IDA Valencia: A Parental Perspective

March 10, 2023

First up on our list of Academies is IDA Valencia. Located right in the heart of Spain, residents live in full-board accommodations with all facilities just a short walk away. At IDA Valencia, your child will be training at the highest level for 12+ hours each week. Along with training in the IDA environment, players will have opportunities to enter into trials with semi-professional and professional teams. Your child will be set up with all the resources and tools needed to be successful on and off the field, granted the player puts in the necessary work.

Sending your child abroad can be a big step. At IDA, it is important that parents are equally as excited and comfortable with the new challenges and opportunities that await our players. We had the chance to talk with a few parents of current IDA Valencia student-athletes; safety was a resounding non-negotiable factor, and we are proud to make safety our biggest focus.

Tamara Harper, mother of Dean Harper, said “Dean is our only child. Making the decision to send him to Spain was not an easy one for us. We took several months to think about it. We decided we would like to test the program a bit before we committed to it. I flew over with Dean in November of 2021. I dropped Dean off at IDA and I stayed in the hotel very close to IDA for two weeks. This gave me some time to get to know Betera and Valencia, meet the coaches, see the dorms and really get a feel for the program. I wanted to get a feel for the safety and the environment. I walked all over the area by the training facility. I walked to Betera every day and had coffee and mingled with the people there. I also spent considerable time in Valencia. I came to the conclusion that I felt very comfortable with Dean staying at IDA. The citizens of both Betera and Valencia are wonderful people! I felt more comfortable leaving Dean in Spain than I would leaving him in many cities in the US!” 

Along with a safe environment, we value our highly-qualified coaching staff and rely on them to act as mentors, educators, and all-around positive figures for our athletes. John Layman, father of JD Layman, spoke to the character of two particular staff members when asked about IDA’s best offerings. “Integrity of the leaders. Jordi and Ivan care about the boys and work hard to provide a positive and professional environment. It isn’t just about the money.” Tamara Harper agreed with our valuable coaching staff when asked the same question. “Most importantly are Dean’s coaches! He really trusts them and feels they both challenge and support him. That is invaluable and, ultimately, I believe this is why Dean is thriving at IDA!” 

Regardless of your family’s end goal, IDA will support and guide your child to get there. For the Harper’s, the goal is simple: “Dean wants to be a professional soccer player. Our end goal in joining IDA was to get the absolute best training we could for him. We feel very fortunate to have IDA.” The Layman’s are all about development, and, when asked about their end goal with IDA, responded, “Live in an academy opportunity to provide guidance and mentoring for my boys’ development as young men.”

Both parents that we spoke with agreed that sending their children to Europe made all the difference in their soccer careers. We prioritize high levels of training and competition to drive positive development. When you send your children to IDA, they will be pushed and challenged to become the best they can be. Tamara Harper said, “Knowing how serious Dean is about becoming a professional soccer player, the one non-negotiable was the level of the training. I expected the absolute best training for Dean. That means he is training with the best players and playing on the best teams. The coaches were able to assess Dean and place him in training situations that helped him grow.” John Layman agreed, saying, “JD has been exposed to consistent high-level soccer opportunities. He is learning to be a professional. He understands the Spanish culture and competitive soccer environment. When he returns on breaks, his development far exceeds his peers attending and playing at D1 schools.” 

Although developing soccer players is our goal, we equally value the personal growth that your child will experience in the process. Living in a new country allows for cultural exposure, independent learning, and preparation for the next level. “The cultural and soccer combined experience will make them ready for independent living. “Regardless of the soccer potential your child will come back a better soccer player with realistic expectations,” said John Layman. Tamara Harper expresses her gratitude for the lessons IDA has taught her son, Dean, as well. She says, “As you might imagine, IDA has prepared Dean for college life as well as professional team soccer life. He is an only child and had never experienced much about living with other young people his age. He has had to learn how to manage his own bank account, laundry, and food. He had also learned how to live with roommates and really communicate. I have to say that Dean has met some amazing young men at IDA and I believe many of them will remain friends for life! My son has really grown both as a soccer player and as a young man because of IDA. It has not always been easy. You and your child will both be challenged. I believe, however, that you will both grow and become closer because of it.”

Learn more about opportunities at IDA Valencia and talk to a representative HERE.




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Still have questions? Want to learn more? Fill out the form below to connect with an IDA representative. We look forward to hearing from you!

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