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School training centers in football : how do they work ?

School training centers, also known as school Academies, are the ideal opportunity for any student serious about having a professional career in sport. They are becoming increasingly popular across the globe, and new school training centers are popping in up in a variety of countries. But what exactly is a school training center, and how do they work ? A team at Looking for Soccer, the go-to website for anyone wanting to book a football camp at the biggest clubs in the world, has made a simple guide to help you understand !

What is a school training center ?

A school training center is a place for young people who are passionate about sport to combine their normal education with practising and competing in high level sport. They exist for a wide variety of sports, including athletics, tennis, rugby, horse riding and of course football ! Since the students do so much sport at a school training center, they need to be focused on their education as well as their sport to make sure that they succeed.

Generally, the student athletes are good enough to perform at a regional level, and the idea is to encourage students to play high level sport. Not only will student athletes benefit greatly from both the curriculum and their sporting education, it will also give them a big advantage after they have completed the course. Graduating from a school training center shows ability, motivation and application, and is a valuable first step towards a career in professional sport.

Since we have defined what a school training center is, it is also important to say what they are not. School training centers are not easy, and they are not for very talented athletes who want to skip their education. A school training center is specifically intended for students who can perform at a decent standard in their sport and are motivated to succeed in their education.

What is the aim of a school training center ?

When it comes to a school training center, there are two first objectives. The first is for the students to complete their education. Like any other school, still very much the point of a school training center is for students to complete a curriculum and to get the grades they need to get into any university or college that they want.

Secondly, school training centers aim to help their student athletes improve and progress in the sport of their choice. Through training sessions, competitions, matches and events, the student athletes will develop their skills, their understanding of the sport and their mental and physical strength so that they can compete at the top of their level and maximise their potential.

Those are the two aims for while the student athlete is still a part of the school Academy, and there is a third objective for once once the student graduates. When they do, the graduates will have skill and experience in the sport of their choice, and this will help them get a job in the sport they are interested in, or to get into the further education that they want, possibly with a scholarship on account of the high level sport. A school training center aims to set up their students for life.

How does a school training center work ?

As there are many different kinds of school training centers, depending on the sport and depending on the country, they can work in different ways. They can be residential or not, meaning that at some school training centers, the students live there while at others they commute every day.

They work quite simply, by having a relatively normal school schedule, with classes throughout the week during the day. Training sessions will take place several times a week, and then at weekends, competition or matches or events will take place and the student-athletes will have the chance to compete.

It is important to remember that school Academies do ask a lot of their students, and they are expected to prioritize their education above their sport. This means that if their grades start to suffer a lot, students will be expected to raise them back up again or their future at the school training center could be in jeopardy, like any school.

How is time divided between schoolwork and sport ?

Once again, this changes from place to place and country to country, but generally you can expect to have 3 to 10 hours of training sessions a week. These will either take place before school in the morning or after all the lessons of the day are over. Then, the weekends will often be filled with sport, either competitions or training sessions again.

So, sport is given a lot of importance in the lives of student-athletes and it will take up a decent portion of their time. The only thing that will take up more of their time is schoolwork, and every school training center has made a balance of schoolwork and sport for their student-athletes that they believe will lead to maximising their potential, both in terms of education and in terms of sport.


Is it a classic school program or has it been adapted ?

Mostly, school training centers will teach the same curriculum as at any other school but they will adapt it slightly to sport. Of course, in areas where it is reasonable, then sport can be mixed into their school classes, however this is not always wise. Sport does not always have a place in the classroom, and so it will be left out when it needs to be.

How do you join a school training center ?

To join a school training center, most of the time you will need to apply, with both good grades and competitive performances in sport. While the better your grades are, the more likely you are succeed in your application, it is not just about that. In fact, for some school training centers, demonstrating real motivation and passion is more important.

The same is true for the sporting performances. Of course, if you are an excellent athlete, you are likely to be accepted but that is not the only way. If you are driven to succeed and to improve, then this will be just as good. An athlete that is determined to improve will improve more than the talented but complacent athlete.

Some school Academies recruit students in different ways. For example, some of them will have potential students fill out expression of interest forms and then attend trials. This depends on the sport, but for football, it is not uncommon for trials to be held in order to make sure that the most deserving student athletes get their spot.

What ages can join a school training center ?

Of course, this again depends on which school training centers and in what country they are in, but generally speaking, these school training centers are intended for students aged about fifteen to eighteen as they finish their education. In France, they are specifically done with the baccalaureate in mind as the final objective, and in England, they are designed for sixth form students. They are also fantastic for university applications, so these school and sport programs almost always for these ages.

However, several school training centers are organised for younger students, in middle school. Athletes in sports are being spotted at younger and younger ages so it comes as no surprise, and the programs at these school training centers are more reasonable for the ages of their students. If your child has the drive and the right personality for a school training center but is not yet 15, then consider looking into these ones.


School training centers are fantastic programs for student athletes that are interested in pursuing their education while competing in a sport. The students will be taught a slightly adapted curriculum and will be expected to have good grades and be a great student. They will also work closely with coaches and trainers in order to improve and progress at their sport.

Having been a student at a school training center will be a massive advantage when applying to colleges or universities, as it will be proof of motivation, good results at school and a high level in a sport. It will also be a massive advantage when trying to get a job in the sports industry, as the student athletes will have lots of relevant knowledge and experience.

If you are worried that school Academies may be too intense for your child but you are still keen, why not send them to a language football camp ? These combine sport and learning in a comparable way to a school training center, so although they are not perfect substitutes, it will give your child a good idea of whether they want to try and join a school Academy or not.

If your child is passionate about a sport but has been struggling at school, then a school training center can be a great idea. Combining sport and education can massively help boost a student, as they take more interest in school.

If you’re interested in a School training center and if you’re serious about the project. Feel free to contact Looking For Soccer team, we will enjoy in helping you finding the best academy.

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