An interview with the S&C coach Alberto Bellé
It’s a matter of fact that Albania is in the same way as the other European countries whose national teams historically ruled the world wild competitions over the years. As a consequence, the most important clubs around Europe have many Albanian players in their teams. In this interview, Alberto Bellé shares his experience as strength and conditioning coach of the Albania national football team, in which he tells us how he does his job using GPEXE and how he faces the peculiar condition of training a national team.
Being a fitness coach of a national team means working at intervals with athletes that during the season are trained in other clubs. What is your experience about monitoring and managing the data of the players involved?
It is not easy to have accurate data of the athletes that during the year are trained in other clubs. This happens mainly because of for two reasons: the first one is that not all of them use systems to monitor players as we do, and the second one is that even if some fitness coach monitors their players, he may choose to keep the information confidential.
Regarding our planning strategy, we aim to call and select athletes who play on a regular basis during the season and they are already well trained.
As Albania national team, we are always willing to provide the clubs with reports that show all the work done by using GPEXE including the athlete’s training load.
Regarding the conditioning aspects related to the training activities made during the week with the National team, at the moment because of the limited-time period, in my opinion, I find hard to structure drills for specific conditioning categories. I am the person in charge of the monitoring process, and when I started my experience with the UEFA European Championship I was supported by an assistant, Luca Bossi, who was directly monitoring the players with GPEXE.
Who is in charge of the entire GPS monitoring process and how it is used in strength and conditioning activities?
Then, from the World Cup qualification onward, I continued to use the system by myself covering all the aspects concerning the monitoring process, data storage and data analysis. Every day, at the end of each training session, I’m used to printing visual reports regarding the players’ activity, in particular focusing on high-intensity events related to the metabolic power approach. I also give them to any single player, because they find it very useful and very easy to interpret and comment.
At the moment we are working on the creation of an athlete database that let us see their development during the time they play for the national team. Of course, it will take some time, especially considering also our intermittent work, but this is the direction we are aiming to.
Do you think that a system used by the national team, and potentially also by Superleague clubs, can represent a growth element for the football performance asset in Albania?
I think it will, but it is important to make a distinction between the Super League and the Academy.
For the first case, we are referring to experienced players that are used to work in a specific manner for years and for that reason we must give them some time in order let see monitoring tools as part of their regular training.
For the second case, the youth sector, we must look at the long term period. Those who will be professional athletes in the future will use GPS monitoring systems very easily, and implementing those tools will become as much normal and integrated into their development as wearing their shoes before any activity!
The growing implementation of technology in training offers more and more opportunities in training. How do you see the future?
Technology can give us a big help in our daily job and in programming our activities, and this is the direction we are going to. Anyway it has never to stop and it must look always for improvements to benefit players, trainers and data analysts: smaller and lighter weighted devices, make the features like the real-time telemetry even faster and easier to use, make the data shown clear and clearer to understand…
As I can see since I started using GPEXE, the company is working in that direction. The last changes that arise in my mind are the program to upload the tracks to the web app and the iPad Live app new graphical user interfaces for instance. I also know that by the middle of 2017 they will come up with a new unit model. These aspects will surely improve the use of this technology.
This is the future, and then the more we are able to evolve in this way, the more we can have a product that is really important for our job.