MK Dons Under-18s took part in their most recent League Football Education workshop on Wednesday – a scheme which forms part of a wider development programme for the Dons’ academy apprentices.
The ‘My Future Today’ session was delivered by the Dame Kelly Holmes trust, who highlight the importance of personal development and how both understanding it and planning it can enhance performance, well-being and transitional periods within life.
During the session, held at Stadium MK, the Under-18s were prepared for life both inside and outside of football and MK Dons’ Interim Academy Manager, Simon Dwight, believes the workshop can only benefit the apprentices.
He said: “The Academy’s aim for this season is to prepare players for life in and outside of football, developing skills they will need in their professional lives as well as producing good citizens.”
“This event has grown out of identity and looking at who they are as people, building character and experiences, and helping them really get an understanding for what they could do as an alternative, not just if they aren’t given a professional contract, but beyond that.”
He added: “Today was very much an interactive day of exploring, questioning and answering. Overall, the session was a great success and something which has enhanced not just the apprentices’ life skills, but their approach to life after football.
“Their development doesn’t stop when they leave the workshop, though – they should go away asking themselves what they learnt and what they look for.”
Dan Jolley, Project Manager at the LFE, explained to mkdons.com how the session can benefit the young players.
“We try to make the apprentices think about how personal development can help support their mental and physical well-being, their performance journey and enhance their transitional opportunities,” Jolley said.
“I think the message really is, you can do this stuff within your career and it’s not either-or, it’s actually both. We try to prepare these lads for life both in and out of football. You are a single person with a bunch of skills and if you develop those skills and characteristics that will support your performance journey.”