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Qualified for the European Championship – success of the national futsal team

24. April 2022
Lukáš ŠtecákArticle author & Member of Headformers
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The Slovak national futsal team got a chance to advance to the final tournament of a major event for the first time in its history

Our futsal players entered the qualification with a 4:1 loss to Azerbaijan and a 4:4 draw with Moldova, which shuffled and complicated the path to historic success. However, the team handled the remaining four matches brilliantly. Apart from a draw with Azerbaijan, they won three times with a total score of 15:0.

And to what does coach Berky attribute the change?

“We started working with a mental coach who helped not only the players, but also the coaches and the support team. He was coaching and teaching us how to work together towards one goal. That helped us. Even though we didn’t expect it to go so smoothly, that’s exactly how we wanted it to go.”

Marián Berky

Head coach of the Slovak futsal national team

Source: The futsal players were assisted by a mental coach. The coach apologized for offending women (sportnet.sme.sk)

The first step is a discussion with the head coach and a mental analysis

With operational support, the first step is a discussion with the head coach and a mental analysis. Together with the head coach Marián Berky, we defined the goal and the desired outcome of our cooperation. This was to unite the team through open communication, unify the “language” of the players and set a unified performance.

Then, using the CA method, we conducted a mental analysis of the support team, the team and the individual players. This helped us to determine in what frame of mind individual players come to the national team. This step was also important given the ongoing pandemic and lockdown.

In a meeting with the support team, we went through the outputs together on which concrete actions were based

  • redistribution of communication
    tasks among the members of the support team;

 

  • identification of players for whom personal
    communication with the head coach or assistant
    coach is necessary, definition of roles and expectations
    from individual players on and off the field;

 

  • creation of a player leadership group;

 

  • identification of the team’s
    strengths – cohesiveness, performance
    mindset and strong will to succeed;
  • identification of the team’s weaknesses – communication;

 

  • identification of potential threats – the illusion of self-confidence, which in case of unfavourable development blocks communication and consequently cooperation;

 

  • creation and organization of a workshop with the players to open the communication and to set a common style.

We have also compiled the findings of the mental analysis in a written form so that coaches could refer back to it at any time. This also provided them with a baseline for further player development against which they can compare the progress of individual players. In the workshop with the players, we aimed to open up and unify communication within the team. By discussing in smaller groups, we created a space for all players to have their say. Based on the small group discussion and the subsequent team-wide discussion, we defined specific behaviours on and off the field. These were agreed by the whole team and from that point on were used as the basis of the performance.

Successful qualification
for the final tournament
of the 2022 European Futsal Championship

Until the end of the qualification, we communicated regularly with the head coach and based on the analysis of the players’ behaviour during the match, we gave practical tips that the coach could apply in the training process and the remaining qualification matches.

In the end, our futsal team managed to qualify for the final tournament of the 2022 European Futsal Championships in the Netherlands. We are happy that Headformers played a part in this success.

headformers-cesta-futsalovej-reprezentacie-na-euro-2022
Joy of the Slovak national futsal team's advancement to European Championship 2022Source: TASR

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