.41 ml/kg/min vs. 60.11 ± 2.99 ml/kg/min, p=0.04). The same player's agility and agility with ball performance did not report any significant changes in either group. The results showed that periodisation, training sessions and methods based on small-sided games, which implied a change in the number of players, the size of the pitch and the task constraints, were adequate to increase aerobic endurance.

Thursday, 26 March 2015


Development and Validation of a New Method to Monitor and Control the Training Load in Futsal: the FUTLOC Tool

Berdejo-del-Fresno, D.: "Development and Validation of a New Method to Monitor and Control the Training Load in Futsal: the FUTLOC Tool." American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine 3.1 (2015): 23-27.

The main objective of a coach is to optimise 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 develop and validate a new, inexpensive, easy, non-invasive, real time tool to control and monitor the training load in futsal: the FUTLOC tool. Sixteen elite male futsal players from a national team volunteered to participate in this study (24.75 ± 3.36 years old, 176.21 ± , 71.50 ± 8.18 kg, BMI of 23.17 ± 2.22, and 60.11 ± 2.99 ml/kg/min of VO2max. Training load was controlled and monitored daily with the FUTLOC tool. The RPE was measured using the 6-20 Borg scale. The Pearson’s product moment correlation between the means of intensity, RPE, training load and equivalent training load showed an excellent concordance (>0.75). To conclude, based on the results in this study and the literature reviewed, the FUTLOC tool seems to be a good method to control global internal training load in futsal. This method does not require any expensive equipment and may be very useful and convenient for coaches to monitor the internal training load of futsal players.

Find the paper here.

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!