The method

CogiTraining method’s Official SenseBall

SenseBall is a key element of the CogiTraining football training method.

SenseBall – CogiTraining – Real Madrid
CogiTraining is a training method developed by Michel Bruyninckx. This method is the result of over 10 years of research and implementation within the framework of a sports research study in association with the University of Leuven in Belgium.

Currently, Michel Bruyninckx and the CogiTraining staff often get requests from around the world to teach the CogiTraining method and the practice of SenseBall at professional football clubs and associations.

“Football is a game you play with your head, your legs are there just to help you.”
- Dennis Bergkamp

We see with our brain, not with our eyes

Between 2000 and 2011, in collaboration with the University of Louvain, Michel Bruyninckx developed a training method, focused on brain functioning, called “CogiTraining” together with its key tool “SenseBall”, and trained a sample of 200 young players (140 boys and 60 girls).

At the start, these children were not very exceptional, either technically or athletically speaking. They were simply young players from the area who were passionate about football and played football in small local clubs at weekends.
SenseBall – CogiTraining - Canada

Nevertheless, 6 of these 140 boys have ended up playing for the male Belgian national team (among them, Dries Mertens and Steven Defour who played in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil) and 50% of the female players that are core members of the women’s Belgian national football team have come from this sports study training scheme.

This is a remarkable result if you take into account that the Belgian Football Federation has just 400,000 players registered (375,000 male and 25,000 female). In other words, the CogiTraining method and SenseBall have proved their capacity to train top level players on the basis of a limited number of players many of whom were not naturally gifted at the outset.

CogiTraining and SenseBall maximize the players’ training by means of drills that improve the brain organization, therefore enabling faster decision-making and increased accuracy in their movements. They allow players to assimilate the essential components of today’s football: speed of vision, speed of decision-making, speed of execution.

The daily practice of SenseBall (20 minutes per day) makes it possible for a young athlete to touch the ball approximately 500.000 times a year (whereas a professional who trains in the “traditional” way will only touch it about 50.000 times!). Most importantly, they play in a perfectly bilateral way (50% right foot; 50% left foot) which forms a complete two-footed player.

The acquisition of this speed is, among others, the result of the fact that the football ball SenseBall is based on the concept of bilateral activity. At a training session, a player uses (plus or minus 2%) his left foot as many times as his right and moves left/right and backwards/forwards through space in a balanced way.

In addition to the sports aspect, it should be noted that CogiTraining and the practice of SenseBall, by developing and organizing the brain, enhance learning at school. Within our research into sports studies in association with the University of Leuven, we have seen that after practising our method for a year, on average children’s results at school had improved by 10% and their general behaviour had slightly improved (calmer, better concentration).

Specific exercises also permit practical applications outside the sport world, such as physiotherapeutic rehabilitation for bad posture in children and teenagers. It also contributes to the treatment of ADHD, the fight against cognitive disorders, and muscle atrophy in the elderly.

We continuously receive requests for both CogiTraining and SenseBall courses. For this reason, we have decided to offer training courses in our facilities (in Belgium) as well as customised training courses in your facilities (worldwide). For more information, please visit CogiTraining.

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CogiTraining and the practice of SenseBall have been applied in:

The elite football school of the Belgian federation and the University of Leuven , which, among others, has produced:
Dries Mertens, SSC Napoli, Belgium international
Steven Defour, Burnley FC, international and winner of the Belgian golden boot
Omar El Khadouri, SSC Napoli, Marocco international

R.S.C. Anderlecht, Belgium (fully integrated in its training programmes).
During the 2012-2013 season, the U21 - U19 – U17 – U15 – U12 won the Belgian championship and top level tournaments in Europe: Viareggio Cup, Aegon Future Cup Ajax Amsterdam, Premier League Cup.

Real Madrid, Spain, at the invitation of José Mourinho

Aspire Academy, Doha, Qatar

National Olympic Center Papendal, Holland, for professional Dutch coaches

CBV Pro Coaches Football Association, Holland, to Leo Beenhakker, Dennis Bergkamp, Wim Kieft, Frank de Boer, etc.

AC Milan, Italy, as members of the technical and methodological staff

Many youth teams of professional football clubs: FC Nantes, LOSC Lille, Sporting Kansas City, AS Monaco, Willem II, KRC Genk, SV Zulte Waregem, RCSC Charleroi, APOEL Nicosie, etc.