The Influence of Sports Coaching on the Performance of Federico Valverde

Real Madrid's Uruguayan is in a dream time. How does he stay among the best in the world? Sports coaching seems to be helping him.
The Influence of Sports Coaching on the Performance of Federico Valverde
Leonardo Biolatto

Written and verified by the doctor Leonardo Biolatto.

Last update: 26 October, 2022

Federico Valverde owes much of his current glory at Real Madrid to the changes he made thanks to sports coaching. The Uruguayan striker was trending on social networks after the tremendous goal he scored in the classic match against Barcelona.

With the World Cup in Qatar just around the corner, he also hopes for a privileged place for his Uruguayan national team. Will he be able to make the effort? For the time being, there are no secrets to his physical preparation. The changes had to be imposed in order for the player to remain a part of the elite.

It’s not easy to modify routines and habits that have been a part of players’ lives for years (and often even from childhood). That’s why Federico Valverde resorted to sports coaching and focused on learning from his mistakes to improve.

Federico Valverde isn’t the same player he used to be

We’re not the same when we grow up. For Federico Valverde, his early days at Peñarol meant he stood out right away. He immediately stood out from all the rest.

However, he still needed to be more mobile and go back and forth more on the field. That was the coach’s recommendation, although he may not have liked it at the time. According to his own later comments, he was too young and didn’t understand that there was no progress without making changes.

Grumbling, he changed. And he progressed. Real Madrid signed him when he was still with Peñarol so that he could travel to Spain at the age of 18. He started in Real Madrid Castilla, was on loan at Deportivo La Coruña, and this weekend, he was proposed to e part of the world’s top ten players.

“Fede Valverde is top 3 in the world at the moment.” – Toni Kroos’ Twitter account

The path to success may seem short for Valverde, but it actually took years of effort. Changes in training and nutrition weren’t the only ones he had to make. He also had to learn how to deal with failure.

When so many moments of success are present, it may seem like he was truly invincible. However, the Uruguayan recognizes that he went through moments of darkness and uncertainty in his career. This is the part that’s often not seen by the public and that many players often try to hide.

a champion cup
Lifting a cup isn’t everything. There is a long path and learning curve that influence a player’s value. 

The sports coaching that empowered Federico Valverde

Federico Valverde has an innate skill with the ball. This is indisputable. However, the level of demand of top clubs implies changes in habits that not everyone is willing to negotiate.

To do this, the Uruguayan used sports coaching. He admits that he had moments of outbursts and was too passionate, both on and off the field, which limited his decision-making capacity. And, of course, his althetic performance was also affected.

With coaching, he was able to reconcile with his failures. The dates that he didn’t play and that he was not called to be a starter were no longer dark for him. He understood that he had to work harder in training. In doing so, he looked at his supposed failures as opportunities.

This change in thinking isn’t easy in the midst of a team like Real Madrid. The amount of stars around in a victorious locker room is intimidating for anyone.

Sometimes I didn’t let go on the field for fear that a teammate would get angry, because the other player has won so many things… but I think that through effort and humility, I ‘ve earned my place and today I feel very important. I think that coaching helped me to open my mind and made me not feel inferior to anyone. -Federico Valverde

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What is sports coaching for?

The type of sports coaching that helped Federico Valverde isn’t new, but neither is it a veteran modality. The world’s elite clubs know it because they apply it with their teams, but not all of them use it.

In itself, the objective of sports coaching is to help the athlete to reach his or her maximum potential by freeing him or herself from certain obstacles that belong to the orbit of his or her personality. A coach doesn’t apply the same procedure or techniques with everyone who hires him or her. Instead, he or she adapts to their particular needs.

A sports coach is not necessarily a psychologist, but this would be ideal, since he or she must apply knowledge of psychology. A coach is not always a doctor, either, but should have a solid grasp of the healthy habits that would contribute to athletes achieving their goals. At the same time, a sports doctor, a trainer, and a nutritionist will adjust the player’s workouts and meals.

Coaching goes beyond mere counseling in the world of sports. The athlete is guided with a plan that establishes his or her goals, ways to achieve them, and a process of self-knowledge.

The latter is something that Federico Valverde emphasized when talking about the sports coaching that helped him. The Uruguayan was able to find his potential to be among the best in the world.

Federico Valverde
Real Madrid is full of protagonists and title players. That’s why joining the club demands a lot of mental strength.

The integral training of today’s players

A few decades ago, the elite player trained during the week and played on weekends. He took care of his meals and habits if this was a part of his routine; otherwise, he may not have given importance to extra physical exercise and nutrition.

Today, to be among the best soccer players means being completely dedicated and professional. This involves following nutritional advice and cultivating both one’s mind and body to perform at 100% on the field.

The sports coaching that helped Federico Valverde considers the human being behind the player. If the player’s mind is not able to handle stress, it will be difficult for their muscles to run, pass, and score goals.

The Uruguayan is on his way to remaining among the best in the world. Real Madrid believes so, and has extended his contract until 2027.

After his presentation in the classic against FC Barcelona, Valverde proved himself a major force on the field. Last month, he was named La Liga’s monthly outstanding player. He also already has a Champions League under his belt. Now he’s aiming for the World Cup in Qatar 2022.

All of the goals Federico Valverde achieves are possible because he trains holistically. His body, his desires, and his mind are all oriented to bring out the greatest potential he has. And now he’s reaping the rewards.

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  • Griffo, Janelle M., et al. “A decade of research literature in sport coaching (2005–2015).” International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching 14.2 (2019): 205-215.
  • North, Julian, et al. “The professionalisation of sport coaching.” Professional Advances in Sports Coaching. Routledge, 2018. 3-21.