This is how the Smartfootball Academy works from the inside: Part 1
At Complex Esportiu Futbol Salou you can find the most innovative and pioneer football academy in Smartfootball methodology. A successful project that has grown exponentially in just 3 years. We tell you how the Smartfootball Academy works from the inside. Do you join us?
Nowadays the Smartfootball Academy has a group of 20 students, from different countries as: United States, India, Argentina, China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Canada or the United Kingdom among others. To this group, educated in Spain, other students join them, who come for shorter periods of time to improve their football skills. Altogether, in a year, around 50 students from the 5 continents come to the Academia.
All of them live at Cambrils Park Sport Village and train at Complex Esportiu Futbol Salou’s facilities, as well as share the drills and matches with other local teams to complete their football training.
Smartfootball: The Academia’s methodology
At Smartfootball Academy we work with the Smartfootball methodology, based on the study of the brain and its artistic capacities. On the basis that the brain is a plastic malleable organ, capable of learning and unlearning throughout life, the Smart football methodology has as its objective to train players capable of making fast, efficient and creative decisions on the pitch.
How are football and studies balanced?
At the Smartfootball Academy they consider as important the football practice as the students’ education. They have two types of students, the under 16 years old who balance the Academia with compulsory education at Escuela Internacional; and the over 16 years old students who, due to their age can choose the type of education they want to follow being the international A-levels or alternative diplomas.
In addition to study, they do two training sessions a day. Half of these sessions take place at CE Futbol Salou, with their coaches, and the other half with other local teams previously selected based on their level. The objective is for them to learn other playing systems and to get to know other clubs.
But there’s even more, during the school days there is also study time, individual tutoring with the coaches, appointments with the sports nutritionist and with the sports psychologist and training at the gym. And the most important: once a week, a friendly match against a national or international team.
The weekends are to attend matches – as players or as spectators -, go on cultural visits, enjoy leisure activities and rest
Expectation vs reality
Every boy and girl passionate about football dreams about becoming the next Leo Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. But becoming a worldwide star takes a magical combination of lots of factors. ¿How is a student illusion managed at the Academia? It is not easy, tells us Adrià Miró, director of the Smartfootball Academy:
“They all arrive to Spain with the dream to become first division professional players. And it is not easy to manage the clash between their expectations and reality. There is a high level here, and to succeed, one must work hard.
At the beginning, they get a little frustrated, especially when they are considered the best in their own teams of origin. They arrive here, and they find boys of their same level, which makes them balance their expectations. That moment is tricky, but as time passes, once they have seen our working methodology and they start playing with other national or international teams, they understand that success entails a lot of effort and sacrifice. At the Academia they give professional status to their football skills, but they also grow as a person.”
The tutors and coaches’ role
At the Academia they count on a team of tutors in charge of the daily logistics and the student’s well-being: transfers, trainings, academic needs, etc.
“They are far from their families and need to feel supported. In nine months a lot of things can happen: injuries, colds, having to deal with the emotional conflicts of the age... For this reason, having a tutor that guides them and liaises between the Academia and the school is essential. Our professional team is interdisciplinary, each one of the coaches is an expert in a field, but all of them are aware of the physical and emotional health of each one of the students and all the activities that affect them are designed based on these”, explains Miró.
It is not surprising that the Smartfootball Academy staff receive continuous training in psychology and coaching. Human relations are complicated, but when it comes to children that are being trained as adults and as professionals you must do it really well.
A small big family
We can imagine how intense a course at la Smartfootball Academy is. Teenagers from different cultures, speaking different languages, that have come from different realities, suddenly, live together almost 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
“It is nice to see the development. They tend to arrive with individualistic attitudes and unwilling to make new friends, but we always finish the course in tears, us and the students alike. It is a very intense experience and here real transoceanic friendships are built for a lifetime”.
We think it is a nice way to end the conversation with Adrià. So, we say goodbye to him wishing him great success in this project that has just started.