Would you like your child to experience what it is to train and live like a high level footballer? Would you like them to be taught by professional coaches with the highest possible UEFA certifications? This camp is the perfect opportunity for all of this, set in the beautiful French Alps.
The International Centre of European Football (ICEF) is the first private football training centre in all of Europe, set up in a partnership PSG Academy Geneva. Year round, the ICEF is an academy for professional players who are trying to develop, so it is a very serious and expert camp.
It was set up in 2017 but since then has become a global vision, with a football centre similar to this one having been built in Miami and plans for two more to be built in Asia over the next few years. Each centre is attempting to offer all the necessary infrastructure, coaching and amenities for those who participate in the programs to get to the next level of their soccer.
At the ICEF, it can already be said that this has been achieved. Everything is state of the art and the program that the camp follows has been developed over the course of many years as PSG is a club that has always put an emphasis on developing youth players, which is why they have the reputation of best academy in France.
This is without doubt one of the most complete camps in terms of soccer itself. While other camps offer cultural visits and visits to other attractions, the ICEF high performance program does not. Instead, the camp concentrates completely on soccer for its duration of two weeks, with a lot of emphasis given to off the pitch work with video analysis sessions and regular coach briefs.
Mental preparation and practice takes place at the camp as well. The drive to improve is what sets apart great players and good players, and the camp will try and instil the correct attitude in its participants. This camp is not a relaxed holiday with the option to play some soccer every now and then, it is a camp designed to make players better at football and give them the taste of what it is to be a professional.
If the players are willing to improve and take pleasure from playing soccer all day and learning about the game too, then the ICEF can guarantee that they will take their soccer to the next level. They are partnered with PSG, France’s biggest club, and offer one of the best soccer camps in terms of intensity, facilities and expertise in the entire world.
The Camp takes place completely in the Alps near Lake Geneva and Evian. The mountains are picturesque and the landscape can feel surreal at times, especially for those who are not used to seeing it. Some raise concerns about training at high altitudes, however research has been done into exactly this topic, and training in a place like ICEF can be extremely beneficial, leading to an increased production of red blood cells.
The entire camp has been set up so that everything is perfect for player development and improvement, and it is a unique and refreshing experience to spend two weeks here.
The ICEF stretches over two and a half hectares of land and there are multiple 11v11 natural grass pitches as well as several 11v11 all-weather, artificial grass fields, including a heated turf which is an unusual luxury.
All the dressing room facilities are brand new and they are all top of the line, ideal for preparation and bonding as a team. There is a health centre on site with trained medical staff and even a physical therapist, so the camp is fully equipped to deal with any physical problems that a player might experience.
A fully equipped gym with cardio, strength and recovery areas is present in the Performance Centre. Money does not tend to be a problem for PSG and the cost of building the whole camp was very high. It has resulted in truly feeling like a professional experience, and encourages the participants to perform, train and work better and harder than they usually do.
Participants will stay in double rooms with one other player. High speed internet is available throughout the centre and there are multiple lounge areas with different purposes such as the media room, the video game room and the study room.
Training kits are cleaned after every game and training session by the staff who are a team of dedicated professionals hoping to make those staying at ICEF as comfortable as possible.
As well as this, the staff are multilingual and the multiculture environment created by the staff and the players who can come from all over the world can be eye opening for younger players. The atmosphere is very friendly and there is a sense of solidarity from everyone.
The correct nutrition is indispensable for a top class athlete and the ICEF is very much aware of this. Hard work means nothing if the diet does not back it up because the body needs the nutriments to properly build up muscle and recover. The chefs cook organic meals for the participants that contain everything they need to improve the most.
Any dietary restrictions or allergies can be allowed for as long as you warn the camp before coming.
The camp is relatively isolated in the Swiss camps and there is no reason for anyone other than camp participants and staff to be in the ICEF.
On top of this, there is 24 hour supervision and security cameras throughout the camp, so there are virtually no security doubts whatsoever, with absolutely no reason for the participants to be in any danger.
The camp will revolve around three main activities in order to maximise improvement. Firstly, there will usually be two sessions of technical or tactical sessions a day. These are conducted by professional coaches who have gained the highest certification that they can achieve. On top of that, they are also experts in child development so you can be assured that the professionals know what they are doing.
The sessions will be conventional training sessions aiming for implementing specific lessons or to practice particular skills. In terms of tactics, the coaches will try to teach implementation of teamwork and team play, transition between offense and defense and position-specific training sessions. The technical sessions will focus on ball driving, ball control, passes, chain speed, body orientation, dribbling and finishing.
Secondly, there will be daily mental conditioning and coach briefs. Although these will not magically make better players, they are the true difference between good training and exceptional training. Physical attributes are easier to train and boost but most of soccer is played in the mind and in the attitude of the players.
The top players are not necessarily faster than others, they just know how to use their pace so much better and they know their limitations and capabilities, and it is this knowledge that makes them exceptional.
Mental conditioning will also help with resistance to stress and frustration, very important qualities for soccer players. Sometimes, especially at their age, teenagers can be their own biggest obstacle and the mental conditioning aims to change that.
Physically, the players can also expect to improve over the course of the week, as the intensity of the program is designed to make them give everything. They will find it easier over the course of the week, and more importantly, the knowledge that they will gain will be useful for improving their physical ability in the future.
There is also a program for goalkeepers, focusing on ball catching, diving, aerial game, recovery technique, positioning in the goal and set pieces. Focus on the keeper can provide them with valuable tips that will help them improve fast.
Time will be made for fun activities because concentrating all day is excessive and the players will want to blow off some steam. These will generally take the form of fun, group games that reinforce group cohesion.
For those who need it, medical care is already programmed into the schedule so that the ICEF can guarantee they will be taking the necessary actions to help the players recover the most.
This residential camp is ideal for advanced soccer players who want to further develop and hone their technical skills, their physical ability,their mental strength and the tactical understanding of the game. The facilities, which the campers will have full access to, are world class and used to form professional players, so you can be assured of the quality of this program and camp.
Participants should aim to arrive on the Sunday before 5PM as the camp will begin then with kit handout and room check ins. Further information about arrival will be provided when you book the camp.
Address : Domaine De Blonay, 74500 Publier
Closest airports: Geneva Airport and International Lausanne Airport
If you are flying to the camp, a transfer from the airport can be organized for an additional cost that will be communicated to you when you ask for it. There will be staff from the camp with a recognisable sign outside of departures. In some cases a few students are transferred at the same time and other times it is individual.