September 6, 2023 at 12:10
Eddie Practice sports at a good level and also pursue a good education in the United States. According to Christoph Willemsen of +31 Sports, it is an experience of a lifetime. He took on the challenge himself during his student years, and now, with two partners, he heads an agency that guides young people in their search for the right college team on the other side of the ocean. “We have more than ten years of combined experience in the profession and we can protect players from the pitfalls we ourselves have fallen into.”
In the final year of his higher professional education, Willemsen felt the need to take a break. “I took a gap year to travel. I quickly connected with college sports in America and quickly realized it was for me.” Willemsen says there is a place in the United States for anyone who wants to exercise and study. “But coaches are always looking for the best players for their team. They want to win and have scholarships to spend, scholarships to make it financially attractive to attend a good university.”
Trainers need to get an idea of who you are, and the first impression is made with a standout video. Having photos of your matches is important, Willemsen says. He played football in the Netherlands at first-class level and soon connected with an American coach. “It's important to have a good CV and good school grades, which of course always helps. Within a short while, I was in touch via Facetime with a coach who wanted to take me to the US to get a master's degree and play for his team.” “At +31 Sports we find it very important at that time that the final decision about college is also made in consultation with the player's family. The family's wishes come first. We try to involve the parents in the whole process as much as possible.”
Life is focused on sports
Willemsen played at Tennessee for a year and a half, was also a coach there for six months and then worked at a sports agency in Florida. “The sporting experience is fundamentally different there. In the Netherlands, you train at your gym twice a week and play a match. With a university team in the US, you train every day and travel across the country to participate in competitions. Your life is designed around sports. I really enjoyed that and also missed it when I returned to the Netherlands after my American visa expired.”
Christoph Willemsen during his time as a soccer player in the United States. – +31 sports
Willemsen regularly travels across the ocean to visit universities and sports clubs in the United States. “Sometimes it's really unbelievable what sports facilities are like in the US. Sports are so ingrained in the community that it's great to experience them. I would advise any student who currently has a plan in mind to go to the US: please contact us. In a non-binding conversation “I can provide more information on how to handle certain things. The experience we gained at this event at +31 Sports is worth its weight in gold.”
According to Willemsen, playing sports and studying in the United States is an experience you should not miss. Last year, he and +31 Sports partnered with former professional footballer Hans van der Haar, who founded the Miami Dutch Lions FC in the US. “Such a connection is of course always useful. Especially since the Dutch Consulate is also in Miami and several lines meet there.”
Opportunity in the USA
When you contact +31 Sports, there will first be a conversation to get to know each other. Willemsen: “Then we define your 'game plan' together and look together at what we will do and what your options are. We do this based on your player profile and your personal desires. If the coach is interested, we will ensure you enter into discussions with that party or parties.” And if a good offer comes in, we will help you with the paperwork, for example, to obtain a residence visa. Good to know: There is always one of us in the same time zone as you when you are active in the United States. If a problem arises unexpectedly, we can Always approach +31 sports in a simple way.”
Determine your game plan with +31 sports
In addition to Christoph Willemsen, the +31 Sports team consists of Lars Blinkers and Teuri Schevening. “The three of us have played and studied in the United States and together we have mentored over a hundred players and families over the years. We have an extensive network of schools and know many coaches personally. We are currently focusing mainly on men's and women's soccer, but also on hockey. We are also open On other sports, because we also have experience with that: send us a message and we will contact you personally.”
More information via www.plus31sports.com/nl, Instagram: @plus31sports, email: [email protected] and phone: 06-52275053.
This article is brought to you by +31 Sports.
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