A soccer academy is one of the options for professional training sessions for children striving to make a career in elite soccer. A soccer academy’s concept is to provide everyone willing to learn how to play soccer with club-level coaching and support. An academy can work as a sports camp or serve as a local community for regular training sessions and games.
Running a soccer academy or school is a serious business, and not only because you need a great deal of commitment and financial investments. Just like any educational organization, primarily aimed at youth, it is responsible for any possible accidents that may happen. Thus, you will need to face much work and bureaucracy before your organization obtains a legal status and liability insurance. Let’s take a closer look. But first, check out the best soccer betting sites by our partners.
Important note about soccer academies
Even if your primary purpose is to nurture young champions and see your students in top soccer clubs after a time, you must still remember that a private academy is primarily a business. It means that you will not be able to make it profitable if you accept only talented kids you want to work with. An academy is more about a recreational level of youth soccer which can become a good base for future education for the best players. However, you and your coaches and managers will have to work with all children who want to participate.
All businesses have to be promoted and advertised correctly to get their clients. Parents and children who will apply to your academy’s soccer programs must believe that your only driving force is football’s dedication and a strong desire to share your skills and knowledge with young footballers. Don’t neglect to develop a unique concept that will be your selling proposition.
Like every educational institution, a soccer academy must be approved by the local jurisdiction and become legitimate on the state and federal levels. For this, a soccer club has to receive a compulsory license provided by the U.S. Club Soccer. Their standard insurance is included in the membership and can be issued for two programs: Youth and Adult training. This liability insurance covers most typical medical accidents, but people usually opt for obtaining broader coverage at the Insurance Office of America. Extended licenses can include employee compensation, management liability, events cancellation, non-football club activities, and more.
Enroll affiliate program
It will not matter how brilliant your advertising is if your soccer academy is not a part of a legal Football Association system. A registered school or academy has more opportunities to give to their soccer players: they can participate in all competitions organized by the Association. Besides, it simply makes your academy a trusted and reliable place in the eyes of your customers.
You can become an affiliate. It is therefore vital that you register your academy with the Football Association to enter your players to participate in any competition. This way, you will fulfill your legal obligations and create credibility for your academy.
Requirements of the U.S. Club Soccer
Information on the official U.S. Club Soccer site states that the academy is a limited category of affiliates and has a particular option of joining the club as a non-voting member. To do this, a soccer academy must register 50 players per year. It is also possible to register as a club: for this, you need to include a minimum of 3 age groups in your coaching program and register at least three teams annually. After you become an official academy, you receive a club pass that allows your teams to participate in the clubs’ events.
To fill the registration form, you need to provide your academy’s name, address, phone number, email address, website or social media links, and information about the management team. The required fields include names and contact information about the academy’s president and a coaching director.
A note: you can become an affiliate of both U.S. Youth Soccer and U.S. Club Soccer, two major football organizations.
Establish valuable connections
As we have already mentioned, a wish to start a soccer academy goes along with the need for a substantial financial asset, including expenses for the Soccer Club affiliate fees, salaries, marketing, ground rentals, accommodation facilities for the out of state members, insurance, and equipment. The total amount of the initial investment can reach half of a million dollars, so it is natural to attempt to save some money.
If you start your youth soccer academy, you are probably already into the environment and know at least someone from your area who can help. However, there is always a possibility to establish more relationships with related communities to find additional financial sources.
Think of the side income
As parents pay for their children’s schools, their regular fees will compensate for part of your investments in a year or two. However, there are more options to receive profits from your business. It is possible to establish a connection with the other youth-level sports organizations and sponsor or advertise them or help young athletes with the licensing and registration in the sports clubs for an extra fee. You can also try to save on sports equipment if you find a sponsor.
Make sure you are aware of the law
It is essential to make sure that your company operates according to your state’s laws, so your academy is to be approved by the state attorney general. Besides, much attention should be paid to safety rules, especially insurance and responsibility for any injuries that players can get. There are specific requirements regarding the safety of youth players, and it is crucial to organize all schools, clubs, and academies to minimize all risks.
Recently, there were new measures accepted: any organization has to work safely in terms of the novel coronavirus. Study all measures you have to take, and make sure your business does not violate them.
Create the right environment
A football academy has to become a secure place for children to receive help, support, and football and personal skills development. It is essential to spend time to create a training program or several of them that will be a primary guideline for the coaching staff and soccer players.
Most of the deal depends on coaches. It is unnecessary to be a top soccer player and even an elite coach for top professional soccer stars. Working with children is a particular area of education, so it is essential to find specialists who can interact with kids and find different approaches to a specific age group. Remember that a private school or academy is the place where a child combines training to develop social skills and entertainment. If they and their parents feel you care about them, your business is more likely to succeed.
Find a good coaching team
If you already have an idea of what programs and approaches you want to use in your academy, you must hire coaches that can share your views and follow them, too. You will obviously need to work with licensed professionals to at least accomplish the step with the school’s registration, but a diploma is not everything, of course.
It would be perfect if you can get the help of the other academies or other soccer institutions to find coaches upon reliable recommendations. The staff will be the key representatives of your brand, so do not neglect this step and make sure your coaches deliver exemplary service.
Provide children and staff with decent training facilities
Another thing to think thoroughly about is the actual place where you will organize the training. The perfect option is to buy your ground to earn on rental services, and you will have no limitations in terms of when you can use it. It is obviously a somewhat costly solution, so it makes sense to consider securing a field or several of them by signing a leasing agreement.
There are different options: the rentals are available through the city parks or schools; you can also consider having a contract with some private clubs and use their fields and equipment for a certain fee. If you rent only a field, you will have to take care of the equipment like goals and nets. Many soccer academies also offer their brand apparel to create a respectable attractive image.
Basically, two factors make a football academy a successful and trusted business: an excellent coaching staff and great training facilities. Suppose you manage to have both and organize all legal questions in the proper order. In that case, you can expect to deliver a great playing experience and gain positive feedback that you can turn into a decent profit.