Inspire Passion for Football with the SAFA and Real Madrid Foundation Training Program

Date: 17 Jun- 23 Jul 2018
Location: Madrid, Spain

Do you have a budding young football player in your household? There’s no better way to motivate them and help them build skills than by enrolling them at a world-class training clinic in Madrid, courtesy of Generation Adidas International, the South America Football Academy (SAFA), and the Real Madrid Foundation Training Program.

Kids taking part in SAFA futsal training in Beijing

There are two nine-day clinics coming up this summer, on Jun 17-25 and Jul 15-23. The clinic will offer the children who enroll a chance to train in Spain with “experienced professional Real Madrid Foundation coaches, selected by the Real Madrid C.F. Academy director” at “Real Madrid city’s state of the art training facilities” which provide “an inside look at the daily life of an Academy player” (as the coordinators put it).

Perfect for all future football stars, Real Madrid fans, in particular, will be in for a treat

Aside from those attributes for the participants, the coaches and coordinators say that they themselves benefit equally. As SAFA Director and Head Coach Armando Hernandez explains, “It is rewarding for SAFA as a team because it means the possibility of bringing an incredible experience to the kids. Having the chance to work with two of the biggest brands in world football is something to always feel proud of. We strongly believe that these kind of experiences are essential for the kids’ footballing, and integral to their development as people. So it is really rewarding to be able to offer this opportunity to China’s local and expat communities.”

Hernandez is one of several Latin-American professional football (soccer) and futsal coaches that comprise SAFA. Founded in 2015, this football academy strives to offer a unique experience to young players by using futsal techniques to efficiently improve player’s skills. By using hard, flat surfaces and futsal balls (balls that don’t bounce as much as normal footballs) the coaches help young players zero in on ball control, playing the ball on the ground and using the sole of the foot to effectively dribble and move the ball around. Due to the smaller team size (five per side) and court layout, games are more intense, with a player touching the ball more times per minute than in an 11-a-side game. This encourages quick thinking and decision making, a skill that comes in handy both on and off the football pitch. As SAFA describes it: “[our]coaches will inspire the students to apply the characteristics of Latin-American football: high tempo, great confidence and full of flavor, joy and flare ball control.” See the flyer above for details of training sessions in Beijing or scan the QR code to follow SAFA on WeChat.

Participants of a previous clinic putting their training into practice

The clinics in June and July will be broken up into the following components:

  • Training with Real Madrid Foundation coaches at top facilities
  • Playing competitive friendly matches
  • Attending professional matches
  • Touring professional stadiums and facilities such as Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu Stadium
  • Sightseeing and visiting cultural attractions

There is time for fun as well as football during the training clinics

Prior participant Paxton Pomykal says the experience of training at such an internationally renowned clinic is invaluable. “I think there is a lot we can bring back to our teams back home, that’s the main thing — just the culture and style of play. It’s good to play international games against kids our own age because it shows how you compare to them.”

Dakota Peterson, another youngster who partook in a prior clinic, raved about the “amazing” atmosphere and facilities, while also calling the coaches “fantastic” and describing the overall experience as “the best I could have imagined.”

Photos courtesy of the South America Football Academy

Click here for more details.

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