A dozen years ago, in 2011, we decided that the knowledge generated at Barça through data, GPS, statistics, medical and educational data and training reports spotting They had to stay in the Club to belong to its digital intelligence. What we call today Artificial Intelligence was still far away and all segments linked to football (sporting, medical, educational, psychological) operated according to the same parameters, under the same umbrella, under the same systems, all compatible, and that we could meet them without problems. We also weren’t sure what we might find, although we were confident that we could generate knowledge that could help us in the decision-making process; and that this knowledge would allow us to bring ideas, perhaps even solutions, to the difficult task of training. Furthermore, each coach had to take responsibility, from the moment he agreed to occupy a bench – for those of us who were involved in what we called professional Barça and which included the first team, Barça B and young people under 19 – to take matters into their own hands. decisions that this implied.
This week he reminded me of Raúl Peláez, who under the leadership of Albert Valentín was in charge of this part (let’s call him innovative, let’s call him wise, let’s call him discreet about Barça, because it was a time when even the negotiations were not conclusive). diffusion, and even less knowledge), that the condition I placed on this process was to develop elements which had to respond to only one condition: “Generate trust”. That is to say that each of the elements and all crossed with each other only made sense if we could ensure that all this information helped the coach to be supported in his decisions; and that all the conclusions drawn only made sense if they helped us develop this confidence in our leaders, our board of directors, so that they knew that each decision had its basis and its criteria.
Generating confidence has always seemed to me, and in all the clubs where I have worked, to be a fundamental element above egos and tactical wars, positions and trenches. But, fundamentally, generate confidence in yourself, in those who work with you. Or rather those you work for.
What someone defined as our internal and primary customer.
Trusting our coach to know and feel that everything we were working on and generating was intended to make his life and decision making easier, knowing that nothing that was produced was to be used against him. Also knowing and trusting that whatever we were able to generate was going to be treated as an additional element in the decision-making process of our technical team, leaving egos aside and knowing that we were all looking for the best for the Club. and therefore of each of us.
A football club is not, I am sorry to put an end to this myth that you, dear reader, have already imagined, a club of friends who play football but rather a collection of diverse interests brought together with the aim of ‘get the best for the group. As an example, I have already told you what Johan Cruyff always said about the true friend being the one who demands of you and helps you to be better and not the one who only consoles you and reaffirms your conviction that the world conspires against you. But it all hinges on that delicate element of trust, that no one does anything to harm anyone but to help everyone grow and be better.
And that element of trust has a lot to do with discretion, with confidentiality, with keeping difficult conversations within a framework that allows things to be done and not be known until they’re done. And the war of leaks and counter filtration It’s usually one of those intangible “givens” that, for me, speak of loss of confidence and ego battles, those that undo and destroy projects from within while, absurdly, the enemy is sought outside.
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