Medina returns to Soccer University after worked as Coritiba’s CEO

After worked as Coritiba’s CEO for almost six months, Medina returned to Soccer University to do his daily activities. He left Coritiba in a friendly way and appointed his substitute (Maurício Andrade), who accepted the proposal of Coritiba’s president. Maurício was part of Medina’s team in the Soccer Department.

Medina said goodbye to the crowd and the media by a letter, where he explained the reasons for his departure.

The correlation of strengths in Brazilian soccer: the possible game of changes

Essay to the elaboration of brazilian soccer policy

The game is soccer, but it could be a chess match. In a careful analysis about the Brazilian soccer scenario on these days, it’s possible to identify two big tendencies, not always clear for the people. On one side, we have strengths which defend structural and conjunctural changes for Brazilian soccer. On another side, we have a thought, conscious or not, from people which defend the continuation. In every field, we have people who feed the status quo simply because they are unable to see the limitations of this scenario and others who defend this structure because they have a lot of interests, not always clear, right and ethical.

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The soccer corporative education concept

Processes and technical work methods in soccer clubs do not belong to institutions. The systematization and application are responsibilities of the professional who was hired by the club to make a technical management of his team (coaches, physical trainer, goalkeeper’s trainer and others).

But the truth is: these professionals don’t have other way to do their jobs, because clubs don’t have a work philosophy adapted to their realities and the game model that they want to deploy in their soccer department (professional and youth teams).

The idea of the club has its own methodological proposal for training and work is something new between us. But, even in Europe, where clubs tend to professionalize themselves quicker than in Brazil, some clubs don’t follow this concept yet. Even though, they are ahead of Brazilian clubs. Barcelona, Manchester United, Arsenal, Ajax, Porto and Bayern Munchen are clubs who are investing to build this methodological structure.

In Brazilian clubs, the major difficult to implant a consistent technical model of work increase because of common changes in soccer departments, especially in the coach position. Frequently, a good plan of work (of medium or long term) doesn’t resist many negative results.

In this way, a vicious circle is created. If one compares the club to a computer (hardware) and his soccer department methodology to a program (software), which is responsible to put the computer to work. Every coach or technical team change makes this computer empty, waiting for a new software.

Because of that, it seems that the contemporary trend is that clubs begin to define their work philosophy from their own soccer identities or team game model. In this way, clubs can hire better professionals and form their athletes as required profile to reach the objectives.

In this new context, emerge the need of clubs create their own learning environments, through the “Corporative University” or “Corporative Education” concepts. These concepts already are successfully applied into the executive world, but recently have begun the application at the soccer world.

This concept originally emerged on Jack Welch’s head. This brilliant CEO led, from 1981 to 2001, an innovator management process, which was responsible to put General Eletric as one of the major companies in the world.

For an example, he realized that it’s an error to send their best employees at the universities to update their skills in post-graduate or master courses for two basic reasons. Firstly, because the investment costs for these courses were very high. Secondly, but not least, because these skilled professionals were searched by other companies with better job offers. As a result, the high investment doesn’t bring practical effects.

Because of that, Jack Welch decided brings the capacitation courses inside his company. He began to train and develop their employees into the company culture. Instead of send their employees to universities, he brought the universities to their employees.

He institutionalized all the process, improved the “software” and discovered better conditions to develop better executives. He called this process as “Corporative University”.

Thinking on these reflections in a soccer scenario, we’re able to ask: How many clubs have a “Corporative University” or apply the “Corporative Education” concept?

And more: How many clubs will change their coaches in a season, throwing away a “software” and bringing a new one, feeding the vicious circle which is the Brazilian soccer’s big threat?

Eduardo Conde Tega and João Paulo S. Medina

Soccer: Learning and education. Reflections to teachers and coaches


What is learning to play soccer?

This question could have many interpretations.

But perhaps another question should be asked before: Why or for what people play soccer?

Somebody wants to become professional soccer players. On the other hand, people practice soccer to have fun.

But, whatever the objective, how people learn to play soccer?

Is indispensable learning soccer fundamentals (like dominate the ball, pass, kick to the goal and dribble opponents) to play better this sport? Or we can’t learn to play better simply if we play more often?

A lot of experiences and pedagogical theories show that technical gestures, like dominate the ball, pass and kick to goal are most effectively learned with constant repetitions. And these repetitions happen when people play soccer.

So, it is through the game that we can take more aware that we need to improve and not vice versa.

Pedagogues and educators teach us that we learn better what make sense. So, it isn’t enough if the teacher or coach says to his athlete to develop only one fundamental. If this athlete doesn’t perceive this need, the training becomes boring. You have to experience this shortage in the game to improve the quality of training. The quality of game is more important than quality of fundamental. After all, one player doesn’t need to have good movements to become a great striker. Or he doesn’t need to be a faster player in the game to play well. Or if he doesn’t have good skills, he still can be very effective in the game.

What we learn when we’re playing soccer?

People who have a technical vision of soccer would say that you learn to pass and kick, to dominate and control the ball. They would say too that players learning to distribute themselves on the pitch, to play at different positions (defense, midfielder and attack), and players learn the rules of the game.

People who have a human, systemic and complex vision from a soccer game would say that beyond the fundamentals, the positions, the rules and the game itself, players should learn to relate themselves into a group, understand the differences, overcome prejudices, to be smarter and understand that who knows more in a team (or has more skills) has a higher responsibility than other players. After all, the weakest link in a chain, reflects the strength or resistance of the entire chain. So, this is the way to know how a soccer team works.

On this perspective, we can improve our soccer skills but we are able to improve our skills to the game of life too. Through the game, we have the opportunity to become better people.

So, the teacher or coach is responsible to create his learning environment, according to his vision.

And what is your vision?

To think carefully

You need to learn the rules before you play soccer?

Can we learn or create the rules during the game? Or is it an absurd?

Can the athletes discuss their own practice? Or the only person able to say is the teacher or coach (who supposedly knows more than their pupils)?

Is possible to learn the technique of soccer only with the repetitions?

Attitudes, values and behaviors can change with soccer? How?

How we can educate someone through the soccer?


The talent’s code

Livro de Daniel Coyle, Editora Agir, 2009

I just read “The Talent’s Code”, an indispensable book to people understand how we can develop our special abilities and talents in any professional area like music, literature, information technology or sport.

It’s surprising that this intriguing book (which talks about some questions like genetic, nervous system, behaviour, education and the process of learning) wasn’t written by a successful neuroscientist, a psychologist or a pedagogue who worked at a well-known university, but it was written by Daniel Coyle, a writer and sports journalist who lives in Homer, a small city with less than 10k residents in Alasca State. This scenario maybe limited some depth discussions, but the book still causes some good critical reflections in many readers.

To show us that our old thoughts about talent – while divine gift or something that was inherited – need to be overcome, Daniel Coyne put the myelin as main character of his argumentations. This substance, in an adequate training, produces layers that surround nerve fibers and accelerates the transmission of nerve impulses, developing and improving our abilities. Coyne tries to describe a kind of learning philosophy, which would be the basis to comprehend the differentiated processes that produces many talents in all professional areas.

To uncover the mysteries of learning, the author studied the subject with intensity and visited, for almost two years, what he called “Talent Factory”. These places not always had a good infrastructure, but still produced great tennis players (in a small Russian academy), musical instrumentalists (in an unsophisticated school located at Dallas, USA), writers (in a small village at the English countryside) or soccer players (in a futsal courts at Sao Paulo, Brazil). Other examples were cited throughout the book.

The “Talent’s Code” is based in three basic pillars to tries to discover how we can be better in our jobs:

1) Depth training (special practices);

2) Ignition (special motivation);

3) The great coach (special teacher).

Look ahead a resume of these three theories:

Depth training – These practices don’t are limited only to mechanical repetitions of certain skills. To do depth training is necessary that the learner put yourself in an intense relationship with the desired skill, fueled by an intense internal challenge. Contradicting pedagogical and methodological principles (still used these days), errors (and how we deal with them) have a strategic role in learning processes. In this way, the author comments: “to become good at something, we need to be willing to fail and to be satisfied with errors”. A classic example of that is the babies’ learning process of walk. Through the errors, they can reach the skill.

Ignition – Daniel Coyne chose this term to summarize the energy, passion and the commitment that the learner needs to become the depth training more efficient. In other words, ignition represents special motivation and enthusiasm to learn determined skills. This motivation and enthusiasm are used to be contagious and inspired by standards, references or models which create some “learning environments” regardless if exists or not an adequate infrastructure (installations, modern equipments, and more). Soccer street (street pedagogy) is practiced in a lot of places in Brazil and could be considered a good example of this favorable “learning environment”.

The great coach – It’s the third element or pillar which sediments the different learning process oriented to talent development or someone who presents indescribable skills to practice some activity. The profile of this coach or teacher is not restricted – as the common sense could think – to someone who is a great leader and knows some techniques that he wants to transmit to his pupils. Coyne believes that “the teacher is someone who facilitates the learning process and guides his pupils individually or in small groups. Teacher is not, anymore, that figure who arrives at classroom, puts yourself ahead of his students and transmits his knowledges”. For that, he needs, conscious or intuitively, to know some characteristics of his pupils and knows how can he does the depth training with discipline, commitment, intensity, enthusiasm and passion. The author also says that is needed to establish a relationship of love between the teacher and his pupil to these things can happen. On this way, is often that “median teachers” are the ones who get better results. He continues: “These teachers were able to motivate his pupils, leading them to dedicate an uncommon energy and attention to that activity, typical of ignition process. They were able to learn love”. Because of that, we can understand that the learning process is more than science.

In the epilogue of this fascinating book, Daniel Coyle risks make a schematic representation of “talent’s code”:

To finish this text, “Talent’s Code” is a book recommended to teachers, coaches, executives and parents who have some doubts about how they have to conduce and orient his children. This book is an investment to your life.

João Paulo S. Medina

The relationship between neuroscience and soccer

The doctor Miguel Nicolelis talked about the genius Pelé at Soccer Museum

It’s undeniable the importance of science to the general sport development. But, paradoxically, we can’t say that scientific knowledge has free transit in soccer clubs at 21st Century. In one side, we can see some specific knowledges like stress physiology, biomechanics and statistics in technical commissions’ routines. But we have many knowledges that are not included in the concerns of professionals who work with formation and athletes’ development (neuroscience is one of them).

In August, 2011, Dr. Miguel Ângelo Laporta Nicolelis (a Duke University researcher and the founder of the International Neuroscience Institute) visited the Soccer Museum, in São Paulo, and gave a lecture about how the brain incorporates the ball. Nicolelis explained the relationship between neuroscience and soccer and talked about his innovator research.

For 60 minutes, he mixed his depth scientific knowledge with his soccer passion and developed some original ideas about the metaphorical relationship between: the human brain and the universe, reality as a great delirium, storm and electric symphony brain, reflection and neural model, and a lot of other subject related to neuroscience.

In a soccer side, he made some considerations about great soccer players (like Pelé) and their perceptive ability. He searched for some which allow enlarging the perception of soccer players in their basic motor actions.

This is a polemic and instigating subject, which will bring interesting clues for professionals who study and are seeking to develop a soccer training methodology in a scientific and seriously form.

For someone who is interested in these questions, we suggest a Miguel Nicolelis’ book, called by “Far Beyond than I”.

Far Beyond than I, by Miguel Nicolelis


What is Physical Education?

Edição revista e ampliada
25a. edition of the book “Physical Education Takes Care of Body… and Lies”

The book “Physical Education takes care of body… and lies” was written between 1981 and 1982 and the first edition was published in 1983. This book is part of “Krisis Collection – Social Thoughts in a crisis time”, that was coordinated by teachers João Francisco Regis de Morais and Carlos Rodrigues Brandão. In those days, I remembered my satisfaction to see my book between great literary works from different knowledge areas which were talking about social questions in a crisis time. These books were written by really good writers and although I was very young, I was among them. Besides my pride, I was surprised by the success of the book. A few months after the launch, I was informed by Papirus Publishing House (through the brilliant editor Milton Cornacchia) that my book sales had been run out. After that, I continued surprised by the numbers of new editions and impressions.

Three decades after, when I was writing the foreword for a 25th edition, revised and expanded, I felt a mix of pride and disappointment. Pride because the continuation of my job. The book was read and commented, for years, by a lot of physical education teachers and his students, who try to build their professional formation through a critical and human vision. On the other hand I was very disappointed because a lot of observations, critics and reports made at that time still are very pertinent. Questions about the lack of quality in education, the biological reductionism of Cartesian and positivist influence, the depoliticization of physical and sporting activities and others are still alive in our discussions.

The book Physical Education takes care of body… and lies provides some critical reflections about practical questions. A careful reading must consider the historic, social, cultural and political contexts that Brazil experienced at that time (the 80’s). The country still was feeling the military dictatorship’s consequences and the huge limitations about everything that was spoken and written on the media.

Anyway, the book contributed as a fighting tool against the authoritarianism, the bourgeois individualism and the scientific and political neutrality that involved physical education in Brazil. The book also contributed to start a crisis in Brazilian physical education. Sociological, anthropological and philosophical questions could not stay out of the discussions about this professional area of knowledge. These are essential elements for the Physical Education keeps the search for identity.

When me and the publisher house discussed the proposal of a actualized, revised and expanded edition of this book, I was ahead of a dilemma: Can I really talk about some ideas and concepts that reflect a historic moment of a difficult time for the institutions and society? I carefully read the literary work and, despite some little corrections and adjustments to clarify the text, I decided to keep it intact! If I changed some idea or concept, I would murder my book. In this case, it would be better if I wrote a new one.

The news was the addiction of three new consistent and instigating texts which served to update the conversation about physical education’s current themes. They are three different approaches that bringing some consensus and conflict conceptions, as Vitor Marinho de Oliveira said.

Some people that were interested in the subject or read any previous edition will find, in this

version, some actualized visions about physical education. The first text was written by Valter Bracht, a successful physical education researcher and thinker who agreed to publish a text called by “Brazilian Physical Education and the crisis in the 80’s: between the solidity and liquidity”. This text contains some stimulants and controversial questions about our time. The second text was written by Marcelo Hungaro, a critical and committed teacher of social fights. He makes an analysis about physical education in a Marxist vision. Finally, the third book was written by Rogério dos Anjos, who introduced some ideas (little discussed by us) about the science of Human Motor, which were developed by the teacher Manuel Sérgio.

Finally, the new edition of “Physical Education takes care of body… and lies” tries to offer more elements to the discussions of this knowledge area in a radical, accurate and conjunctural way (which is the role of a critical reflection). These reflections are inspired by the experience and by the practice and have the power to change some discussions.

Physical Education takes care of body… and lies book’s message

When this book was written, in the 80’s, was modern to say that physical education did not take care only the body, but the mind too. So, I tried to develop some arguments to demonstrate that this human knowledge area would make sense if physical, mental and psychological dimensions were incorporated to social dimensions. On this way, I wrote Physical Education takes care of body… and lies.

What is this Physical Education who takes care of body and lies?

We are discussing the Physical Education role and its concepts for decades. But we still have some difficult to explain what means this knowledge area. When we talk about physical education, we naturally think of healed bodies, sweaty and ready to work out, in an individualist and alienate side. Although we have some exceptions, these things are happening with high frequency. The number of young people who are interested for the Physical Education course is increasing and we still have a high percentage of people who are inspired by the “perfect body” idea, instead of seeking a more critical and comprehensive understanding of this body. A lot of students get frustrated when they see this social role of physical education.

The fact is that the Physical Education’s identity crisis still remains in this 21st Century. This crisis began from the moment that their assumptions were questioned, in the 80’s. But, unfortunately, we don’t identified the Physical Education role to help to build a more just, democratic and participatory society.

The school, where alienate teacher exclude themselves and are silent in the face of decisive meetings because they don’t know to opine and make inter-relations with other teachers, is an excellent example to demonstrate the current stage of Physical Education. The majority of teachers can’t identify the real Physical Education meaning. They are handled and manipulators and cling to old questions, which are not related to the construction of a citizenship movement.

But where is the crisis? Who can bring the elements to make the social transformation? Is it a real hypothesis or is it a utopia?

Old questions require new answers. We need to entry at this field and unravel the mysteries and ways to go to transform the Physical Education in a fighting tool, which search a constant human transformation, committed with biological, psychologist, social and cultural aspects. Physical Education can’t be known as a simple generator of beauty and healed people, that can’t think about important things. Physical Education must be recognized by his noble value, which is to develop human people. We need to recognize human as an incomplete creature, who is needy and full of mysteries and contradictions. After that, we are able to reach the transcendence in the individual and collective aspects.

In this perspective, Physical Education can exercise the influence, which has the objective to stimulate a society transformation process. In this way, the physical educator can make really transformative actions, into the pedagogical process.

Understanding basic concepts

Conscience – Condition by which the body realizes his own existence and many other things. Conscience belongs to the body.

Education – It’s a decoding of printed social signs in our body.

Conscience levels, according to Paulo Freire:

a) Intransitive;

b) Transitive Naive;

c) Transitive Critical

Intransitive Conscience

Characterizes people who are unable to perceive more than biologically vital things. This people only need to answer their survival needs. The knowledge of reality is reduced to vital biological needs.

The person who has this conscience level is reduced to biological and vital needs.

Naive Conscience

People who have this conscience model are able to overtake their vegetative or biological limits. However, they are restricted to simplistic interpretations about their problems. Their argumentations are inconsistent. They believe in everything what they hear, read or see, and tend to fanaticism.

They are dominated by the world and can’t explain the reality. Follow prescriptions that they don’t understand.

Critical Conscience

It is characteristic of individuals capable of widely transcend the superficiality of phenomena. They search for some causes of these phenomena. They eliminate prejudices influences. They realize some facts that affect their existential relations, becoming able to turn them.

People who have this conscience level could be considered a “creature in world” and a transformation agent.

Physical Education according to conscience levels

1) Conventional Physical Education

This conception is based in a common sense vision.

Dualistic or pluralistic vision: body x mind x soul.

Physical Education as an “education of the physical”.

Biological or anatomical and physiological aspects prevail.

People are worried about healthy and physical aspects or motor efficiency.

Physical Education’s concept for this vision: “Set of knowledge and specific activities that looking for physical improvement of people”.

Social and psychological aspects occupy a peripheral, secondary or irrelevant role. We still have some people who argue that intellectual, moral, spiritual and social aspects could be responsibilities of another education entity.

People who follow this conception (and have intransitive conscience) are not capable to perceive more than biological and vital things. These professionals are involved by their existential contexts or their own environments. They are objects, not protagonists, of their own history.

2) Modernizing Physical Education

Meaning more expanded in relation to Conventional Physical Education.

Dualistic or pluralistic vision: body x mind x soul.

Evolution from “education of the physical” to “education through the physical”.

Psychological, emotional and spiritual aspects are added to biological, anatomical and physiological aspects.

However, this conception sees education in an individualist perspective.

In this conception, gymnastics, sports, games and dance are education forms.

In a social aspect, this conception says that people need to adapt themselves to the functions and requirements that society imposes.

Physical Education’s concept for this vision: “Physical Education is the discipline which, through the movement, takes care of body and mind. Is an area of human knowledge which, based in the intersection of several sciences and through specific movements, try to develop the motor performance and health of people.

Despite some progress compared with the conventional conception, we can’t say that people who follow this conception are owners of their historic process. In fact, these people are dominated by the world because they have a naïve conscience.

3) Revolutionary Physical Education

Try to intercept, in a dynamic way, the reality inside the totality and complexity.

Do not consider any phenomenon in an isolate form.

Man is understood in all its dimensions, and the set of their relations with others and with the world.

Physical Education is constantly open to new science contributions because the human knowledge evolves as a whole.

Body is considered in every manifestations and significations, not just part of human, but being the human. Physical Education can theorize about biological, psychological and social aspects, but acts on the whole.

It’s “education of movements” and “education through the movements”. Gymnastics, sports, games and dance are education forms.

Physical Education’s concept for this vision: “Physical Education is the art and science of human movement which, through specific activities, helps to develop the human, renewing and transforming them in a self-realization form, in accordance with a just and free society”.

This concept implies the presence of critical transitive consciousness, able to transcend the superficiality of the phenomena. It is fostering dialogue and acting by praxis (theory and practice) in favor of transformation in its most human sense.

Body Concepts

In a traditional vision, body is a biological set formed by bones, muscles, nerves, skin, secretions and excretions. In this form, is considered as an instrument or object.

But in a conception which was adopted in this essay (a revolutionary conception), body is a bioenergetic system which establish relations with itself, with others and with the world. It’s a transcendental expression.

Multidisciplinaridade, Interdisciplinaridade e Transdisciplinaridade no Futebol

Reflexões sobre a integração de conhecimentos na prática do futebol

João Paulo S. Medina

Sempre ouvi dizer que o futebol é coisa simples, regras fáceis de entender, movimentos naturais etc. etc. Os defensores dessa ideia justificam até que, por causa dessa simplicidade, ele causa tanto encantamento nas pessoas. Sob determinado ângulo pode ser! De minha parte, prefiro incluir o fenômeno futebol, dentro de todas as suas nuances, no mesmo grau de complexidade que nos permite entender e interpretar a natureza humana. Se compreender seus processos fosse tão simples, como afirmam alguns, o ser humano não estaria levando milênios para entender a si mesmo.


Conhecimento no futebol: para quê?

A resposta a esta questão pareceria óbvia, não fosse a tendência ainda dominante (hegemônica) de se defender a ideia que futebol é “uma coisa muito simples”, dando a impressão de que quanto mais conhecimentos trouxermos em torno desse fenômeno esportivo, mais distantes ficamos dos resultados práticos.

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Mano Menezes, Treinador da Seleção Brasileira

Mano Menezes foi treinador da base do Internacional de Porto Alegre

Fico feliz com a notícia de que Mano Menezes é o novo treinador da Seleção Brasileira. Não deixando de considerar as enormes dificuldades que o novo comandante técnico terá que enfrentar, diante da falta de preocupação efetiva da CBF em contribuir para a estruturação do futebol brasileiro, creio que ele poderá levar um pouco de modernidade ao difícil trabalho a ser realizado.

Conheci o Mano no ano 2000 check that. Nesta época eu era Coordenador Técnico do Departamento de Futebol do S. C. Internacional e tínhamos uma vaga para treinador da equipe juvenil. Buscando modernizar o modelo de contratação de nossos profissionais, anunciamos a vaga após definirmos internamente o perfil de profissional que queríamos. Alguns itens deste perfil incluíam que o candidato fosse formado em educação física, atualizado e atento à evolução do futebol em todos os seus aspectos, tivesse experiência com o trabalho de categorias de base, facilidade de comunicação e, sobretudo tivesse ambição de crescimento e liderança.
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