NCSA recently had a chance to catch up with Coach Blake Reynold from Midland Lutheran College. Below he offers some great advice for future collegiate soccer players:
1. How would you describe yourself as a coach?
I would describe myself as a player-centered coach who believes that a coach is there for the players, not the other way around. My personality is laid back, but also very motivated to succeed. In this type of environment, my players thrive as they are given the tools they need to succeed, but also the freedom to express themselves and have an imprint on the program.
2. What is unique about the experience at your school?
As a small school, life is not 24/7/365 soccer. Now don’t confuse this for a lack of competitive attitude and less training; it’s more about the understanding that to be a true college student, you need experiences academically, athletically and socially. You are given time in each area to succeed.
3. What do recruits need to know about you?
As a younger coach, my ideas and training methods are of a fresh perspective. Training is not mundane and nose to the grind every day. We mix things up, keeping the players on their toes, which in turn, keeps them motivated.
4. What do you look for in recruits?
A commitment to excellence, both on and off the field.
5. What is the one thing every recruit needs to do with the recruiting process?
Do your research. Don’t visit a school without knowing information about it – would you show up to a job interview with no knowledge of the company? The second piece of advice, is to embrace maturity. Even with schools you are not interested in, have the guts to email or call that person back and let them know. Ignoring a college coach who has taken the time to watch you play, and write you a letter is very immature.
6. What sort of questions do you really like to hear from recruits?
I like a recruit to show an interest in the program and the school in all aspects. From specifics to what training is like, to what is campus life like…
7. What turns you off when you are recruiting a student athlete?
One who is unprepared and has not given any real thought to their future.
8. What do you think your program is the most successful at?
Providing an environment for student-athletes to compete and win in a high level of soccer, while still allowing them enough time to be college students.
9. Why should a recruit consider your program?
A recruit should consider this program if they are open to receiving a personalized education, if they realize that their dream of attending a North Carolina isn’t realistic anymore, and they want to find a successful program where they can have success both as an individual and as a team.
10. If a recruit is interested in your program, how should they reach out to you?
Best way is to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.