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About Ismet Harbuzi

My football philosophy
To play technical and entertaining football and to have a good, constructive passing game and simultaneously create an environment where every player can develop in their own pace.

My goal is to have variation on the practices so that the players are encouraged and can make own decisions. Monotonous practices strangle players’ creativity and in the end it is the quality of the practice and the players’ motivations that determine their development.

It is important to have a game idea that both I and the players believe in. After living and working in Holland, the training of football talents has caught my interest the most. The coaching of talents will therefore have highest priority.

Questions that I ask myself:
What are the associations (clubs) presently doing for their talents?
How can you motivate and keep own talents, what does one have to offer?
What does it take for talents to succeed and achieve the needed goals?
Where do we (in Sweden) stand compared to other countries when it comes to talent coaching?
In what way can Sweden take advantage of its long pre-season when it comes to talent coaching?
What are we good at?
What can we improve?
Why talent coaching?

I have found some of the answers to these questions in Dutch football.

How one works in Holland?
Organized talent coaching is conducted with boys ages 13-18. There they have three guidelines:
- Drumming in technique with ball (isolated technique training).
- Position based exercise (Specific exercise based from players’ position in the team).
- Fitness training with ball (individually adapted).

Usually they (in Holland) have two exercise passes a day. The morning pass contains a lot of technique in which the training is conducted on stations with few players (three to six players per station) and the afternoon pass which contains games I different forms with the entire team. The goal here is to apply the exercised technique in game play.

Important to mention is that regardless of what one does at the exercises there are high demands on technique and the ball cannot be allowed to stand still.

What do you achieve with talent coaching?
Throughout a larger number of repetitions (many ball contacts) you will achieve better quality and feel of ball. This will develop courage and players will take own initiatives – will seek the ball as the training desire increases. In order to succeed it is required to have high concentration in the training sessions. One has time to deepen oneself in details, instruct and follow the development considerably more than one does with an entire team.

How do you apply this in Sweden?
Tip on how talent coaching can be conducted in Sweden.
1. Create an exercise bank that contains appropriate exercises for talented players.
2. Have the courage to break the pattern, through the conducting of exercises in practice.

How do I work in practice?

Example: For Talent coaching. Click this link to read further on the contents of an exercise bank.

You often hear that there is a lack of resources concerning talent coaching. Below the reader will find tips on how smaller associations (clubs) with limited resources can work with talent coaching.

How do you conduct talent coaching? (Regardless of resources)
Example one: Training separately with talents. Conduct at least one or two extra training sessions, on top of the ordinary training session. For elite purposes it is recommended that at least two extra sessions a week are conducted.

Example two: How does one go about in Holland? Exercise two sessions a day. A session with talents in the morning (Technique exercise) and one with the entire team in the afternoon.
Please observe! What one has exercised in the morning is applied in play in the afternoon (Recommended for elite clubs)

Example three: Training talents during ordinary training session. You train them separately for approx. 60 minutes, entirely independent of others in the team and then join the team where one collectively plays the last remaining half hour.
Please observe! You will need at least two coaches. One responsible for the talents (the talent coach) and one regular coach.

Example four: Training with the entire team, but divided into several stations. You can work with the same exercise in different stations but the talents work in a station with the talent coach.

Individual – collective
Through the developing of the individual we will be developing the team. This is a further indication of the importance of Talent coaching.

In my opinion there are far too few individual exercises in Sweden. With a little more individually adapted training on both technique and physique; many of our young talents will blossom and establish themselves in the elite.

Yours Respectfully,
Ismet Harbuzi

Ismet Harbuzi


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