As a youth player Raymond Verheijen (1971) was part of the famous Dutch Youth Academy structure. Unfortunately, the dream of a professional career ended as a chronic injury forced him to retire at the young age of 18. This disadvantage became an advantage as Verheijen started his coaching career at the age of 19. He studied Exercise Physiology and Sport Psychology at the Free University Amsterdam and completed his Masters Degrees in 1995.
In 1995, Verheijen developed his Masters thesis into the book ‘Conditioning for Soccer’ which became the coach education book of the Dutch FA (KNVB) in 1997. Verheijen became a pro-license instructor at the Dutch FA in 1998. In 2014, Verheijen published the best-selling book ‘Football Periodisation’. More than 30.000 copies have been sold worldwide.
Verheijen has been involved as an assistant or consultant in 4 World Cups and 4 EURO’s and with several European top clubs. All his lessons learned at international level have been described in 2015 in the book ‘How Simple Can It Be?’ which was published in Dutch, English, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese amongst other languages.
“Football fitness is fitness in the football context”
"In football, many people talk about fitness in a non-contextual way. However, football fitness only exists inside the football context and it only expresses itself when players are playing football. Outside the football context, football fitness does not exist. One would expect that this is obvious for all football coaches. Unfortunately, many people talk about fitness in a non-contextual way. As a result, they talk about non-contextual fitness pretending to talk about football fitness. The subsequent chaos and non-contextual and irrelevant exercises are a logical consequence. In his presentation, Raymond Verheijen will prove what football fitness really is based on objective facts and logical reasoning rather than subjective opinions and the flavour of the month"