International Football Academy Tips: Preparing For British Football


Football AcademyDo you want to attend an international football academy in England? Well, be ready:  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 ready 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 abdominal 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.

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 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.

Author: Joey Bilotta

Is Men’s Fashion Influenced By Football Stars?


With the commercial appeal of football dominating, if not leading the football game in many ways (the industry in general is dominated by summer tours of countries with lucrative commercial Audiences, player endorsements and corporate sponsorships), football tends to buck most commercial trends. It is no small coincidence that over 60% of Premier League Teams are now foreign-owned by successful wealthy foreign owner who will tell you what you already know – that the game’s global commercial appeal is unquestionable. But how much influence do player yield off the field?

With the game having so much commercial involvement, the players have also enjoyed rocketing salaries, thanks to image rights whenever clubs use their photo or name, commercial endorsements with private sponsors and, the customary media attention that has come with it. With that comes the consumerism that is intrinsic to the proliferation of fashion websites, magazines and the attention surrounding football stars and their lifestyles – including, of course, what they are wearing.

messi ballon d or
How much then, if at all, do football stars influence men’s fashion? In the case of the most famous of all sport-related clothes horses, David Beckham, whose footballing success has been at the very least, matched by commercial appeal – quite a lot. Beckham has it seems been one of the few footballers to truly influence fashion in general – let alone men’s fashion.

From his Mohawk in 2002, adopted by millions around the world, to being the first men’s sports star to adorn the cover of leading women’s magazine, Marie Claire – how much of this is down to sporting prowess? How much is down to “just being a footballer?” There are dozens, if not hundreds of famous footballers, after all. Can you honestly say that many of those influence fashion as easily?

However, in general, for footballers with considerably less ability and commercial appeal than the David Beckhams and the Cristiano Ronaldos of this world, their influence on fashion isn’t very clear. Ergo, since not every footballer has the appeal as David Beckham, it can’t surely be said that all footballers in general have a positive influence on men fashion.

 

Author: Shannon Holland

Spanish Football Academies: Preparing for International Football Training


Spanish football academies have a very unique style of training that focuses on technical skills & speed and not sheer strength and endurance.

For smaller football players who have a lot of speed, a Spanish international football academy might be perfect for you. Here’s what to expect from Spanish football training.

Football academy training: speed vs. Strength

For football academies in Spain, precision and speed are a lot more important than power. For technical players whose greatest strengths are their speed and ball control, not their size, Spain football academies are the perfect place to hone their skills.

Unlike British football, which demands a strong upper body and a larger size because it’s so physical, Spanish football is all about speed and precision. (Take a look at the Spanish national team. Many of the players are small, around 74 and 77 kg.)

Spanish football academy focus: team tactics

Training in Spain is very team-oriented and tactical. It’s important for players to be aware of their surroundings and know where teammates are on the field. The Spanish football style focuses more on short, precise passes to your teammates and not long hopeful passes into space down the field.

Being able to control the ball, and pass fast is crucial in Spain. If you don’t have good control and can’t pass well, the opposition will be on top of you every time, and you won’t be able to adapt well.

Spanish football academy focus: technical excellence

Spanish football has a very technical focus: being able to control the ball perfectly, pass perfectly, and to shoot as well as possible. Spanish football academies focus on good control of the ball, and using both feet equally well.

Football Fans

Movements have to be quick, and players have to learn how to move the ball fast. In Spanish football, the ball is your friend. Players learn how to take care of the way that they strike the ball!

The most important thing: love of the game

For players considering a Spanish international football academy, one thing is most important: a love of the game. According to Nacho Mallo,  players with a passion for football are the ones who are going to improve the most.

“All that passion they have, they’ll find a way to express it here,” Mallo said. “We care about all the technical things, so it’s a good place for anyone who’s a more technical player. They will enjoy Spanish football.”

Are you a player who’s all about speed and precision? Then training at a Spanish international football academy could be just right for you.

 

Author: Joey Bilotta

 

 

History of Football Uniform


The origin of European Football is a hotly contested topic and  the game took a professional shape in the United Kingdom in the late 18th century but a team uniform was not of the early innovations of the new sport.

A similar colored shirt or cap or scarf was worn to differentiate teams but around the 1870s, steps were taken to move soccer uniforms to what they are commonly known as today. Even then, matching shorts and socks were not considered part of the team uniform until the early 1900s. Long trousers or pantaloons were common features of early football games and the earliest version of shin guards made an appearance before shorts and socks were properly introduced.
However, as soon as the traditional top, shorts and socks uniform was established, its popularity spread like wildfire and football teams around the world were noted by their particular uniform.

Chris Bonzon playing defender

As football spread around the world with travelers and former UK citizens introducing the game to new countries, a similarity in kits grew. This has led to the familiarity between strips of teams around the world. One example would be Juventus from Italy wearing the same stripes as Notts County, black and white stripes. As time has moved on, Juventus have become far more famous around the world but at the start of the 20th century, Notts County were one of the biggest clubs in England and the world of football at the time.

With two world wars spanning the next few decades, any developments in football  fashion was mainly cosmetic with the few changes focusing on moving away from a proper shirt to the style of top that is more commonly associated with the modern era of the game.

As the advent of European Cup and the rise of television, football fans around the world became more aware of teams from other nations and the different styles of kit started to create new influences. One of the most important influences came from Real Madrid, European Cup winners for the first five years. Real Madrid wore a striking all white kit, most notably copied by Leeds United who changed their blue and yellow kit, and sported a smaller pair of shorts than the baggy efforts that were common in Britain. The 1960s not only brought about a revolution in the world of music, there was a fashion change in the world of football as button collars and long shorts went out of style and circle and V-neck collars with smaller shorts.

The 1970s saw even further fashionable changes but the next revolution in football uniforms came with the selling of replica shirts and then the addition of sponsors’ logos on the kit. Football clubs realized they could make money by selling copies of their strips to fans and as televised football  grew more popular, companies were eager to have their name positioned on the team kit.

Although the 1980s were memorable as the era when football shorts were at their smallest and tightest, the most important changes in football uniforms since then have revolved around the technology. Sportswear technology has allowed kit manufacturers to make uniforms that are lighter, cooler and draw sweat away from players’ bodies. All of these innovations are designed to give an edge to the top players in a sport where the slightest advantage can make all the difference.

Fashion trends and styles come and go but the demand for football uniforms has never been higher than it is today. With new technologies making the kit even lighter and more suitable to the quickening pace of the game, football uniforms will continue to keep evolving and fascinating fans the world over.