Club Queretaro manager Hector Altamirano admitted to taking an unconventional route toward learning new tactics to help his team: watching YouTube videos.
The 43-year-old Altamirano is a first-time manager in Liga MX after working as Celaya's boss in the second division Liga de Expansion between 2019 and 2020. Now in charge of Queretaro, Altamirano is looking to make the best out of the opportunity by mining colleagues and mentors for advice, including former Mexico national team boss Ricardo La Volpe, who posts videos of tactics he used for specific matches on the video platform.
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"There are many coaches who I bug [for advice]," Altamirano said in an interview with Mediotiempo. "Ricardo La Volpe posts his courses online, so I log on [to YouTube] to keep learning from him."
Altamirano, a former right-back best known for his time at Santos Laguna, received 18 caps from Mexico between 1999 and 2005. Despite his defensive position, Altamirano was known as a fairly prolific goal scorer due to his penchant for blazing free kicks.
After retiring in 2012, he joined Queretaro as a youth instructor, working his way up as a coach with the under-17 team and later, an assistant with the first-division squad. In 2018, Altamirano ventured outside of Queretaro for his first pro job as a manager with Cimarrones de Sonora in the Mexican second division. He was later an assistant with Costa Rica's men's national team before returning to Mexico. Unable to find a first division job, he went to Celaya in 2019.
"I thought it would be easier [to find a Liga MX job] after coaching in the lower divisions," Altamirano said.
After finally getting his chance, the Liga MX debutante says young managers are usually put under more scrutiny than veteran bosses, prompting him to seek advice from others in order to gain a foothold. Altamirano was hired by Queretaro in October of 2020, replacing another young manager, 35-year-old Alex Diego, who was fired after four months on the job.
"We have to be realists," said Altamirano. "Those of us who are new, more things are demanded from us [than veteran managers]. I try to show we're prepared."
For Queretaro, the early returns are promising. After five games in the Guardianes 2021 season, the team has nine points, sitting seventh in Liga MX and in prime position for a playoff spot. Over the winter break, the signing of former Manchester United star Antonio Valencia boosted Altamirano's team.
Valencia is not the first noteworthy star the club has signed in recent memory, as Brazil legend Ronaldinho played with the team from 2014 to 2015. In his first season with Queretaro, Valencia has already notched one goal and one assist.