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Rayo Vallecano Strength & Conditioning Coach – Carlos Gallardo

One of the top strength and conditioning coaches in Spain, CARLOS GALLARDO, is currently in charge of the injury rehabilitation department at RAYO VALLECANO.

Nicknamed ‘Los Franjirrojos’ or ‘The Sashes’, VALLECANO are currently fighting for promotion in the Segunda División in Spain, one of the most physically intense leagues in world football which could see a team potentially play FORTY FIVE league games in the season.

However, the race for promotion has been at the back of Carlos’ head in recent weeks, as he has had to rewrite his own rule book following the shut down of all football activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Carlos: “The last few weeks have been very difficult for me but it has been a learning experience,” Carlos told PRO-SCOUT-3.

Carlos: “I am learning to work with the current environment which is most important. I’m contacting the players everyday through video call sessions which will help some way in their INJURY REHABILITATION.”

Carlos: “Having a good relationship with the PLAYERS and having a strong personal connection with them is very important to how I work. I’m used to talking with the players daily before and after one and one sessions. Losing this has made rehab very complicated but I found a way to make things work.”

Regardless of the situation in Spain, Carlos is a discipled and experienced coach who believes in THREE PILLARS FOR SUCCESS.

Carlos: “My philosophy as a STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING coach is based on three pillars. First, you have to start at the beginning. You cannot run before you can walk. You have to start with the most basic movements and progress from there. The players must master the basics and not attempt dangerous methods and techniques.”

Carlos: “Once the basics are mastered you progress onto more scientific movements that are tailored for the player and their position. For example, if you are training a GOALKEEPER you don’t need to train them for fifty meter sprints. We would teach them how to jump and how to land instead.”

Carlos: “My second pillar is based on the individual. In a football team we have an average of twenty five players who all play different positions. Even with this, each individual player has their own unique characteristics and individual needs. Players also have their own INJURY stories and their own weakness and we need to work on those. We need to create programs tailored for each individual on the team.”

Carlos: “The third pillar is to never forget you are working with people. It does not matter what level you are working with, be it at grass roots or a first team, you are working with people. Sometimes that is forgotten. To do a good job you need to get to know the player personally. For example, if you have a hard session prepared and you find out that the player in question has had a bad nights sleep you change the program to reflect that.”

Carlos: “Every player needs to have the right program tailored for them. STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING should be one of the main pillars of every player’s training . It not just for conditioning a player physically, but also for teaching players good habits that will stop them getting injured.”

Carlos: “Ultimately, the most important thing with STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING is to give the players the tools to play on the team. The players needs to be able to do what the HEAD COACH wants them to do. This is what we are we are preparing for.”

Working at Vallecano, Carlos is apart of a support network many different coaches for Los Franjirrojos. For anyone looking to get into coaching, he opened up on what it takes to become a strength and conditioning coach.

Carlos: “The most important thing for someone looking to become a strength and conditioning coach is to get a degree in SPORTS SCIENCE. This is a good base to start from. Everyone who wants to work in the position needs this degree. After that you need to specialise.”

Carlos: “Even with the degree and if you go on to do a masters, you have to STUDY yourself. You have to always be learning and EDUCATING yourself. You have to be looking at academic papers online and keeping up to date. A book I would recommend would be ‘Functional Training Applied for Sports’ from Michael Boyle.”