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The ICEF Europe is always looking for new ways to improve the preparation and development of its’ players. With the arrival of expert movement analyst Baptiste Marmoud, student-athletes will learn to master their own body movements on the field. We spoke with Baptiste to gather insights on the ActionTypes approach, and how instilling its teaching methods to student-athletes is totally unique and is proven to drastically boost player performance as well as reduce the chances of injuries.

Career and Background

Baptiste has a bachelor’s degree in sports sciences and a master’s degree in performance optimization. Having previously worked with elite swimmers, hockey players, and rugby players, Baptiste has found success coaching numerous professional athletes competing at the highest level. Yet most importantly for The ICEF student-athletes, he is one of the few coaches in the world to have received the prestigious ActionTypes certificate. The ActionTypes approach is based on discovering emergent coordination patterns, which are key for optimizing performance, revealing areas of improvement, and reducing injuries.

Role at The ICEF

Baptiste will intervene for The ICEF Europe as a movement analyst to optimize performance. Over the course of the season, he will work with players outside of regular training hours, in small groups, to provide specific personalized and individual consultations. “My work with The ICEF players consists of postural stimulation and cognitive stimulation exercises. The goal will be to guide each player to perform to the best of their limits, while also recovering well.”

His work on the field includes recreating in-game situations with players for them to be aware of their body preferences as well as the position of opponents, and instilling recovery exercises based on their different profiles. As a result, players should be able to better use their strengths on the field, adapt to their weaknesses, and have memorized strategies to become better athletes while harnessing their natural body movements.

The ActionTypes Method is a long-term approach

The ActionTypes method is mostly present in the professional world and is becoming little by little more present in soccer. It’s a huge advantage for student-athletes at The ICEF Europe to learn about their body capabilities and have the proper keys to development at an earlier stage

Students will follow a multi-stage program that will observe their progress over the course of the entire season. While the first stages consisting of establishing personas and profiles of the players can be simplified as the ‘discovery stage’, the later stages (starting after Christmas) will consist of optimizing what body preferences emerged. Alongside the coaching staff, Baptiste is tailoring his approach to helping the players improve and in turn work better as a team, “The specificity of using the ActionTypes method for soccer will be, in my opinion, on the physiological level. Getting players to perform technically and tactically for a full 90 minutes, according to their position, and recognizing the necessary amount of effort needed to perform.”

“To give some examples of the work we do with forwards, we fine tune the different postures to adopt before having a shot on goal, and depending on the situation, whether their bodies should have longer or quicker build-ups to a shot, and what the direction of their body rotation should be. We even work on aim and accuracy-based exercises. All of the above contribute to work on motor skills, muscle activation signatures and postural activations.”

Personal exchanges with players of The ICEF Europe at heart of the process

For me, a player can only succeed over a long period and optimize their progress if they show investment in the process. And that's what's exciting, working with an athlete to find solutions together. Players have qualities, and I like to teach and spend time so that they learn to use them best. Everywhere I've been, I do everything to encourage the athletes to be proactive, research and invest in themselves to deepen and improve.

Working with players in a positive environment is key to achieving desired results and success. Baptiste does what he does so that athletes can feel enjoyment when they train, play, and show improvement. The first step in the working relationship is establishing a link where exchange is at the heart of the relationship. The goal is to together find the resources needed for the player to improve and perform.

When asked about his first impressions since arriving at The ICEF Europe, Baptiste’s reaction was very positive. “The athletes here are true athletes; they’re striving for excellence. I was also delighted by their politeness, respect, investment and curiosity.”

Combining best practices to gain an early competitive edge

The ICEF Europe players will undoubtedly recognize the value of Baptiste’s expertise. Not only is the ActionTypes method becoming more and more prominent, but Baptiste also draws inspiration from a range of innovators and leaders in the field of athletic performance, “To improve the motor, physical and physiological capacities of the players without negatively impacting their specific training and match process, I have adopted an important prophylactic approach which is strongly inspired by rugby. Then on the development side, the goal being to train better athletes, I am inspired particularly by the work of sports scientist and strength coach and conditioning coach Frans Bosch, whose record speaks for itself when it comes to the benefits of his work on high level athletes.” Baptiste also cites American strength coach Louie Simmons as part of his influences for physical development, as well as human movement specialist Dr. Andreo Spina as one of his influences for motor development and injury prevention.

Over time, the impacts of Baptiste’s expertise will be measured with specific and general tests (physiological, physical, motor…) and with statistics (number of injuries, how long). Overall, he believes that players will have “tools that should allow them to progress by relying on their own identity of functioning, which will facilitate their integration into a group and make the most of their qualities within a system.” With all that said, we look forward to seeing Baptiste bring his expertise in helping The ICEF youth players unlock their full potential!