The present work investigated a) the most important motivations for students-athletes who were participated in football academies, b)possible correlations between the incentives and c)explored changes in incentives between different age groups of participants. 752-young athletes- students participated, separated in three age – groups (8-10 years = 305, 11-12 years = 413 & 13-14 years = 34), belonging in football academies from Thessaly, Macedonia and Midland Greece prefectures. Incentives were measured by Patsiaouras et al. (2004) questionnaire after adaptation to the Greek population. Validity and reliability of the instrument were tested successfully. The most important incentives to participation were a) improve the skills and competencies (M = 39.54 ± 4.74), b) Entertainment (M = 28.61 ± 4.59), g) social impact (M = 26.58 ± 4.97) and d) creating friendship (M = 20.63 ± 3.84). All incentives for participation have a high degree of correlation between them (p < 01), and significant statistically differences emerged from the analysis of variance in following incentives 'improvement of skills', 'friendly', 'social news' and 'fun', between all the age groups 8-10, 11, 12 and 13-14. (p < .05). Results supported that the higher the age group relatively decline in participation emerged. The findings are discussed with a view to increasing the number of student-athletes in football academies.
Football academies, incentives to participate.