In France, following two projects at the same time is difficult because each involves a strong investment and a not insignificant time. To access the high level sports, training in the evening, as in the amateur environment, are not enough. Similarly, a school curriculum requires availability during the day, on a relatively large niche, as well as serious personal work. A solution must be found to link one and the other, without imposing an exhausting rhythm on the athlete. Pre-training and training for the profession of footballer occur at the time of the secondary cycle, an important period of the degrees to which these years prepare: the patent of the colleges and the baccalaureate.
The segmentation of learning times seems to be an important issue for not sacrificing one part of the double project. We must find an organization that reconciles school and sport and provides specific moments for each activity. Yet it is not always easy to separate two aspects of the same life without one taking precedence over the other. When you link passion for football and sports career perspective, it is tempting to bet everything on the ball.
In the name of a possible professional football career against a large check, the school can lose a student. Academic success and graduation outside sport are no longer the primary goals of young athletes and their families.
Due to the existence of football training, the school is partly removed from its functions, particularly with regard to the professional future of the students. If only one to two athletes per generation will be able to live sport once adults, all cultivate the dream of one day tread the most prestigious lawns. In these conditions, it is difficult to make them work on a professional project because it is perceived as a lack of commitment to the sports project or as an admission of low chances of success in this world so hoped. For the vast majority of students, the professional project is developed during the hours of class life, with a teacher referent. It is then a question of constructing one’s training course in order to obtain a diploma and a trade or to choose the high school in which they will enter Second class. In the case of footballers, these sessions have little value: their project depends primarily on the choice of their club and, for high school, they will integrate that of their training center.
For recruiters of training centers, it is above all the level of play of the adolescent and his physical potential that counts at the time of detection. For the director of Domaine de Luchin (LOSC center), “it is hypocritical to present the school field as a point of capital for clubs.”
In a logic of economic profitability, the sports-oriented company has little interest to propose a continuation of the education of footballers, especially beyond sixteen years old, the end of compulsory school age. However, it is often the argument that makes the difference in the discussions with the parents: they want at all costs to ensure that their child will pursue a course as ordinary as possible in parallel with the training, to guarantee a future outside of sport. Clubs highlight their organization of class time, the quality of teachers or the success rate of the patent and baccalaureate in their argument against parents.
However, many athletes choose to postpone their post-baccalaureate studies at the end of their career. They are then devoted to training, with the risk of put too much expectation in the sport or no longer find a balance. In some disciplines, the norm is to stop after baccalaureate: footballers, at the request of clubs, are only dedicated to the possibility of a professional contract during their last years of training. If no place among the elite is offered to them, they will go back to school but, if they have the chance to tread the lawns of Ligue 1 or Ligue 2, then their salary will no longer make this project necessary.
This case does not always apply always obvious. For all these aspiring footballers, the dismissal of the training center is an important break in their lives.