Second edition of B1 Camp Costa Rica

Finally and after two years, we can say that B1 has returned to Costa Rica for the second edition of the B1 Camp. Last December 2-5, the B1 coaches returned to the facilities of the Costa Rican Soccer Federation to repeat the success of the camp in Proyecto Gol.

For the second time, and after a few months complicated by the COVID, and after the success of the first edition of the B1 Camp Costa Rica, the new training for Costa Rican players was a total success, as the players were able to enjoy each and every one of the training sessions, our methodology and all the innovations that the B1 team incorporated into the event.

In this second edition, more than 60 players born between 2000 and 2012 came to Proyecto Gol eager to participate and learn. Many familiar faces but also many new faces were present, in addition to the staff of the B1 team in Costa Rica.

The event was held over 4 days where B1 coaches gave the young players the opportunity to access the incredible facilities of Proyecto Gol, courts that normally the Costa Rican Federation only provides to the national teams.

For this new edition of the B1 Camp Costa Rica, coaches Marc Fortuny and Eric Bertran traveled to Costa Rica, repeating the experience. Along with them, the two owners of B1 Soccer Academy, Jaume Solis and Jessica Ortiz joined the expedition to Costa Rica.

“Ticos” coaches, great professionals

Spanish coaches Fortuny and Bertran had the invaluable help of the project manager and director in Costa Rica, Michael Mora, and the sports manager of the B1 Academy in Fort Myers, Florida, USA, Sergio Alfaro.

During the camp, Rober Rojas, who already participated in the 2019 edition also joined to be part of the staff of teachers who would train all the players. Former Costa Rican professional players Alejandro Alpizar and Eric Marin also joined the team, bringing freshness, knowledge, and a lot of experience.

“It has been incredible to have all the Tico teachers. We already knew Michael, Sergio and Rojas as they already are part of the B1 family, but we were pleasantly surprised to meet Eric and Alpi. They have been involved from the first moment and have shown us that they are not only great professionals, but also great people. Now, the B1 family has 2 more members”.

Getting to know new methodologies

The main idea of the B1 Camp, as in the first edition, was to present the new methodologies applied to training soccer. And undoubtedly, there is no better opportunity and challenge for our coaches to test the methodology with players outside the academy.

In the first three sessions, participants were able to learn and enjoy different tasks and exercises in progression, from an applied game to real game simulations. Each of the exercises was specifically prepared to work on aspects of the game and to test the players’ decision-making.

The coaches decided to divide the players into 3 large age groups in order to work in a more specific way according to the needs of the group and the stages of development.

Passing wheels to refine ball control, accuracy, and body profile, to small real game situations to prepare for the last day’s games. The participation and commitment of the players created an incredible atmosphere of hard work and dedication which we had the pleasure to work in.

Specific work for goalkeepers

On the other hand, during the B1 Camp Costa Rica, there was also a specific goalkeeper training session, led by Sergio Alfaro. As part of the B1 philosophy, goalkeepers are another player, and therefore, they should be part of the first part of the training session where cohesion and warm-up activities are proposed. It is also important that they participate in games that involve technicality with the feet, in order to work on broadening their abilities.

But once the initial part of the training session was over, the goalkeepers did some specific work separately on the small field where Keylor Navas, no less, exercises when he is called up by the Costa Rican national team.

Goalkeeping technique exercises, finishing exercises, reflexes, lateral work, coordination… all in a competitive and intense environment to demand the maximum performance from each of the young goalkeepers who came to the B1 Camp.

Definitive test: matches

As a final part of the player training, during the last day, the three groups became 3 B1 TEAMS to compete against other Tico teams and test all the knowledge acquired during the B1 training sessions.

The first to play were the youngest players. A team with a lot of talent and a lot of courage on the field. The team faced the Geckos Soccer Academy and quickly demonstrated the high level they had been exhibiting during training.

The intensity and a lot of grit, as well as many quality, plays from young talents such as Kian, Felipe or Gabriel. They quickly took the lead on the scoreboard by showing great efficiency and teamwork. The match ended with a bulky score in favor of the B1 team, which managed to stop the rivals from scoring during the whole game.

For their part, the U13 group also faced Geckos. Despite being the largest group, the teachers managed to put together two competitive teams that would fight from the first minute to make things difficult for the Tico team.

The B1 team opened the score in the early stage of the match. The goal gave encouragement to the players and in the first 15 minutes, the team led by Michael Mora won 4-1. A comfortable score that allowed more rotations. The match ended with a comfortable victory for B1, the scoreboard showing 8-2 with goals from Luis, Ary, Alvarez, Yeray, and Edison.

And finally, the group of the oldest players presents in the B1 Camp. The B1 team faced the U19 team of Consultants, who proved to be a tough and defensively very strong team. A very close game with a lot of intensity, with a lot of rumble in the middle of the field and few chances to score.

The final result also went in favor of the B1 team, led by Alejandro Alpizar. Goals by Fabian and Sebastian left the final score at 2-1.

Ready to return

Three victories. And although the most important thing is not the result, it is a small reflection of the good results obtained in a short period of time. Our Coach Marc Fortuny highlighted the good level of the participants and affirmed that: 

“This time we were even more prepared and we made the most of it. The atmosphere was perfect to apply our methodology in training, as everyone was there to work hard. Working like this with the young people is a pleasure. We call this edition to a close but we will get to work on the new one already.”

Without a doubt, the B1 team has lived an unforgettable experience, very good moments, new exercises, new dynamics, great predisposition, and above all a lot of learning and faces of satisfaction during the 4 days of the camp. We are looking forward to returning and continuing growing with the Tico talent, PURA VIDA!

Eric Bertran

Journalist, sports expert, Social Media Manager, and sports business developer. Ex-soccer player and passionate about teamwork. "Every player will have the same opportunity to achieve their dreams. With effort and sacrifice, everything is possible."