The training provided by the Academy staff, in conjunction with club coaches, aims to encourage our young players to acquire work habits, rigour and effort that are essential in all situations. They will therefore develop high-level technical and motor skills, strengthen their athletic and mental potential, exploit their individual qualities in a collective play project to better understand the different aspects of the game.
Trials in clubs
Upon their arrival in August, young players are first tested, observed and evaluated by the Academy staff. Depending on their abilities, their technical and physical qualities, their preferential position in the team, the Academy will present them to one or more clubs in the region, such as AS Cannes, FC Antibes, AS Fontonne, FC Mougins or ES Cannet Rocheville where they will carry out trials. The choice of the club depends on their level of performance and the interest for the coach to integrate a player into his team. At the end of the year, some may be subjected to new trials, only if they have demonstrated a high and continuous level of performance in match during the year. In June 2019, one of our players was spotted and signed for AS Monaco U16.
Academy coaches provide up to 4 training sessions per week on small or large fields with individualised exercises in small groups of up to 8 players. Based on modern methods, these intense training courses offer specific technical and tactical work, personal or collective. Adapted to each player, the drills aim at strengthening the strong points and remedying the bad habits they have too often developed in their home countries. The Academy also organises physical work sessions, provided by the physical trainer in the gym. These are 2 to 3 workshops every week adapted to each academician. Cardio work, planks, strengthening, muscle flexibility, the session is dedicated to improving the physical condition and the aerobic and athletic ability of the player, also through evaluations and tests. The physical trainer advises, monitors progress or difficulties encountered in the challenges of surpassing oneself.
Football trainings in clubs
As a member of the Academy, and if he meets with the conditions imposed by FIFA, the player is given a license in the chosen club, which allows him to play matches of the French championship. The choice of club depends on the player's level of performance, qualities and room for progression. Clubs generally propose 3 to 4 practices per week, lasting from 1h30 to 2 hours. The usual training hours are between 5 pm and 9 pm, Monday to Friday, and take place at the main stadium of the club.
Friendlies and official matches
At certain favourable times, the Academy organises friendly matches with clubs in the region such as Nice, Antibes, Mougins, Mandelieu, Saint Raphael, in order to put players in an opposition situation and help them consolidate their bearings. Official games are usually played on Saturdays for U15 and U17 and Sundays for U19 and senior teams. Academicians, depending on their status and ability, have the chance to play in the French championship either at district, regional or national level with their club, in home and away matches. The club coach is the only one having authority to select a player from his squad for the match.
The Academy manager and technical director conduct regular individual interviews to assess the work done and the efforts that remain to be produced, and to launch actions to accelerate progress. Whether it is a friendly match or an official match, recording video footage of the match allows the player to analyse his behaviour, visualise his gestures, understand his positioning and remedy his shortcomings. The medical follow-up carried out by the coach and the boarding school supervisor is daily. Despite extreme attention to injury prevention, players benefit from individualised reathletisation programmes and adapted physiotherapy care. Medical follow-up includes a regular approach to the moral and mental state of each academician. An interim assessment is given to the player and parents at the end of the first semester.
At regular intervals, actors from the professional world like former pro players, player agents, mental coach... come to bring their knowledge to academics in fields as varied as anatomy, hygiene, pro wages, nutrition, the responsibilities of a footballer, behaviour on the field... The Academy also provides support for the coach diploma or mental trainer through an online module and field practice with teams of very young players (U8, U10 ..). From October, our players can also take referee training. Knowing the rules of the game to better respect them is part of the construction of the football player.
By downloading "The Academy Manual", you will find all the detailed information about the sports programme at the Michel Hidalgo Academy.