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Benfica’s Paiva to present at Coaching Symposium


When NorCal Premier Soccer kicks off its annual Summer Coaching Symposium, set to run from June 28-30 in Stanford, several clinicians who are at the top of their respective fields will bestow  valuable lessons on those in attendance for the first time.

But there will also be several familiar faces, one of whom being Benfica B and former Portugal U17 manager Renato Paiva, who has been a constant at these events for the past six years and currently has Benfica B in fifth place in Portugal’s second division LigaPro.

Paiva, who was recently promoted to his current role, expects to teach his club’s philosophy on tactical periodization — the idea of helping youth players and professionals learn through a methodically-planned and practical manner.

“Tactical periodization is like that saying, ‘give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime,’” Paiva said. “I felt like the coaches who were there at my last presentation were very happy with the ideas that we passed on and the knowledge that they added about the way we work.”

To do this, Paiva will provide video of Benfica’s training sessions, followed by film of their games along with a breakdown to show how the club’s ideas transitioned from the heads of the higher-ups to the field with both the youth and first teams.

“In these kinds of presentations I think it’s best to provide practical examples to the coaches,” Paiva said. “That’s the experience that I have from teaching in the United States because coaches there want practical examples, not theoretical. For theoretical examples, you can buy a book and read it. They want tools. I think this is a better way to guide them to our ideas and the way we work.”

Said examples will focus on how Benfica trains their players on strength, speed, and resistance, but always with a tactical mindset.

Paiva will also bring his amazing love for the game and exceptional work ethic to the fold, one that NorCal President Benjamin Ziemer learned of 10 years ago while watching a training at Barcelona.

Ziemer noticed two men in a corner franticly scribbling notes down and decided to talk to them before learning that they were Benfica coaches, one of which was Paiva.

“That night after training, they invited me out but we first went too their hotel room, where they had a box of videos and tactics board…it was basically a coaches war room,” Ziemer said. “We then went into Barcelona and discussed football until almost 4 a.m.”

“That morning, I called my father and told him, ‘I have to work harder, study more, become sharper, more professional,” Ziemer added. “This has been the impact that Renato has had upon  me every time I watch him work. His recent promotion to the Benfica second team proves his level, I can’t wait to watch him present this year.”

For those who have seen Paiva before, expect something new as according to him, the club’s philosophy has grown since the last time he set foot in this country.

“We have improved our philosophy since the first time I taught at this course and I want to show that,” he said. “This time, there will be more examples of how to build exercises, how to build training sessions. It’s not necessarily the best idea, but it’s our idea, but we have practical results from this — we’ve improved players, we’ve improved teams.”

But regardless of what he’s able to teach, and what lessons are learned, Paiva is just excited for the opportunity to be around willing students of the beautiful game.

“Besides the joy from the training and playing, football gives us the chance to meet new, great people,” he said.