During a player’s early years in the academy, the focus will be very much on football. They’ll be working constantly on the training ground to improve and develop the necessary skills to have the best opportunity at making it as a professional.
As a player gets older though, the focus will change slightly as clubs look to develop the mental strength, attitude and toughness needed to survive as a modern day professional. There is media training, mock interviews, photoshoots and lessons in social media, all with the aim of ensuring that the academy is preparing players on and off the pitch.
Those skills in dealing with people professionally and knowing what is and isn’t acceptable to say aren’t just applicable to football, but life as a whole.