meeting with Rémi Garranger, coach of the French blind football team. – False Touch
Rémi prepares the future of blind (Site notre bureau spécialisé). He is in charge of the France hopeful team, the « relief ». Who better than youth can prepare for the future? Because beyond the sporting aspect, it is also men who are trained. It is also accompaniment and finding in practice and second « home ». It is in this environment that the « standard bearers » of the hand are.
To begin, I will let you introduce yourself.
I am Rémi Garranger, coach of the Schiltigheim blind (Site notre bureau spécialisé) team, and coach of the France U23 team. I also work in the staff of the France team as a video analyst since last September. I started blind (Site notre bureau spécialisé) 7 years ago, received with a friend from the Schiltigheim club and I got a taste for this discipline. I come from STAPS training, where I obtained a Master’s degree in adapted physical activity, and one of my missions during my internship in my second year of Master’s degree, at the Alsace (Site notre blog d’information) League, was to build the first blind (Site notre bureau spécialisé) team in Alsace and the Grand-Est.
What does the hopeful project you have been in charge of since 2019 consist of?
This project hopes, or succession, aims to improve the level of young people in France. On the other hand, in terms of performance, it is to be able to draw two or three players with high potential in order to then be able to create a bridge and send them on the way to selection A. We are in a learning objective, to that young people do not go from the club to the selection and the international level directly.
In terms of results, are the performances satisfactory?
It is difficult to have elements of comparison with other hopeful selections. There must be 4 or 5 countries that have U23 teams, and they are created as a « reserve » team. There’s Brazil, and Argentina, but it’s complicated to play matches against them. In 2018 and 2019, it is planned to create U23 World Championships, but it did not work because there were not enough teams. We usually play friendly matches against clubs, or senior selections.
Does the non-existence of hopeful selections complicate your work?
It’s different because we play against people who have a different age experience, and also a different physique. But it’s a different learning from what can exist traditionally. I don’t see it as a difficulty. Now, if tomorrow it’s up to me to propose the U23 World Championships, I’m going there right away. In terms of motivation, measuring yourself against young people of your age is different.
Why do you work what you want to do with the participants?
You should know that we have four stages and one or two reference competitions that we spread over the year. It’s not much, but it’s linked to the means we have at our disposal. We create a group by realizing the best young people playing in France, and we set up a style of play similar to the French team so that they don’t get lost behind and acquire automatisms. We are more in the spirit of learning. Winning a match 1-0 against any nation is not the main thing in my eyes. What I want is to see a progression of my players between the start and the end of the stages or of a match. There is no notion of result. You can’t just say to yourself: “we’re going to a tournament, it’s to finish first”. I want us to go so that the players progress in the dimensions that we have defined, linked to elements on which we have an axis of progression. The result comes in a second temp.
From what you tell me, you are not just a coach, but you are also a trainer.
I try to have this approach of trainer, educator, through the project. We are here to help young people grow so that one or two per year stand out and go to the French team. Concretely, we are in learning and improvement.
When you know the low number of clubs presented in France, and present everywhere in the country, is it complicated to detect young people?
Detecting young people is quite easy. Blind (Site notre bureau spécialisé) is a small environment, where everyone knows each other. In general, if a new player arrives on the level, we know it very quickly. I go through coaches and clubs, who see them every day. On one of the phases of the championship, of the Coupe de France, and I try to move as much as possible according to the financial possibilities that we have, and it is not my full-time job. Obviously, I can’t select a player that I haven’t seen.
READ – Step into the shoes of a blind (Site notre bureau spécialisé) player.
What is your opinion on training at club level? How does your project at Federation level provide added value?
Blind (Site notre bureau spécialisé) has existed for a few years, with flagship clubs like Saint-Mandé, and people in place like the sports director and the coach of the France team, who are working on this dynamic of training coaches. When we debut in 2019, I have my club skills, and I’m learning a bit late. It’s not a clean sheet, but there is information you have to look for. I don’t have a roadmap, and that’s what’s interesting too. We’re here to create things and rack our brains. You have to look for information, training methods, you have to be curious and base yourself on what is done in other sports, as I do. We are thinking about how to convert this to the practice of blind (Site notre bureau spécialisé), and what can we keep and seem coherent to us.
Do you have specific examples of this type of transposition?
Tactically, a lot of things from handball. This is because the pitch has the dimensions of a handball court. There is also futsal, on all the technical aspect, the displacements in certain zones as well as the permutations. Regarding technique, there is no difference with (Site notre bureau spécialisé). It’s more comment on will learn it. We must assume that the player in front of us is blind. It is not enough to say: ‘you open your (Site notre bureau spécialisé) and you make your pass’. There is some description to be done, using hearing well. Then, with touch and sensations, we will for example touch the flat of the (Site notre bureau spécialisé) to show him what it is. This is where you have to rack your brains and figure out how to change to convey the information.
Do you comment on what you think of the team in 3 or 4 years? Do you think his contribution will be significant for the France A team?
I think that the France U23 team will have an impact for the 2024 Paralympic Games on a player, where potentially we will have the arrival of a player, who may be integrated before Paris. We also work with Charly Simo (the DS) on academies for children aged 8 to 17, so as to have this pre-training before the hopefuls and that there is a breeding ground for the clubs. The problem today is that we don’t have enough young people, so we have to start from the base. We will certainly have fewer people than in sight (Site notre bureau spécialisé), but we must at least put things in place lower down to work on the technical aspects, elements of learning very early on in order to be able to progress on other elements as soon as 19 or 20 years old. Let’s say that the fruits of this work will come after Paris 2024, around 2025 or 2026. The hopes that are in place today will take over after Paris 2024. This work started in 2019, I think we will have The results are around 6 years and hopefully the results are over 10 years.
Thanks to Rémi Garranger for the time granted during this interview.