You want to join a football academy, you have read a lot about it, you have asked in forums, in social networks and you are still not sure how to do it and which one to choose to become a professional player.
I hear you. Many of us have gone through this. In this article I will explain what you should take into account before, during and after recruitment.
Below you will find a table with the results of the best academy and we will tell you in detail why. This way you will have everything clearer and you will get it right the first time.
Comparative guide to the best International Football Academies in Spain[raptabla id=’29146′]
Before you decide, you should try a short-term programme.
Many high performance schools and most professional football academies in general will always give you the option to try before you sign up for an annual programme.
This is because they should be able to assess you, both athletically and psychologically, to ensure that you can successfully complete the programme. As well as clarifying the educational options and homologation of studies.
This programme should include a thorough health check and serve to clarify your goals and how they can help you achieve them, while experiencing part of the programme you will have during the academic year.
Under 3 months programme
Below you will find the offers of the different programmes in order to take into account their differences.[raptabla id=’29302′]
The Short-Term Programme is a course of assessment, personalised coaching and advanced methodology whose main objective is to evaluate both the strengths and weaknesses of a player, as well as the opportunities and threats he will encounter on his path to elite football.
This is the best way to get a taste of what the annual programme is like for the football academy players. It includes everything in the annual programme except the educational offer and options.
The course, which lasts between one and four weeks, can also be used to assess the student’s possible entry into the Professional Programme. In the case of Kaptiva it is only offered for one week. Soccer Inter-Action, however, allows for 1 week to 3 months, making it the most flexible of the three.
SIA ACADEMY SHORT STAY PROGRAMME
1 WEEK 1.000,00€
4 WEEKS 3.800,00€
SHORT STAY PROGRAMME KAPTIVA
1 WEEK 999,00€
MARCET FOUNDATION SHORT STAY PROGRAMME
1 WEEK 1.995,00€
4 WEEKS 5.145,00€
SPAIN SOCCERACADEMY SHORT STAY PROGRAMME
Spain Soccer Academy is closed during the months of July, August and the Christmas holiday period: from 21st December to 8th January (so it does not offer the product all year round).
Choosing the right football academy without getting it wrong (detailed guide)
By following this checklist you won’t go wrong and you will be able to really see where the difference is.
Aspects to take into account when hiring a football academy
The following annual programmes of football academies in Spain that we are going to show you on this page meet the following requirements (which would be desirable in a quality professional academy)
- Ask if they are owned or rented. If they have all types of surfaces to train on. The availability of natural grass pitches is only available at professional facilities such as the SIA Academy and professional clubs.
- Is there a beach nearby to practice on sand?
- If they are shared or rented, not all training times are available, nor is there a full field all the time where training can be carried out correctly and professionally.
- Whether the residence is shared by other guests outside the programme or only for footballers and coaches. In other words, privacy and intimacy.
- If the rooms are double or single rooms or shared rooms, is there an extra charge for the double room offer?
- It has a swimming pool and leisure rooms.
- Do you have gymnasiums and fitness rooms on site?
- The age of the installation.
- If technology is available. computer rooms, video analysis processing, offices and classrooms for study. Library.
- Is the type of menu in the restaurant adapted to players or is it buffet style? Is there a menu for vegans or vegetarians. Halal. Cooking workshop etc. ….
- If they have a well-equipped clinic or medical service. Physiotherapy room.
- Many academies offer leisure time or close proximity to leisure time or town planning. This is detrimental for an elite athlete who wants to work for a year in a real high performance centre. What they need is privacy and security. Closed and controlled spaces.
- Is the city close by and does it have a wide cultural offer?
FACULTY AND TECHNICAL STAFF
- Ask for the Director’s curriculum and education.
- Coaches with professional experience, qualified and trained in the method offered by the Academy.
- Physical trainers with demonstrable experience.
- Doctors, traumatologists, sports cardiologists, physiotherapists and podiatrists should be on staff. Check if they are actually available.
- Analysts and scouting staff.
- Sports psychologists and nutritionists.
- Tutors and teachers.
- Clarify if the daily training sessions with UEFA-Pro licensed and qualified coaches, TECHNICAL-TECHNICAL.
- Do they include individualised weekly training and sessions? Technification.
- 3-4 daily training sessions per week with teams from a federated club. Are they the academy’s own teams trained with the methodology and coaches on staff, or do they offer you to join other collaborating clubs that do not guarantee your development or the knowledge of everything you do during the week?
- Training with technology. Let them teach it to you. It is not enough to say that it is available. How does the player use the technology in the day-to-day running of the academy?
- Weekly video analysis session. Do you have specific technology rooms like in professional clubs?
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- Conditional training (beach, gym, etc.,,,,) Distance to the beach and swimming pool.
- Training sessions and football masterclasses.
- Experiences with stages of foreign teams that share training sessions in the same facility.
MATCHES, TESTS AND COMPETITIONS
- Weekly football matches both federated and friendly. Clarify if with your age and your nationality you will be able to play federated or if you can only play friendly or national team matches.
- Is the team from the academy and managed by academy coaches and staff, or do they send you to other teams with a good understanding?
- Participation in reputable tournaments (national and international) In which tournaments do they participate?
- Organised trips to compete
- Trials in other clubs to evaluate your level. Immersion in other teams to be seen by scouts.
ASSESSMENTS AND REPORTS
Initial, weekly and quarterly evaluation: Ask for a standard report.
- Match evaluation
- Evaluation of training sessions: Individualised?
- Evaluation of individual goals and post-match playing competences
- Individual tutorials with trainer and analyst
- Group tutorials with trainer and analyst
ANALYSIS AND TECHNOLOGY
- The most important thing is if you have and use individual player tracking and monitoring technology (GPS’s).
- Recording of matches and training sessions will be the way to see your progression.
- Sessions of new technologies available at the academy (smart ball, LEDS goals, neurostimulation, software, stroboscopic glasses, ball launchers, goalkeeper cameras…).
- Video analysis:
- Setting individual objectives and goals
- Monitoring analysis of the objectives through matches, training sessions and New Technologies sessions
- Real-time analysis during training sessions
- Common objectives:
- Analysis of the team as a whole
- Analysis by lines
The academy has a multidisciplinary team, consisting of the coaching staff, nutritionist, physical trainer, sports doctor and psychologist.
PHYSICAL PREPARATION AND INJURY RECOVERY
The physical preparation department of a football academy is responsible for optimising the performance of the players and minimising the risk of injury.
Do they ask you for information to assess you before you enter the programme?
Ask what types of functional assessment tests do they use to evaluate you at the academy?
Do they assess the physical condition of your muscles, speed and strength?
Is the academy player initially assessed by a medical examination with a gas stress test in order to rule out cardiological pathologies and to set training thresholds?
Do you use GPS technology for training and matches?
How do they carry out cargo control?
What types of field tests do you use?
A proper high performance programme should include these sections;
- Training planning and periodisation
- Programming and control of strength training
- Individualised (depending on position and parameters) specific resistance training
- Individualised work plan for injury prevention (or rather minimising the risk of injury)
- Specific warm-up protocols
- Injury rehabilitation and recovery
- Injury action plan
- Basic strategies for injury recovery
- Specific “return to play” assessment tests
- Load control using advanced GPS technology, training diaries, psychological questionnaires and haematological and/or hormonal parameters.
- Training and match control using GPS technology.
- Individualised reports and follow-ups
- Quarterly individual reports
- Specific individual training sessions for conditional improvement
- Group meetings to explain training concepts
- Video-analysis to understand and explain faulty or improving technical patterns.
The Physiotherapy department in a football academy has many functions, but the main ones would be to work on the prevention of injuries and then the treatment of injuries that occur during the season, many times it will be the psychological support to help the player to feel as good as possible.
- Have professional sports physiotherapists worked in a club or are they currently working in a club?
- Are they involved in the design and implementation of individual and collective preventive strategies, and do they train the academy player in these issues?
- Do they design, plan and carry out therapeutic strategies for the recovery of injuries, involving the athlete and the rest of the multidisciplinary team in the corresponding phases to optimise the recovery process?
- Do they, as a health professional, assist the academy player on the field during matches?
- Do they initially assess according to individual injuries or complaints and coordinate the work with the injury rehabilitation specialist?
At the beginning of the programme, a good academy should perform a complete medical check-up, supplemented by tests as determined by the sports cardiologist.
A gas ergonometry (stress test) is highly recommended.
The team doctor advises the coach on the players’ state of health and makes the final decision regarding the players’ suitability for competitive football.
Management of medical services
Management of specialist medical appointments required by academy players.
Management of appointments with podiatrists
Management of medical check-ups
Medical injury report assessments.
Periodic reports on health, training, progress and achievement of objectives.
Inadequate nutrition can affect sporting performance more than in other prolonged and continuous sports?
They should make it clear to you what the nutrition of a player in their academy is like?
Do they have personalised and individual targets per player? How do they individually assess the nutrition of each athlete?
- Group training and information meetings on nutritional concepts and eating habits.
- Personalised nutritional programme for the development or loss of muscle mass.
- Reports are individual:
- How do they measure Body Composition Status.
- Do you use quarterly DEXA? The best technology today
- Nutritional recommendations
- Evaluate what a player eats before and after games
- Weekly player feedback
- Short term goal setting
- Does the academy have vegan or vegetarian menus appropriate for high performance
- How cultural menus are managed by different religious cultures
The academy psychologist continuously monitors and evaluates the players?
advises the coach and the coaching staff?
and should have a personal and/or group training plan for the players’ emotional competences?
- Emotional autonomy
- High performance values
- Error management
- Pressure and stress management
- Goal setting
- Supporting studies and alternatives to football
- Accepting and overcoming injuries
Do you conduct regular assessments and quarterly family reports?
VISA MANAGEMENT AND LEGALITY
Does the Academy have an agency specialised in the processing and management of visas to any country in the world? Experience in applying for visas to more complex countries such as Russia, India and China.
Visa implications of COVID-19.
Are study and residence permits processed from Spain offered and do they have an additional cost?
What brand of clothing do you have, what kid’s gear does it include?
Is the player obliged to take any training during the programme?
Does the academy facilitate supervised distance learning with qualified teachers?
What centres or schools do you have?
Current university programmes?
Does the educational programme allow for training mornings and afternoons, is it flexible?
What is the homologation of studies in your home country?
Does the school offer officially approved and certified language studies?
Does the programme allow for educational grants?
Is it possible to get a university degree or a scholarship for the USA with this level of education?
Ask about the qualifications and training of the tutors and assistants who will accompany and help you in your studies.
What types of football academies are there and which one to choose according to your needs?
There are the following types of academies according to our criteria, which we summarise below;
Club youth academies
Most clubs recognise that the quality of their future players is directly linked to the amount of euros they allocate to the development of their grassroots football, although curiously they do not apply this in the budget allocation or policies they follow at youth level.
Most clubs have acknowledged that the level of treatment of their academy players is much lower than for professional players.
It is very difficult to get among the chosen ones, they are players selected and previously signed by disparate criteria who are fully scholarship holders.
Barcelona’s La Masia trains more than 300 players at its academy, but fewer than two players ‘graduate’ each year. The numbers at Real Madrid’s La Fábrica are similar.
International club academies
Through international academies and campuses around the world, football clubs are looking for financial gain, club growth and branding.
They do not treat internationals the same as their academy academies, as they prioritise the development of those who are “supposedly” most likely to make it as professionals, have been selected by their scouting department and cost them investment.
Examples of clubs actively developing the programme include;
- Academia del Getafe
- Levante internacional
- Sevilla FC Soccer Academy
- RCD Espanyol
International Academies with educational options
They are the best academies in terms of facilities, resources and technology used, professionals focused on training and human resources, the methodology used in learning is different in each of them.
They are concerned about the sporting aspects as well as the health and educational aspects, they know that real club outings, even if they are the objective, entail a high percentage of failures and drop-outs. That is why the player must have the best possible environment and real alternatives.
- IMG Academy
- Soccer Inter-Action (SIA Academy)
- Fundación Marcet
- FCV Academy
- Kaptiva Sports
Academies that are representative or related agencies
They are those that normally use facilities ceded from other clubs or municipalities. They promise a supposed professional outlet, in most cases linked to their agency. They must be the most economical because of the type of programmes they offer and the technology-methodology used.
- Jep Sports Management
- Valencia Soccer Academy
- Intersoccer Madrid
- Fair Play Academy en Benalmádena (Málaga)
- Soccer Talent Identification del AC Perugia (Italia)
- Soccer Leon Academy
- Alicante Football Academy
- Genova International School of Soccer
How to hire an academy step by step
Today, if you are looking for an academy that combines a semi-professional programme without leaving your studies behind, SIA Academy is the safest option in Spain.
To check the quality, just follow the advice in this article and compare for yourself if you have all the information.
security and privacy in a 5-star facility is another feature of the annual programme.[rap sin_api=”si” imagen=”https://soccerinteraction.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/sia-academy-logo.png” enlace=”https://soccerinteraction.com/es” titulo=”SIA Academy PROGRAMA ANUAL caracteristicas=”Metodología by FCPorto, Centro de Alto Rendimiento, Equipos propios hasta 3ª DIV FEF, Estudios en ingles”]
The main thing is that you initially provide all your sporting, health and educational details. Send recorded material and have a first interview in which you should make clear what your objectives are.
In-person tests at the academy of your choice
The investment and effort you are going to make next year is very important. It is advisable that you try one of the academy’s short programmes or camps before embarking on an annual programme, so that you have more criteria to make a decision.