We recently caught up with FirstPoint USA sports consultant Andy McNab to get an insight into his experiences coaching college soccer in the U.S. Andy is a former FirstPoint USA soccer scholarship recipient who both played for, and coached Salem University teams.
1. Hi Andy, when did you first become interested in coaching?
Throughout my time in the USA, I got involved with the youth coaching set up within West Virginia. I really enjoyed that aspect of my life out there, so when the opportunity to coach at college level came around I jumped at it!
2. What is your coaching background?
3. How exactly did you fall into it?
- Salem International University- Graduate Assistant Men's Coach (2008-2009)
- Greenville College - Assistant Men's and Women's Coach (2009-2010)
- Salem International University - Head Women's Coach (2010-2012)
During my last year, I spoke with my coach about my future and he offered me the chance to be his assistant, so that worked out nice!
4. Can you describe a typical day in the life of a coach?
Everyday is different! In pre-season it's up at 5 for a 6am practice and then getting home later after 3 or 4 training sessions. There is always recruiting going on, either on the phone or going to watch matches, it really is a 24/7job!
5. What was you biggest coaching achievement?
Getting that first win is always a great moment, but my job was more to rebuild the whole women's program, so knowing I left it in better shape than I got it was a great thing. Going to nationals with Greenville's Men's team was great experience, and also working with such people as Caleb Porter (New Portland Timbers coach and U23 USA National Coach) was a great experience.
6. Do you think you would have had the same coaching opportunities in the UK?
Not to the same standard anyway. Being a coach at the college level is a lot of people's dream job, and it was fantastic experience.
7. How can a sports scholarship to the USA help with becoming a coach?
It's a necessity to me. Even to start being a part of the whole system, to understand the day to day life of being a student athlete. I think that is half the battle of being a college coach, as you have to understand what your players are going through every day. It also allows you to network while you play, and there is a lot of opportunity to coach.
8. What advice do you have for anyone who is considering a future in soccer coaching?
Get into the youth coaching as soon as you can. It gives you the experience coaching in America and how recruiting is done, as coaches will be looking at your players. From the people you meet then makes connections for that potential job!
Do you think you have what it takes to secure an athletic and academic scholarship to the USA like Andy? Apply now for your free assessment!