SmartFootball. How football players brain works

A full new approach to the football education

SmartFootball is an educative system designed to train intelligent and creative football players. It has been created for the Spanish International Football Academy (SIFA).
It is the result of integrating advanced cognitive neuroscience research with the process of learning for a football player.

With SmartFootball we base all our training on the brain using perception, information-processing, decision-making and the ability to execute every minute of the training.
We have the ball and the decision-making process present during 100% of our training-session time. With other words, we don’t want our players to switch off their brain during the exercises, our goal is to build 
experienced players at an as young age as possible.

It is known that the more decisions you make, the better you get at making that one thing, deciding. Studies and brain scanners have shown that old players and professionals from other work sectors that have used a lot of decision-making have more of a fat called myelin in their brain. Myelin is a protein that covers the connections between the neurons. The more myelin you have, the faster the information travels between the neurons. It can be compared to an electric cable surrounding our brain neurons, the thicker, the faster, the better.

Myelina detail on football players brain


Our first concern was how to educate players to be better at decision-making processes at a young age as possible. We wanted to have a 30-year-old football players mentality in a 20-year-old football player.

With SmartFootball we force the players to go through this process from the first to the last minute of the training. Every exercise is categorized according to two rating, one rates how physically demanding the exercise is and one rates how cognitive demanding the exercise is. That paves the way for the coach to adapt one exercise or another depending on how much physical activity is needed at the moment of the season, week, number of matches in next days, etc.

The tactical concepts are fundamental for us. What we want is that the player understands the game, knows how to occupy the space, create spaces for the teammates, offer solutions and line pass, and tactical concepts around football.

An essential aspect of our methodology is how we help the players to solve every problem proposed. For example, when we start every exercise we explain the rules and then let them start playing. We never give them the solutions before they have tried and reflected over what happened after their actions.
We, for example, do not explain the best way of attacking or defending or how they are supposed to play. Instead, we take a moment for a reflection after the exercise has started. During the reflection pause, we help and guide the players on how to execute the exercise better for next time but never show them explicitly how. We believe that better decision-making is rooted in that the players themselves come up with better solutions after an excursive supported with the right amount of guidance. 

Helping and guiding the players to come up with the best solution makes the player believe more in the conclusion and remember it more.
We believe in the power of a good question, the coaches should not only give information to the players but they need to show them how to think, to be making better decisions when they are alone on the field. 

We value the error, the importance of error is as significant as the importance of success, they both are mandatory to generate knowledge.

SmartFootball methodology is based on a creative and positive emotional ambient. Learning needs to be fun and when it is, it increases the motivation to learn more and to put what has been learned on the memory.

Our training is based on 4 types of problems:

  • Rondos
  • Conserve the possession
  • Finishing on goal actions and counter attack
  • Real game situations in small space


This methodology has and is being used at the Dynamo Moscow by the creator of SmartFootball, which has shown impressive results after only 3 years. After applying this methodology there the youth teams have won essential tournaments such as the Manchester United Premier Cup Worlds Finals U15 2014, becoming the first Russian team that has ever won.

We have been using this methodology in our Academy in Salou during the last 4 years.

We aim to educate and create long-time relations with teams, coaches and players and because we are romantics, we want to see the football we like, not just physical fights. We want to create and train creative and intelligent players that offer more than speed or size, that gives a show worth seeing with high-performance football as its essence.

If you want to learn more or train with our methodology contact us on info@football-abroad.com and we show you how to be part of the future; SmartFootball.


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