When you set out to train at an elite football (soccer) academy, or work out your own football training in advance at home, it can be difficult to stay on target. But if you have a goal in mind, and specific steps to achieve that goal, you’re miles ahead of other people who do nothing but dream.
This kind of preparation makes all the difference in the world. Our international football academy coaches can always tell the difference between players who work to prepare, and those who just show up at our football academies. For you, it could be the difference between watching from the sidelines and actually achieving your football goals.
International football academy training and conditioning
The first step is setting targets and goals you want to reach in football. You can do that on a per-month basis. For example, if you’re arriving at your football academy in September, set yourself a 6-month program to decide where you want to be in terms of physical condition.
The idea is to set realistic, measurable targets. Set your targets based on an assessment of yourself, not your peers. You know where you’re at right now, and you know you want to be in the best possible shape when you arrive at an international football academy to begin your soccer training.
Look to make that improvement every week, every month. Month one can have a number of fitness elements: pushups, 50-yard sprint, 400-yard at half-pace, etc. Bear in mind that in football one must be match fit. You’ll need a lot of strength in both your upper and lower bodies, and the endurance to run for 90 minutes with little rest, in order to achieve success at the highest level.
You’ll be better off making goals you know you can meet to improve yourself little by little. And you’ll be more likely to stay on target. You can count the number of reps you do, and increase by 15 percent by the end of the month. That’s realistic. Increasing it by 75 percent? That’s probably not realistic.
International football academy language and culture
For international football academies that have an associated educational curriculum, you need to consider the language component also. If you’re going into another country with a different language, you need to work towards a basic understanding of that language.
Traveling to another country to study football, language, and culture will make for a well-rounded experience and will increase your professional marketability. Being bilingual is an obvious advantage in any business.
Set targets for both academics (linguistics) and football. If you’re continuing high school academics and you’re going into an environment where you haven’t spent time speaking the language, your goal should be arriving day one with basic communication skills. Get acclimated to the language as much as possible, studying, listening, and speaking beforehand.
And above all, show commitment, respect, and effort while studying abroad. Sometimes those extra efforts make the difference in receiving a passing grade or not!
Determination and perseverance
The NIKE slogan, “Just do it,” applies nicely here. Daily individual training discipline is the most obvious key to success. It’s about what you do when no one else is around. Sticking to your plan is the most important part of your preparation.
When you put a training program into place for yourself, it’s easy to let it slip when you don’t feel like training. It’s easy to say things like “I’m too tired, so I think I’ll skip that two hours I set aside for language or academics.” Or let yourself get distracted by friends or going to the movies instead of training.
This is where 95 percent of people don’t succeed: they don’t stick with the plan they put into place. One difference between the pros and those who don’t make it: pros stick with the program. Only the athletes with true grit and determination make it to the highest level.
Ask yourself to be that special athlete (and student) by showing extreme commitment and determination. You can do it if you are mentally disciplined enough to commit fully!
It’s easier to achieve training targets or goals when you’re in an international football academy program. Players have less trouble sticking with the football training schedule because someone else (the football coach or manager) is setting up the training program for you. Everyone around you is pushing you to perform. You have teammates doing the same thing.
Attending an international football academy is much more demanding than any other academic or cultural exchange program abroad. You’re committing yourself to being ready, mentally and physically, to participate as a footballer in the football development academy. You will be training daily over a nine-month period.
Put it in your mind that the work starts the day you commit to register to get the maximum benefit. This means you should arrive ready and prepared to get the most out of your international football academy experience.