An interview with Cesena USA Program Director, Andy Vera.
How has A.C. Cesena and their “brand” of teaching influenced you in developing your program here in the US?
“I’ve been affiliated with this great club (A.C. Cesena) since 2009…during that time I’ve been fortunate enough to have some great mentors at the club…great coaches that have demonstrated to me excellent teaching techniques…the same “Metodo Giovani” (Young Method) utilized in Italy is applied here at Cesena USA…we use the exact same teaching methodology as our Italian partners”.
Who applies this “method of teaching” at ODFC Cesena?
“All of our Cesena USA Coaches and Trainers utilize the same method of teaching. We utilize teaching/training aids brought here from Italy to put together structured…progressive training sessions.”
If you had to breakdown the Cesena Method into understandable teaching objectives, what would they be?
“There are areas of focus which include; la sensibilizzazione (Coordination and elasticity), la guida e la difesa della palla (Control and protection of the ball), la finta e il dribbling (feinting/dribbling), il ricevere e il caciare (passing/receiving) and il colpo di testa (heading). At any given session some/all these areas are addressed by specific exercises introduced by our staff.”
At what age groups do you begin applying this methodology?
“Well we start with our under-6 and under-7 year olds utilizing progression we increase the challenges as they get older to promote growth and development. One of our central objectives at this age is their motor skill/coordination development. The more balanced they are the easier it is to teach them specific ball movements as they get older. We also apply what we call ball-at-your-feet or ball mastery curriculum to every session...no use teaching ball possession if our players can't control the ball”
What do you say to those that may question your methods and doubt their validity?
“All those that know me are well aware I don’t pay much attention to critics…or what other clubs/programs are doing. Each club has the responsibility to apply a documented method of teaching (a methodology)…many DON’T…we make sure we do!”
“Our focus is on providing players an educational base so they can learn and grow. As for our methods…well… they are applied by strong professional clubs in Italy to develop their future stars and since they are one of the strongest soccer cultures in the world...it’s more than enough for me.”