Youth academy NAC Breda chooses Cruyffian coaching impulse

Today, the youth academy of NAC Breda starts with a tailor-made Master in Coaching from Johan Cruyff Institute and in this way adopts a Cruyffian coaching impulse

A group of ten professionals of the youth academy of NAC Breda has today started the tailor-made Master in Coaching offered by Johan Cruyff Institute. Among the participants are a number of youth trainers, including former professional football player Michael Dingsdag, a human movement scientist, academy coordinators and a physical trainer.

The professors of the Master in Coaching, Henk Groener, Henk Verschuur, Karen Ephraim and Maarten van Heeswijk, will travel to Breda once per month to teach the group about the Cruyffian way of coaching. In total, there are nine school days on the program which includes the subjects Inner Motivation, Team Dynamics, Leadership, Influencing and Performance Under Pressure. The participants will receive their certificate in June.

The program of the Master in Coaching is based on the vision of Johan Cruyff whereby “you can only coach others if you know how to coach yourself”. According to this vision, coaching is not merely about the development of tactical and technical skills, but is above all about knowing how to coach (and manage) yourself, the individual players and staff members, the team as a whole and the social environment.

Eric Hellemons (left) receives his diploma from professor Maarten van Heeswijk (right)

NAC Breda, also known as NAC for short, is a professional football club that plays in the Keuken Kampioen Divisie (the Dutch second division) as of this season. The team of the former trainer Mitchell van der Gaag was relegated directly to the second division last season, where it currently lies in fifth position, won the period title last month and has passed to the second round of the Toto KNVB Cup. The four core values of the club are rebelliousness, Burgundianness, togetherness and self-awareness.

The head of the youth academy, Eric Hellemons, finished the official Master in Coaching himself earlier this month and took the initiative to implement this program in his youth academy. “It is important for us as a youth academy to be distinctive in our program toward the players, trainers and performance coaches. The intention of this program is to make the management of our academy more self-aware. Also the youth trainers will notice this development and thus become more responsible for their own learning process. The Master in Coaching is ideal for this. We are very much looking forward to this collaboration.”

Johan Cruyff Institute in Amsterdam has previously educated all the coaches and team managers of Ajax, Team Lotto-NL Jumbo (now Team Jumbo-Visma) and Team Giant-Alpecin (now Team Sunweb).


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