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  • Qatar's Aspire Academy revolutionizes soccer with modern gym
  • Madrid, Apr 7 (EFE) .- The Aspire Academy, one of the world's most important sports training centers, has continued to revolutionize soccer training methods by establishing a unique modern gymnasium, which was built under the close supervision of the Director of Football Performance and Science, Valter Di Salvo, and has gained the admiration of the world's top soccer coaches, such as Pep Guardiola (Bayern Munich), Roberto Mancini (Inter Milan), Antonio Conte (Italy national team) and Andre Villas-Boas (Zenit Saint Petersburg) during their recent visits to the Qatari capital, Doha.

    The Aspire Academy has designed the first gym embedded inside a training camp, ending the issue of indoor facilities being located far away from training grounds, which were also built indoors by the Academy.

    This matter in particular is of great importance for coaches visiting the gym, which now represents an integral part in the world of soccer for implementing the highest technological standards used in training.

    Never before was a gymnasium built so close to a soccer training ground and the soccer players.

    The gym was, and still is, considered as a complementary facility, located far from the pitch in many clubs all over the world.

    Di Salvo, former physical trainer in several European clubs, such as Manchester United and Real Madrid, has coined, in cooperation with his team, a new philosophy for training indoors, and looks to fulfill all the needs of soccer players and coaches.

    The gymnasium is a perfect space to conduct daily workouts on the pitch, practically because it constitutes part of the training camp.

    This innovative approach aims to make players feel as if they are inside a soccer field while being at the gym, and that they can actually train on grass, Di Salvo told EFE.

    The gym is built between two playgrounds, from which it is separated by large glass doors for a permanent view of the field.

    On the inside, artificial turf has been placed on the ground, benches and even on the back of training equipment; making it a truly smart gymnasium, where players do not have to take off their shoes when they want to leave the regular pitch to complete their workouts in nearby indoor facilities.

    Di Salvo explained "The gym was constructed right in the middle between two playgrounds and was covered in artificial turf for players to feel confidence with the concept of closeness with their profession. They can do everything they wish while having their soccer boots on. They train with boots because they play with them. It does not make any sense to have different shoes for different activities."

    The revolutionary design does not end at the concept of adding indoor artificial turf; Aspire has audio visual systems and instant feedback to serve players and coaches.

    Technically, all players in Qatar from all ages and experiences have the ability to select and access through an individualized application on a touch screen to a specific program that matches all their stored data.

    Customized programs report the way every muscle is used while working out, as well as carrying out accurate measurements and the number of required and accomplished workout series, which are accompanied by explanatory videos showing how to perfect every exercise, using the proper device.

    Almost half a dozen huge monitors are hung inside the gym and are used to boost the motivational aspect and provide real-time feedback to players.

    This innovative concept is called the Feedback Training Methodology, or FTM, through which every movement and technique is recorded and can be replayed instantly.

    Furthermore, television screens show videos to motivate the players, as they ride their stationary bikes while receiving their coaches' instructions on the eve of their matches.

    These screens benefit coaches, not only to prepare for games through solving tactical issues, but also to motivate the players to relieve their stress, Valter di Salvo added.

    Also, these monitors show videos of great athletes talking about the importance of training.

    For example, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have their own videos, through which they give advice accompanied by images of themselves in the line of duty, either training or playing.

    Di Salvo described the Aspire Academy facility as "a gym that speaks the language of the players and helps them to train through speaking to their heads."

    During their recent visit to Doha, Guardiola and Mancini said the gym was spectacular and helps players to develop, considering the technological revolution embedded in this center.

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