- KEY QUESTIONS
WHAT IS IMPROTECH SOCCER?
Improtech Soccer is the leading provider of football in education in the North of England.
The company delivers elite coaching for potential professional footballers in selected schools and colleges.
With hundreds of different training sessions, specifically designed by UEFA Pro Licence and UEFA A & B licence coaches, Improtech correctly identified that the best way to develop elite young footballers was to find a way of providing them with the highest quality coaching during school hours.
WHY IMPROTECH SOCCER?
Improtech pioneered the whole concept of football in education in this country.
As well as being the trailblazer in its chosen field, it remains an innovator, constantly improving and updating its methods in line with the latest thinking both within football and within the school system. Where improtech led, other coaching companies have followed but Improtech remain ahead of the field and what they have learned is used to benefit every young player who walks through the doors of an Improtech Academy.
WHAT MAKES IMPROTECH SOCCER COACHING SO SPECIAL?
Their players see as much of the ball as possible, is one very simple answer!
The bigger picture is that they have assembled a huge number of high-quality coaching sessions to optimise the development of players individually and collectively.
You will not see players standing around in their sessions, or not being particularly involved - each session is distinctive in how much emphasis placed on ball-work and players learning with the ball at their feet.
WHAT IS THE UEFA PRO LICENCE?
The FA UEFA Pro Licence is the highest level of coaching qualification in football and one achieved only by elite coaches.
The UEFA Pro Licence is a requirement of any football manager who wants to manage in the Premier League - if you don’t have it, you are not allowed to manage in the Premier League.
There are barely 200 UEFA Pro Licence holders in the whole of England.
HOW MUCH WILL IMPROTECH SOCCER COACHING IMPROVE MY CHILD’S CHANCE OF BECOMING A PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALLER?
There are no guarantees in football but Improtech can guarantee their coaching will improve a student both as a player, and hopefully a person.
Whether development and progress will be enough for that player to earn a professional contract will depend on a number of factors - natural ability, desire, dedication - being some of those factors.
They do however, have the best track record of any football academy within the school system of getting young players into professional football clubs; if a player has the potential to be a professional footballer and applies themselves to the Improtech Soccer system, they are maximising their chances of making it in the game.
WILL MY CHILD STILL STUDY ENGLISH AND MATHS?
Yes, Improtech students will still take all of the core lessons of English, Maths, Science and their humanity subjects of Geography, History and languages. The football within the curriculum lessons will take place during the vocational subject block and Creative Arts.
WILL MY CHILD STILL DO GCSEs?
Absolutely, your child will choose GCSE options just like all Walker students when you reach the end of Year 8.
WILL MY CHILD BE IN THE SOCCER ACADEMY FOR THE 5 YEARS THEY ARE AT WALKER?
Yes. Once selected for the Year 7 programme Walker and Improtech believe in investing in your child's talents, identified through their trials. The intention would be for your child to be selected and want to be within the football academy for the 5 years at the school.
WILL MY CHILD WEAR THE WALKER SCHOOL UNIFORM?
Yes, your child will be allocated to one of the 3 schools (Grainger/Dobson/Stephenson) and will wear full school uniform.
There will be a Improtech sports kit for times when training sessions are ran; this kit will only be worn during these sessions.
WHICH CLUBS HAVE IMPROTECH SOCCER PLAYERS GONE ON TO JOIN?
improtech players regularly join the football academies of the Big Three clubs in the North East - Newcastle United, Middlesbrough and Sunderland - as well as Gateshead, Carlisle United, Hartlepool United and Darlington across the wider north of England with many having gone on to earn professional contracts.
They have also had players benefiting from Improtech Soccer training who have gone on to earn pro contracts further afield, including Liverpool, Man City, Arsenal, Stoke City, Hull City, Rotherham United, Morecambe and Barrow.
I HAVE ONE CHILD WHO IS ALREADY PART OF NEWCASTLE UNITED FOOTBALL ACADEMY AND ANOTHER WHO SOON MIGHT BE.
DOES BEING PART OF IMPROTECH MEAN THEY CAN STILL BE PART OF NUFC ACADEMY?
The answer to both those questions is ‘yes, they can’ - they actively encourage their players to become part of the academies of professional football clubs - after all, it is going to enhance their chances of one day earning a contract.
They have excellent relationships with all of the North East’s football clubs and many of their players are both part of Improtech and part of a professional football club academy.
I’M NOT A MEMBER OF A PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL CLUB ACADEMY BUT I DO PLAY FOR OTHER TEAMS ON A WEEKEND - WILL JOINING AN IMPROTECH SOCCER ACADEMY MEAN I HAVE TO GIVE THAT UP?
No, it won’t - not unless you want to.
If you enjoy playing for football teams at weekends then keep on doing so. Improtech Soccer actively sponsors and supports many youth teams in youth leagues across the region and our teams have enjoyed great success.
DO YOU RUN SUMMER CAMPS IN THE SCHOOL HOLIDAYS?
Yes, they do - both residential and non-residential.
In recent years they have held residential camps at Slaley Hall in Northumberland where their players have tested themselves against Academy sides from Newcastle United, Sunderland and Middlesbrough. These have been a great success both for Improtech and for the region’s professional football clubs.
Improtech have also held non-residential summer camps where players do not stay overnight but come along to three or four-day training camps to maintain and develop their skills and enjoy days outside the normal school curriculum environment.
HOW DOES IMPROTECH SOCCER COACHING GO ABOUT IMPROVING PLAYERS?
The word ‘improtech’ is a shortening of two words - ‘improve’ and ‘technique’ - and that, in a nutshell, is the core of their work.
They work tirelessly to improve technique and we do that by high-quality coaching in the right environment, at the right time in the day and with the right amount of practice.
Widely-backed research suggests it takes approximately 10,000 hours of concentrated practice to achieve mastery in any human discipline and at Improtech they are very conscious of the fact young players need not only to train in a professional environment but also to see as much of the ball as possible. For that reason, their training sessions see players touching the ball hundreds of times as they learn to improve their technique at the same time as they are learning the game.
IT SOUND LIKE A LOT OF HARD WORK.
Yes, and no.
Yes, it is a lot of hard work and Improtech make no apologies for that - no-one ever became a professional footballer by accident!
They ask the players to give them total commitment and also ask their families to support them as much as they possibly can on their journey. In return, they promise to give total commitment to ensuring young football talent flourishes and their players become the best possible players they can be.
But it’s not all hard work. Improtech Soccer coaches understand that for young players to grow and progress they HAVE TO enjoy themselves as well. That’s why their coaches are always friendly and approachable and why so many of their coaching sessions have an emphasis on fun and enjoyment as much as hard work and technique; It’s a ‘whole player’ approach.
SUM UP IMPROTECH’S APPROACH IN TWO WORDS.
‘Passion’ and ‘practice’
They are absolutely passionate about developing football stars of the future, helping them reach their full potential and producing players who are a credit to their schools, their families but most of all to themselves; It’s what gets them up in the morning.
Practice is the key to achieving that goal. Only by having a passion for football and a willingness to practice and develop their talent do young players progress.
Practice makes perfect in their coaching manual and one of the biggest kicks they get out of what they do is seeing young players improve in front of their eyes from one month to the next.