How does a new coach institute a cultural change at a club?
There’s no singular way to do it, but Matias Almeyda is in the middle of attempting to do that with the San Jose Earthquakes. After a difficult 2018 season, the Quakes hired the Argentine to revive their fortunes, and while he’s gotten headlines for his interest in the Bushido, or the moral code of the samurai, he’s been trying all kinds of methods to change his new team.
ESPN’s Tom Marshall visited the Earthquakes’ recent training camp in Cancun, Mexico, giving a peek at the work Almeyda has been doing with his squad.
“Everyone is just open ears, open hearts and open minds. It’s special to see,” striker Chris Wondolowski said in the story. “Before, everyone had their own agendas and ideas of how they wanted things to go and now I think we have literally 30 guys who are just sponges, willing to soak up whatever it takes.”
Among the tactics used by Almeyda is getting his team to imagine they will be winners.
“It’s just the championship mentality,” said goalkeeper J.T. Marcinkowski. “Every single day [Almeyda] says, ‘Picture yourself being champion, picture yourself on that stage, picture yourself with the trophy.'”
You can read the full feature over at ESPN.