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Read below as Atleta Founder, Kim Peterson, interviews Jack Reddy – Technical Coach for the University of Lethbridge Women’s Soccer Team
KP: Tell us your name and little bit about yourself
JR: My name is Jack Reddy. I have been coaching for over 26 years. Have coached/clinics in Australia, New Zealand, USA, India and Canada. Involved with all age groups and both genders. This is a passion for me.
KP: How have you found your recruits in the past?
JR: There are good players in every age group that have been overlooked by scouts/coaches for a number of reasons. There are no bad players; it’s bad /poor coaching. I am always interested to work with them, it’s a challenge, but is fun. These players want an opportunity and when they get it, they will run with it. This is one reason why I like to come and do a couple of sessions to actually know the player that I am interested in. Yes, it is nice to have well trained players from the higher level leagues, but they are also somewhat spoiled.
KP: What do you look for in a new recruit?
JR: Passion, Winning habits, confidence, Good academics, and if it is a correct Fit for both, the player and the University. Are they willing to go the extra mile?
Believing and having a fierce Need to Win, Competing, Playing Great Soccer, Self and Team Accountability, and Values Team Culture. Loving the game of soccer and doing everything with Genuine Passion.
KP: What is one piece of advice you would give anyone interested in playing sports in university?
JR: Do not take a “no” for an answer and let anyone’s ideas or perceptions, especially if they are negative, affect you. You will find out in a hurry that long hours and less pay are a reality but it can be rewarding if you have a passion for it. Than start preparing yourself: Failure to prepare means preparing to fail.
Sports, they’re like the comics, about winning and losing, the contests remind us of stories, with beginnings, middles and ends. And they provide us with an opportunity to live fearlessly.
KP: What should an athlete ask a prospective coach to help determine if that school/team/coach is a good fit?
JR: Your Academics must be first. You must have a minimum of 3-5 schools to choose from, this is your homework. Once you decide which school, research their soccer program. Checkout the number of players in your position(s), any seniors that will be graduating, and how many do you have to compete with in that position(s). That should be your target, not the whole team. Checkout the videos to see how the team plays, is it something you are comfortable with, the system does not matter, the style of soccer is important. Check a number of videos, and then decide if this is a good fit for you. After analyzing the videos, it will be easy to see what kind of a coach you will be meeting. Finally ask about philosophies on winning vs development.
KP: What challenges do you see your players struggling with when they enter university as a student athlete?
JR: A total lack of preparations for that next stage. The biggest culture difference is that you are NOT playing in a “youth league” anymore, it is now a “women’s league”. You are now competing with U23s and in some cases it maybe older players. THE BIGGEST ADJUSTMENT, and most fail because they think because they were playing 70-90 minutes in a youth league, they will be okay.
KP: What are your thoughts on Atleta?
JR: I think this is an excellent idea in Canada. Here in Canada every student athlete is looking to go South, and they spend a lot of money just trying to get in and in fact achieve very little success. This is an excellent way of promoting our Colleges/Universities and players that can be successful in Canada.
KP: Tell us a little bit about The University of Lethbridge
In terms of the athletic program, the Women’s Soccer Program has been in existence since 1986 and 2017 was one of our most successful seasons since the league moved to two conferences. We finished 4th in the Prairie conference and lost a close play-off game 1-0 in the 85th minute to the University of Fraser Valley. Our facilities and coaches are second to none, and have the passion to teach and promote soccer in Lethbridge.
Every year U SPORTS honors student athletes as Academic All-Canadians. For the second year in a row, Pronghorn Athletes set a new standard for the program with 74 Pronghorn student-athletes achieving the honour this past year.
Women’s soccer led the way with 12 members reaching All-Canadian status, followed closely by men’s hockey and women’s track with nine each.
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