Over the weekend, CESA's U13-U19 teams came together at the MeSA Soccer Complex for three days of intense team training and scrimmages. Despite the scorching temperatures, the level of play was extremely competitive. In addition to training with their coaches, the teams had the opportunity to train with a wide variety of college coaches. On the boys side, Tennessee Soccer Club and Storm Soccer Club came in to train and play against the CESA boys' teams. Supplementing the training sessions, the Lowdergroup, a team of sports psychologists who work directly with Clemson athletic programs, came to talk to the teams about the mental side of the game. The teams were also able to discuss the college recruiting process with some of the coaches that attended the camp.
When discussing the recruiting process, the three most common traits that came up for what womens' coaches look for were: personality, technique, and athleticism. Along the lines of personality, coaches are looking for players who are energetic about the game of soccer, players that they know they can trust, and players that are coachable. Technique was so important to these coaches because the speed of the game at the college level is so much faster than at the club level. One coach said, "if a player's technique is no good, everything else will break down." Finally, athleticism. Players at the collegiate level are bigger, faster, and stronger. Coaches look for players that will be able to make their presence known on the field. When asked what piece of advice he would give to a player navigating the recruiting process, a coach said, "Be patient. Do not stress about the process; the player has the power to set the timetable."
The schools represented on the boys side were: Coker College, Clemson University, Johnson & Wales University, Limestone College, Mercer University, North Greenville University, Oglethorpe University, Presbyterian College, University of North Carolina at Asheville, University of Notre Dame, University of South Carolina, Winthrop University, and Wofford College.
The schools represented on the girls side were: Anderson University, Clemson University, Furman University, Presbyterian College, University of Georgia, University of Lousville, and University of South Carolina.
Thank you to all the coaches and players for putting in the hard work over the weekend! We wish you the best of luck in your upcoming seasons.
Coach McCarthy of USC talking to the U14 Pre-ECNL team