Empowering Women’s Football: SportBrain’s Training at MVVA

Young female football players training with SportBrain's SMARTGOALS at MVVA academy.

SportBrain, renowned for its cutting-edge training methods, recently collaborated with MVVA, the elite academy for Women’s and Girls’ Football in the Achterhoek. Women’s football is swiftly climbing the ranks as the fastest-growing team sport in the Netherlands. This partnership aimed to integrate the innovative SMARTGOALS technology to elevate the training sessions for these budding football talents.

Read more: Empowering Women’s Football: SportBrain’s Training at MVVA

Understanding the Women’s Football Landscape:

The Achterhoek region boasts of over 5,500 young female football players. Recognizing this talent pool, the MVVA academy was established in 2019. With support from De Graafschap, they cater to girls across various age brackets. Their journey commenced with the MO13 team, but their vision doesn’t stop there. Their ultimate goal? By the 2024-2025 season, MVVA aims to have four youth teams, a reserve squad, and a premier league team.

Spotlight on SMARTGOALS:

At the heart of SportBrain’s involvement were the SMARTGOALS – an interactive training method illuminated by light signals, guiding where players should dribble or score. This innovative approach stimulates the brain in diverse ways, ensuring that the players aren’t just training their bodies but their minds as well.

Young female football players training with SportBrain's SMARTGOALS at MVVA academy.

Science-backed Training Techniques:

Beyond the physical exercises, these training sessions are deeply rooted in scientific knowledge. A noteworthy reference is “The Female Brain (2007)” by Louann Brizendine. Interestingly, despite a 99% genetic similarity between men and women, the remaining 1% can significantly impact every cell. This difference is evident in the way neurons communicate concerning perceptions, thoughts, and emotions. Women, having larger areas in the brain responsible for language, hearing, emotions, and memory, are naturally better at recognizing emotions.

In 2006, Cunningham and Roberts solidified this notion with a study on the female brain in sports-specific scenarios. Their findings suggest that women’s brains utilize distinct regions when making decisions. They advise a ‘bigger-picture’ coaching approach for women, contrasting the analytical and task-focused instructions often directed at men.

Young female football players training with SportBrain's SMARTGOALS at MVVA academy.

Universal Sporting Principles:

Regardless of gender differences, the principles for achieving excellence in sports remain consistent. Jelle Jolles, in his 2011 book, “Ellis and Brain Development,” delves deep into the science of the brain, shedding light on daily practices that can nurture talent. Jolles believes that personal growth is at the forefront. Stakeholders, be it parents, coaches, or teachers, must lay the foundation for optimal development. The narrative revolves around the essence of curiosity and wonder, pivotal for fostering talent.

The Outcome at MVVA:

The core philosophy of SportBrain’s training at MVVA was derived from these scientific insights. For many young players, training with SMARTGOALS was a novel experience, evoking curiosity and astonishment. The palpable joy of playing football, combined with these new techniques, is essential for nurturing the optimal sports brain.

Incorporating science-backed techniques, like those from SportBrain, can revolutionize traditional training methods. As the world of women’s football continues to grow, collaborations like these will undoubtedly pave the way for more informed and effective training regimes.

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