Velocity Football supports enthusiastic and ambitious individuals aspiring to fulfil a career in sport to develop their understanding of the sector via education, training and matches.
Courses are open to male and female students aged 16-23 of all playing abilities with graduates going on to either broaden their knowledge at university or begin their careers. A select few even achieve their dream of becoming a professional footballer.
In our latest blog, we look at a typical week in the life of a Velocity student with Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport graduate Ethan Gough.
Here is his Velocity Football diary.
Mondays start on the pitch where we’ll work with Velocity’s experienced and qualified team of coaches.
They are supportive and helpful and include Oxford City FC Head Coach Ross Jenkins and player Josh Ashby, Oxford United Women’s captain Lauren Haynes and Jordan Piper, Head of Oxford City’s Junior and Youth Academy.
All sessions vary, but Mondays typically focus on personal development and fitness.
Following the morning session and a lunch break, we’ll begin our academic work for the week with a two-hour classroom session with our course tutor.
Content on the courses help us understand the key areas of the sports sector including health and wellbeing, coaching, sports development, psychology, physiology, the media and more.
Tuesday mornings are dedicated to on-site education. I found being in a football-focused environment really helped me excel both academically and on the pitch.
Being able to work in the classroom knowing we’d be able to burn off our energy on the training ground afterwards really motivated my class to work to the best of their ability.
Afternoon / evening
After lunch, we’d split into four ability groups to complete a two-hour training session with our coaches. Tuesday sessions focus entirely on our team’s preparation for the following day’s competitive fixture. I played in the National League squad, but there are teams to suit all playing abilities.
Tuesdays were particularly busy for me as I’d end the day training with Oxford City FC’s first team. A select few players are invited to training sessions which really adds to everyone’s motivation.
Wednesday is gameday! I might use the morning to catch up on some academic work, but afterwards it’s time to focus on the match.
In the National League, our fixtures take place across the south and into the midlands. It means travelling and eating the right meals at the right time becomes part of your matchday routine, just like the professional game.
Games kick-off anytime between 10.30am and 2pm, so preparation is important.
After playing the day before, Thursdays are largely dedicated to rest and recovery.
I’d complete half-a-day of learning remotely and be in constant dialogue with my tutors and coaches via 360Player – our communications platform.
Some of my classmates who might be coming back from an injury or require additional support with their recovery can book an appointment with a physio who visits each week. I try to make Thursdays as light as possible as in the evening I’ll train again with the first-team.
We’ll arrive on-site from 9am for our final training session of the week. Fridays are quite reflective – we might have been asked to view some footage via 360Player before the session begins so we can focus on our areas of strengths and where we can improve.
It’s where the experience of our coaches is really valuable as we can take our technique and skill development to the next level.
We’ll end the week with a two-hour classroom-based session to continue working towards our qualification.
We’ll use this time to complete or continue with a specific module on the programme, sports analysis for example. Each training session, coaches will attach GPS vests to us which monitor all aspects of performance from heart rate to step count and positioning.
Classroom hours are used to consume and break down the data collected in training so we can better understand the role of a sports analyst.
Since graduating from Velocity Football, Ethan has enrolled onto a Level 3 Junior Content Producer apprenticeship with our sister company Ignite Training.
He combines 80% on-the-job development with 20% training and is now responsible for social media and website content creation for Oxford City FC and Velocity Football. Upon completion, Ethan will study sports journalism at Staffordshire University and has plans to fulfil a career in the media.
“I’ve used my time at Velocity Football to develop my understanding of the sports industry and improve my football skills,” said Ethan. “Now I can further my education at university and have enrolled onto an apprenticeship programme to gain hands-on practical experience.
“There really are no glass ceilings at Velocity Football. I’ve been able to manage different responsibilities and commitments which will be valuable skills moving forwards – I’d recommend it to anyone interested in a career in sport.”