We were recently joined by assistant boys director at Louisville City FC Academy, Guillermo Sanchez, to discuss his thoughts and philosophies around session design. Guillermo holds a USSF A License and has a phenomenal ranged of experiences within the game. After his playing career, he went on to coach top-flight Venezuelan club Deportivo Tachira (2014-15) before stops at clubs in India, Paraguay (Cerro Porteño) and Bolivia (The Strongest).
He also holds a masters degree in sports psychology and worked with in the MLS with Orlando City as head performance analyst and mental coach during 2017. In addition to his coaching roles, Guillermo does consultation work with coaches, players and parents around the technical and mental side of the game.
In this interview, we asked Guillermo to share one of his sessions that he would typically do with the younger age groups around ‘Build-Up Play’. One aspect that stood out throughout the interview was how deliberate that Guillermo was with the planning and flow of the session. His insight into aspects like moving from unopposed exercises to a rondo, along with the conditions that were in each exercise, show how meticulous he is with his planning, but also gives us an insight into how he thinks of the game. Having worked with senior professionals and now with young players, it’s fascinating to hear how he looks to connect those two worlds together.
Below is an example of one of the exercises that Guillermo uses in his session. In this game, the defensive team start on the lines and the attacking team starts on the spaces. When the ball goes live, all players are free to move inside the area for a 6v6 structured game. During the interview, Guillermo explains how important it is for the defensive team to be organized and effective in their pressing, as this will challenge the team in the build-up. This exercise also has a transitional element where, after a goal is scored, each team moves up in units of three into a different position, which exposes players to different perspectives and decisions.
You can watch the highlights of the interview below on our YouTube channel, as Guillermo summarizes each exercise and explains the flow of the session.
In the full MSC interview, Guillermo explains his coaching philosophy, the principles that he looks to implement on the attacking side of the game, plus the ways that he looks to effect the environment so young players can both learn and enjoy the game. You can listen to the full podcast here and you can also download the full session plan below.