For the student-athletes of Aspire Academy, international training and competition camps serve a vital purpose in terms of supporting athlete development and performance. The camps give the athletes an opportunity to operate in an international context as well as fill their time constructively. Teams of support staff provide feedback and support the players through valuable workshops designed to educate them on all aspects of their development including nutrition, psychology, biomechanics, physiology, etc. The student-athletes also have the opportunity to learn from one another, as the more experienced in the group often take on a leadership role, helping the younger players who might be participating on their first such trip and are in need of some extra guidance or support.

During the trips, the boys also experience countries and cultures that are different to their own. This helps broaden their viewpoint and supports their ongoing education in a way that may be useful to them if they decide to continue their studies abroad or are given the opportunity to play overseas. The camps also provide a useful grounding if the boys are fortunate enough to represent Qatar in international competitions and are given the opportunity to travel abroad to play. Spending time in training camps and athlete villages on such trips gives also provides useful experience at developing practical skills such as managing their time, learning to adequately prepare for challenges and coping with recovery periods. In short, such camps equip them with a range of skills that they will need to succeed.

The opportunity to spend quality time together as a team during these camps means coaches can impart their expert and specialist knowledge during training sessions and mentor the players, providing useful feedback in a number of areas. The interaction and shared experiences during these trips help strengthen the relationship between player and coach and supports the positive influence that coaches can have in the lives of their players, including as a “go-to” source of advice or guidance in the event of any problems. Developing trust in this way feeds in to better quality training, enhancing the players’ confidence and improving competitive performances in the domestic and international arena.

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