The Tahuichi Way
U.S. players invited to train with world-class soccer academy
Highest quality instructional training in the world
"Blood, Sweat and Tears"
The Tahuichi Way - A Player's Perspective
Many people have questions about the Tahuichi Way Program and want to know if it is beneficial, or if they would even enjoy it. The best way that I know to explain the program is to let people know what I went through while I was there. I was one of a little over 60 kids at the camp and we were all broken up into three different groups. My group was formed from the 22 college players and one graduate. A basic day at Tahuichi consisted of two workout sessions. I would have to be at the academy at 8 in the morning. There would be a small chalkboard session or some kind of a guest speaker and then we would be driven to the practice field. We worked out from about 8:45 till 12 and then were brought back to the academy and given an hour and a half for lunch. We then had to report back to the academy at 2. Once everyone was there, we were again driven to practice and worked out from 2:30 till almost 6, sometimes 6:30. Our schedule was like this Monday through Friday, with each weekend being a little different, as we got further along in the camp. The first Saturday we were taken to the local spa to work out the soreness from a week of conditioning and then had a scrimmage amongst ourselves on Sunday. The rest of the weekends consisted of games against club teams from local towns, some of the trips took two or three hours and the scenery was unbelievable. Now that I have given you a basic schedule of the camp, I would like to explain the objectives of the camp.
The Tahuichi Way Program and its club teams go through a four-step process in preparing for a season. Each step takes a month for the Tahuichi clubs to finish, but we did each month-long step in a week since we did not have four months in Santa Cruz. The four different objectives are Conditioning, Technical training, Tactical training, and finally friendly matches. I would like to be able to tell you that the first week was not that hard, but if I did I would be lying. Even though I trained hard to get ready for the month that I spent down there, I still was not completely ready for what I faced. The entire first week was nothing but running. In the morning session we would do a lot of short interval training that burned the legs, and in the afternoon they would take us to the sand dunes or the river and run us until we could not run anymore. I have never felt a greater sense of accomplishment than I did after that first week was over. The second week we did a lot of work with the ball. Everything we did dealt with the ball and we were even forced to juggle while resting or while waiting for our turn to go through the drill so that we could become as comfortable as possible with the ball at our feet. We went through all kinds of technical drills and at the end of the month I could tell that my touch had made drastic improvements. The third week was spent teaching us to play the formation that the Tahuichi clubs play and that is taught to all their kids. We had a few scrimmages in the afternoon sessions to get us ready for our matches in the fourth week, but most of the time was spent doing what is very similar to coach Fine's "shadow training." These friendly matches against other Tahuichi clubs helped us learn the system and got us on the same page for our matches that we played the last week that we were there. We not only got to play other clubs in surrounding towns and cities, but also got the chance to play Oriente, one of two Division 1 professional teams located in Santa Cruz. It was an unbelievable experience and one that anyone who is crazy about soccer would thoroughly enjoy. Now, the other question that is always asked is "What was it like to live in Bolivia for a month?"
Living conditions in Santa Cruz were a lot different from anything I have ever seen. It showed me just how lucky I am, and was not as hard as some people may expect. I lived with three other guys with a host family. They were the nicest people and provided us with all of our meals. They would have breakfast ready for us when we got up in the morning, lunch ready between practices and dinner for us when we got home at night. Breakfast consisted of bread and the other two meals of the day were usually composed of soups, rice, and something to mix in with the rice. It was very bland food, which I am not used to, but it was good and I got used to it after a couple days. We took taxicabs to all of our workouts and could take taxis anywhere we wanted to at night after our day was done. For 50 cents we could go anywhere in the city and we spent many nights at the plaza. The plaza had a lot of shops, including a very nice adidas store, and it also had an Internet café that was very helpful. For a dollar an hour I could use the Internet and email my family and friends. They also had the dial pad hooked up on these computers so I made my phone calls home from there at no cost.
I must say that the Tahuichi Way Program was a very positive trip and one that I will never forget. I learned a lot about the game, made several new friends that I still keep in touch with, and realized just how lucky I am to have grown up here in America. I think that anyone who loves soccer and who wants to improve would enjoy this camp and see the benefits from it when the month is over. However, if you aren't completely in love with the game, it may not be the thing for you! Every minute of every day is dedicated to soccer and the first week is very tough. I must warn anyone who goes that you should go in expecting the worst during that first week. It's hard, but possible. I made it so I know that anyone who has the desire and will to do so can. I hope this has answered some of the questions that any of you have about the Tahuichi Way Program and that if you were considering making the trip that this has helped you make up your mind.
The Tahuichi Way International Youth Soccer Camp is a great way to improve your game and become immersed in a total "soccer is life" culture. The Tahuichi Way program is for boys and young men aged 13 - 22, and girls and young women aged 15 - 22. Also, this program is ideal for college players who want to prepare for their college season.
A limited number of spaces for the Tahuichi Way International Youth Soccer Camp for the Summer 2016 sessions are available. Reserve your space now. Sessions begin July 25, 2016. Players are welcome to combine sessions.
For more information contact:
7990 SW Barnard Drive
Beaverton, OR 97007
Phone: (503) 627-9001
Cony Konstin can be reached at (503) 627-9001 (Oregon).