If you want to play football like a professional, then you need to start thinking like a professional. Football academies offer a crucial opportunity for players to showcase their skills but you have to be willing to work hard on and off the pitch.
Players in EduKick football academies train under the eye of professional team coaches and staff day in and day out. Bolton Wanderers International Academy staff coach EduKick players in England and in Madrid, Spain they train under the technical staff of the famous Aragones family. The pace can be intense.
It's a huge opportunity, but talent is just part of the mix. Coaches are looking for more than just physical ability.
What do coaches look for in pro players?
So what do coaches and scouts look for when they're scouting football academy players to add to their team? Talent and potential are obvious, but those are only a small part of what coaches consider when they're looking at football players.
Here are some other traits that pro football academy coaches are looking at:
Character and attitude - A football academy player who is going to be successful is going to show talent on the field, but he (or she) will also show character, determination and attitude. These are all things that coaches assess when thinking about giving players opportunities.
Coaches have this point of view: If they give a football academy player the opportunity, will that player fit in with the rest of the team? If players have a poor character or a bad attitude, they will not fit so will not be selected. They may have all the ability in the world, but if they haven't got the right character, they won't be given the opportunities to advance their pro career.
Discipline – Are you making the most of the abilities that you've been given? Do you practice and exercise regularly? Do you strive to master fundamentals and increase your knowledge of the game?
Those are some of the football-specific questions that coaches are looking for answers to, but they will also want to know about your habits off the pitch: Are you a good student? Are you good at home? Are you staying out with friends late at night? Your discipline (or lack thereof) in other areas of your life could impact whether you get an opportunity to attend a professional trial while training at an elite football academy.
References – Much like applying for a job, coaches will want to see references to your character. References are people who know you as the full package. They can speak to your dedication, punctuality, and attentiveness. Professional football academy coaches will want to see references from school, other football coaches, and teachers. Family and friends carry less weight as professional football references.
If you commit to train in one of these elite football academies, it's up to you to make the most of your experience.
Very few people have the discipline, attitude, and character to make it as a professional football player. Keep in mind what coaches are looking for, and strive to do your best. Make sure you have the character and determination that football academy coaches seek, and don't forget to keep practicing!
Ready to start your international football adventure? Find your niche in England, Spain, Brazil, France, Italy, Mexico, and EduKick soccer academies around the world!