Academy duo offer advice to students ahead of exams

Academy duo offer advice to students ahead of exams

The session was part of the Premier League Inspires programme.

Leeds United Under-21 players Cian Coleman and Joe Snowdon recently spoke with a group of Year 11 students ahead of their upcoming GCSE exams about coping with stress and performing under pressure.

Delivered as part of the Premier League Inspires programme, the club's official charity have been running weekly sessions with a BTEC Sport class at Cockburn High School since November, this week giving them the opportunity to speak with players about dealing with the challenges they face at Elland Road.

Premier League Inspires is a personal development programme, that has been developed by the Premier League and professional football clubs, and uses the power of football to inspire young people to develop their personal skills and positive attitudes.

The scheme empowers participants to develop personal, social, employability and life skills, through a series of regular face-to-face group sessions, mentoring, workshops and social-action projects, providing pupils with the help they need now and supporting them to plan for their future.

Oliver Parton, Premier League Inspires Officer at the Leeds United Foundation, said: “Today has been a great event. Joe and Cian talked about how each member of their team works individually but they all work towards the same goal, and they also spoke about the challenges they face outside of football, so there was definitley key pieces of information and advice that the students could relate to.

“The reason why I wanted the academy players to speak with the students is because they have already been through what they are going through. Leeds United is like a religion in areas close to the stadium and these boys will look up to those players. Knowing that they have had those same shared experiences will be really important and will hopefully give them inspiration and motivation.”

Speaking after the session, Joe explained how he was keen to share his experiences and hoped the session would be beneficial for the students.

“How we apply ourselves is quite similar to them really,” said the midfielder. “We go through our daily stresses with training, matches and having contracts on the line. They are preparing for their future as well because whatever they get in their exams might determine what they do, so I think it is quite similar in that sense.”

Cian, himself a former local student having grown up in Pudsey, was asked about facing adversity and responding to setbacks.

“Just don’t try dwell on it,” he told those in attendance. “It depends on how quick you can bounce back. I think if you dwell on it, it could eat you up and lead to more and more setbacks so if you can get back quickly, you can get yourself rolling again.”

Afterwards, he added: “They’ve just got to try and not let the stress get in their heads and know that if they just do their best then that's all they can do. When I was in school, we used to have talks from different sports people as well, and if that's something you're interested in then it's nice to have something to relate to.”

More information about the Premier League Inspires programme can be found HERE.