The International Development Academy is rooted in giving players a professional and personalized training regime that they would not be able to get elsewhere. Our players train 12-15 hours per week and compete in 50+ games per year, whether that be with IDA or one of our partner clubs.
We got the inside scoop from Simon Wheeler of IDA UK on what a week in his life looks like at the Academy. Simon is a former Chicago City Soccer Club player and came to IDA to strengthen his soccer skills and gain international exposure before going to college.
Simon’s Week at IDA:
Normal training days look fairly consistent for Simon. He begins the day with an 8:30 am wake up to get ready and prepare for training. For the next hour he gets a healthy breakfast at the cafeteria and prepares for a 9:30 departure to the fields for training. The team trains together until 12:00 pm and then heads back to campus for lunch and free time until film review at 2:00 pm. IDA focuses on film analysis as an excellent tool to improve player awareness and skills both individually and as a team.
Simon takes advantage of his free time 3:00-5:00 pm by using it to give special attention to his college applications. The boys are allowed to complete gym workouts whenever they would like, so Simon takes advantage of a less-busy gym after his free time and dinner. Each player is given a personalized gym plan from the trainer that is tailored to their specific needs and goals. After completing his workout, Simon wraps up the day with some time with teammates and gets ready for the following day to do it all again.
Saturday/Game Days –
Game days are exciting days at the Academy and the day is tailored around prepping for the game, competing, and recovering. Game days are primarily Saturdays, Wednesdays, or Mondays. Simon has found it very valuable to eat properly the day before and the day of, as well as getting ample sleep the night before. Our Academy educates our players on the benefits of fueling their body and the power of nutrition. Following a game day where he played ample minutes, Simon will take a recovery day in the gym.
These days are usually rest days for the boys at the Academy. It is a great time for some to complete education obligations, prepare for the week ahead, recover, or spend time exploring the local culture. Simon mentioned the team recently took their off day to train at the Reading FC training grounds, where they received coaching from multiple professional players.
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