Teaching kids how to dribble like Messi or play those intricate passes like Xavi, Barcelona’s Soccer Academy (BSA) is renowned throughout the world for training methods inspired by those that have helped hone the skills of some of the greatest players to have ever played the game.

Fortunately for future stars living in Japan – and their ambitious parents – the Academy is this summer once again providing camps in Chiba, Hiroshima and Akita for 8-13 year-olds of varying levels. Three top level coaches who used to work at the club, and who are all versed in the Barca way, will provide a number of sessions for kids that promise to be fun, challenging and enlightening.

Teaching it says are the fundamental skills necessary for any footballer – passing, dribbling, shooting, crossing and defending – the Barcelona Soccer Academy uses training methods with drills that are aimed at recreating real match day situations. There is no dribbling around cones or waiting in line to take a shot at the goalkeeper – the activities are far more interactive and free-flowing than that.

Barca tactics

It’s not just tika-taka on the pitch, though…

The main goal of the Academy is to help maximize the talent of every individual who takes part, no matter what their capabilities are. From complete beginners to budding Neymars or Iniestas, this is truly a fantastic opportunity for kids as young as eight to experience world class coaching methods that will really help develop their footballing skills.

During the course, which is three days in Chiba and Akita and five days in Hiroshima, children can learn about the technical aspects of the game, like kicking the ball properly and controlling it, as well as the tactical side of things, such as finding space and being aware of where your teammates are on the field.

The BSA is keen to stress the importance of strong communication skills and making sure that the kids work well together, with an emphasis on the team dynamic. Children love nothing more than running with the ball and trying to take on as many people as possible, but at Barcelona the value of decision making is drilled home from a very young age.

The course can be quite challenging, but more than anything it is about kids having fun, making new friends and playing a sport they love with a smile on their faces.

During the camp there is also a chance for them to learn some Spanish, as well as taking a lesson in nutrition. There are certainly enough activities to keep the children entertained, if only they did Academies like this for adults!

More than a Football Club

A number of football schools will be held throughout the country this August, but what could really be better than learning from the very best? When it comes to playing football the right way one club stands head and shoulders above the rest.

Barcelona are a truly unique side who have revolutionized the game with a philosophy built around short passing and movement, working the ball through various channels and maintaining possession, a style of play that is known as tiki-taka.

From the various youth teams right up to the first team, Barcelona only know how to play one way and they won’t veer from that even if they are losing. A side with a true identity, Barcelona are more than just a football club.

“Football is simple, but the hardest thing is to play football in a simple way,” said Johan Cruyff (the man who propagated and implemented tiki-taka football during his reign at the club between 1988-1996)

BSA logo

Camp Schedule

Chiba (3 days) Aug 1-3

Hiroshima (5 days) Aug 5-9

Akita (3 days) Aug 14-16

For more information visit www.football-square.com/bsa/camp2013

A Facebook page also gives up to date info: www.facebook.com/BSA.Jap

Or, you can call 0120-88-5024

by Matthew Hernon