Master Class Academy Management

Master Class Academy Management

What is the Master Class about?
This Master Class is an educational track which will provide the participant a full understanding on how to run an elite football academy. The two main domains to be discovered:

  1. Strategic management and operational leadership of the academy;
  2. Designing and implementing a player-centred football philosophy.

Who should attend?
The Master Class Academy Management is designed specifically for professionals who are currently performing or wish to perform any leadership roles in academy management, including those (but not exclusive to) academy director, head of coaching and head of academy operations.

The program has been developed by Double Pass in close collaboration with international experts and based upon 15 years of academic research (Professional Academy Support System) and day to day practice on the field . Each session is designed to enhance the participants’ understanding and to stimulate a solution focused mindset. Participants will be challenged and inspired by case studies gathered through professional experiences in the German, English, Belgian, Spanish, Danish, Brazilian, Japanese football markets.

Acquisition of new hard and soft skills will be mitigated through interactive workshops and practical assignments.

  • Leadership

    During this program you will explore how leadership positions of an elite academy may be fulfilled:

    • What areas to cover?
    • What is the organizational design of the academy and which positions should be involved?
    • What are the accountabilities of each role?

    Once the context and roles have been explored, leadership styles will be revealed and discussed. To reveal the leadership styles we use different sets of profiling, which will be explained by a sports psychologist with professional experience in football.


    • Explore your role within the organisation of an elite academy based upon your leadership style and management skills;
    • Develop your understanding of the context and structure you work in;
    • Set realistic targets in optimising individual performances in your environment by detecting the personality styles within your team;
    • Design your personal portfolio and development plan.
  • Academy Management

    In this module, you will be challenged to compose a comprehensive strategy on talent development that can contribute to sustainability and success for your football club.

    This program will also provide you insights into different business models within football. Findings of academic research, and real-life case studies will be utilized to guide you in (re-)shaping the Academy structure you work in or wish to work in.

    In order to maintain a strong link with reality, CEO’s and sporting directors (direct links of an academy director) will join the expert team.


    • Explore all building blocks of an academy performance plan;
    • Develop further your vision on leadership and people management;
    • Set transparent and measurable objectives and KPIs to evaluate the success of your academy and its departments;
    • Design the optimal staffing structure and corporate management model of your academy.
  • Football Model

    This module will help you optimize the football technical management of your academy. By taking an active part in designing your football philosophy and curriculum you will learn how to capture ideas about football and how to turn them into a comprehensive learning plan for children and young men/women.

    Along the way, your thought process will be challenged by outcomes of scientific research and best practice examples from all over the world.


    • Explore the Double Pass football model and the various steps of composing a comprehensive football philosophy;
    • Develop your understanding of age-related training characteristics based on scientific studies;
    • Set specific and age-appropriate learning objectives for the various age groups in your academy;
    • Design a comprehensive curriculum and an implementation plan to transfer theory into practice.
  • Talent ID and Individual Player Development

    As an academy leader the essence of your job is to find talent, develop them and help them become a professional football player.

    In this module you will be introduced to the player-centred philosophy that focuses on the holistic development of talented individuals with the aim of maximising their potential as football players and as human being.

    You will gain new insights into the journey that starts from talent identification, and through various ways of individual(ised) development can eventually lead to the integration of young players into the professional football world. Throughout your way, you will be challenged by data, technology and the opinion of various stakeholders within and out with your academy.


    • Explore the various aspect of talent identification and individual development through the player-centred philosophy;
    • Develop your understanding of scientific data and technology to have a more accurate picture of your players’ potential;
    • Set personalized targets for your top prospects via individual development plans;
    • Design your own plan to attract, challenge and support the best talent available for your academy.
  • Coaching Philosophy

    Setting and aligning a coaching philosophy for the academy can be another challenge for academy leaders. When doing this it can be important to:

    • work in line with the key values, principles and leadership style that a club wants to follow;
    • work to define a clear and consistent way of working throughout the various age groups;
    • work closely with the academy coaching staff on and off the field to help support them in being able to translate the coaching principles into action.

    In this specific module you will focus on how to define and implement an age-specific coaching philosophy to create alignment in an academy for the coaches and most importantly, the players. Deciding on the best way of coaching and developing individual players at each age level within a team-based environment/structure.


    • Explore the key steps of forming and implementing a coaching philosophy;
    • Develop your understanding of age-related characteristics;
    • Set some key coaching principles that you expect the coaching staff to follow and deliver in each age group;
    • Design a comprehensive and age-specific coaching philosophy, taking into consideration age-related characteristics of youth football players.
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