Student Interview: Sports Internship & Soccer Coaching
Vicky is originally from Leicester in the UK. She is in her third year of her Bachelors’ degree studying two majors: Sports and Exercise Science and Spanish Language and Literature. She started playing soccer at a very young age and at 15 yrs, got into coaching and also did a refereeing course. She took a Gap Year in the U.S. before attending university to become a qualified coach and referee.
Currently she is completing an 8 month internship with us at Euroace – specifically coaching one of the youth teams at Villarreal CF (Prebenjamín = 6-8 yr olds). She is also helping out with marketing and promotional work for the International department at Villarreal CF.
Here’s what she had to say about her experience:
Why did you choose to come to Valencia ?
I have Spanish roots in my family, my mother is Spanish, born in the UK to Spanish parents who immigrated to the UK. My grandparents are from Sevilla and Barcelona respectively. I have visited Spain many times keeping in touch with my family but never visited Valencia. I wanted to do an internship in Spain, specifically giving me the chance to coach football. I was looking for a placement and finally found out about Euroace. This was the immediate reason to come to Valencia. When I looked at the city, I liked the idea, Valencia is the third biggest city in Spain, with a beach and it is big enough, with lots of things to see and do, thus it seemed like the perfect choice.
What do you like most and what do you find most difficult about living in Valencia ?
Valencia is a very nice city, with a very relaxed lifestyle, it is a student’s city so there’s a lot happening, like events and festivals. The most difficult – well, the culture and lifestyle are very different from the UK, meal times are rather late, the shops open later in the morning and most of them are closed in the early afternoon and on Sunday. Although people have a very relaxed attitude towards work and work schedules here, the routine and deadlines to get things done in the UK are much stricter.
Can you describe your daily schedule, what do you specifically do during your internship?
I coach the youngest football players at Villarreal CF, the Prebenjamín team, which I do this four days a week. Two days a week I work from the office helping Villarreal CF with Spanish – English translations, research and posting tweets on the Twitter page of to promote activities to their international audience. I also take Spanish classes at the Euroace Spanish school to improve my language skills.
How satisfied are you with your internship? What are the main challenges and how do you think the internship will help you in your future career?
I am very happy with the internship, I am confident it will help me a lot, I am planning to develop a career in coaching football in Spain. I coach alongside two other Spanish coaches, prepare coaching sessions, learn from the Spanish style of coaching and learn the language of coaching. This is the main challenge – the language, I am learning by doing, I listen to the Spanish coaches and use their terms and phrases. My Spanish classes with Euroace help me a lot with my confidence to speak the language.
The coaching style here is quite different. In England I was coaching at the basic level with a more individual approach, where people get introduced to the sport and play for enjoyment. At Villarreal the style of coaching is aimed at getting players ready for the elite level. From a very early age the players are expected to commit themselves to the max, and this is a big difference I have found by working at such a big football club.
Have you participated in the extra activities Euroace organizes for students?
Yes, I enjoy taking part in the Spanish-English language exchange, where I have met other Euroace students, from all different backgrounds that I would not have met otherwise. I have also met some local Spanish people that come to improve their English. I have been to football matches at the Valencia and Villarreal stadiums with my classmates. It is very nice to participate in activities with people having similar interests.
What advice would you give to students planning to study or complete an internship with Euroace?
I would advise them to make sure they are getting a placement that relates to their future plans to develop a career, to get experience in this field as it will be a great benefit once they finish and return to their home country to open doors for employment in this field.
Would you recommend Euroace to other students and internship seekers?
Yes, I would warmly recommend Euroace both as a Spanish school and an organization to help students find professional internships. The Euroace team has been very helpful from the first contact, they offered me a customized internship – with a coaching and marketing part as well as combining this with studying Spanish. They are very flexible and attentive to the needs of the students. I really enjoy the Spanish lessons I take as they are very interactive, well structured and give just the right amount of theory and grammar but also allow students speak a lot.
For more student interviews, check out this section of our blog!