Do you want to attend an international football academy in England? Well, be prepared: you may find yourself in over your head. The English game is very fast and physical as compared to American and European soccer. If you aren’t in peak physical condition, you might not be able to keep up.
However, with proper preparation, you can be head and shoulders above the rest of the players who haven’t taken the time to get ready for the trials they’ll face. Here are a few tips to get you prepared for playing English football!
Tip #1: Work on your upper body strength.
British players are much physically stronger than North Americans, and we’ve seen many players struggle to keep up. At some international football academies, the first few weeks are spent doing a lot of fitness training on the track and in the gym, building core stability and conditioning.
Start working on your abdominals and your upper body strength now. Core stability is important for any athlete, and a strong upper body will help you fend off other players. The game in the U.K. can be very fast and furious, so you have to be strong, first and foremost.
We’ve seen many football players fail in England because they haven’t got the strength they need to compete there. If you’ve already started building your upper body strength before beginning a football program in the UK, then you won’t be one of them!
Tip #2: Increase your speed and endurance.
As we mentioned earlier, English football matches are both faster and more physical than soccer games elsewhere in the football-playing world. In addition to building your strength, you should also be working on your speed, agility, and endurance.
If you can, train with hurdles, poles, and ladders, in addition to doing sprints and endurance running. The more you practice your physical fitness beforehand, the more ready you’ll be for the fitness program you’ll undergo at a UK-based international football academy.
Tip #3: Regulate your sleep schedule.
One of the major adjustments we see players having to make is adapting to the rigid schedule of an international football academy. When you’re doing a 9-5 program that includes academic and physical discipline through the day, it’s important to get into the routine.
Before you ever set foot on the plane, start getting your body used to the schedule. Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning. That way, your body won’t have to go through the same period of adjustment when you’re trying to get used to all of the other things that come with attending an international football academy.
Bonus Tip: Here’s what English coaches are looking for.
There are four things that most English coaches ask us about when it comes to players: attitude, athleticism, ability with the football, and commitment. They’re looking for players who aren’t just talented, but who have the right attitude and discipline to make it with a football club.
Players who are consistently late to practice, who do poorly in their academics, and who have disciplinary problems aren’t going to be picked for professional trials, no matter how talented they are. You have to bring more to the table than just talent.
Follow these tips, and you’ll excel not just in English international football academies, but in any international football academy you wish to attend.