Levante have opened up their training ground to LaLiga expert Guillem Balague.
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As part of the 'Talking Football with Guillem Balagué' series, Levante opened their training HQ to the LaLiga TV cameras, where Balague was able to speak with and follow coach Paco Lopez, his staff and also the players as they recovered and then prepared for games.
Lopez was happy to expand on his approach to management and how he and his staff work with the players to bring out the best from them.
“For me it's a concept, and the concept is that the players are people first, and we must consider the human factor," says Lopez. "After that, they are professional football players. There's something innate in me, and I understand that to reach the football player, you first have to reach the person."
For experienced pundit Balague, the experience was an eye opener.
Balague reflected: “I've spoken to players, former players and coaches about this innovative methodology of analysing all the players ahead of the game. On one hand, the coaches, many, if not all of them say: 'it takes away from my responsibility, my authority' while the players understand that you are trying to help them and improve their game.
“Inviting the players to analyse their game and look at how they can improve it, step by step is an important tactic used in making sure the team plays to the best of its ability. Learning is constant, there's the feeling that at the top, there's less learning because you already know everything, but it's the opposite. The higher you are, the harder you work."
Indeed, the players say they appreciate the management team demanding more responsibility from them and analysis in their individual games.
Levante defender Oscar Duarte says: “Watching our rivals helps us be a better team, we can learn more about them, see how they play, understand them. On game day, we can go into it with more clarity, and we understand how to play. We as players participate in the preparation and we learn to think like coaches. We're part of making the final decisions so in the end we are learning together as a team."
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