180 Belizean football players, including 150 U-15, U-17, U-19 athletes and goal keepers, have recently become involved in a 52-week online program focused on enhancing a number of mental and physical skills called Evo Soccer. This is particularly good news for the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) which has seen, like all other contact sports, a cessation of its activities since March 2020. The coronavirus pandemic forced the government to prohibit contact sporting activities. From that period, members of the FFB have met via Zoom, the online video conferencing platform, but like most social activities, this was not sufficient. Luis Pena, Deputy Secretary General of the FFB, says that they have had to develop ingenious means of engaging their players both mentally and physically. It was then that the use of the Evo Soccer app came about.
The participation in the Evo Soccer program has come as great news to these players, 90 males and 90 females, who will receive one-on-one mentorship sessions weekly. These sessions will be guided by Evo Soccer staff in the United Kingdom (UK), who will deliver critiques and advice to improve the specific skill of each player over the course of the year. This is necessary to develop their personal growth as well as the growth of the FFB’s repertoire.
Dean Mabson, Head of Coaching & Methodology, Evo Soccer, has detailed the program saying that it includes over 470 video tutorials as well as other literature and resources which the players will be able to access. Still, the focal point from a technical aspect will be the video diaries which each player will be responsible to submit to their coaches and to Evo Soccer. It is from these videos that they will be assessed and given techniques.
Players began this program on Monday, January 11 and already, there are players who already feel encouraged. One such person is Janivi Quiroz from the U-19 team. She says that the Evo Soccer platform forces her to be more intentional about her training and to work hard to make the national team.
Phillip Marin, Technical Development Director at the FFB, has said that the Evo Soccer program will do just this, encourage the players to work hard in developing their skills, regardless of their specific position.
The value for this program comes in at around USD $18,000 which is covered by the FFB.