My First Client Game

6 min read
At the start of the year, FirstPoint USA held a competition to become an honorary FirstPoint USA blogger, a competition won by myself, Corrie McDonald, 18, from Cornwall. I am is still a FirstPoint USA client, and have been through the majority of the FirstPoint process. Iíll will be writing monthly blog posts for the FirstPoint USA blog, with first hand experience and advice about each stage of the process. Check out my previous post: My FPUSA Interview This month, I discuss my experiences at my first client game! To build your profile with FirstPoint USA you need a recording of yourself playing your sport, so that the US coaches can view it online, and for a soccer player the best way to do this is in a client game. Client games enable you to play football at a high standard, gain more experience and have a high quality recording of yourself playing soccer. FirstPoint do all the work, filming, editing and condensing the footage of just you and uploading it to your profile. Iíve only played in one client game, but I played in the 2012 Showcase too, which is basically a massive client games tournament as well. My client game was at the North Herts Arena, North Hertfordshire, on the hottest day in September 2012. There were only 20 girls that could make it which meant that we had to play 10 v 10. Because of this we chose to play 3 thirds of 30 minutes rather than the standard 2 halves of 45 minutes, giving us a bit more time to rest between playing. The Sat Nav decided to take us on a bit of a wild goose chase, meaning that we only just arrived on time, if not a little late. YeahÖ Getting lost doesnít work so well for the nerves! Luckily, the boys were still playing so all of the girls and their parents were sat watching them finish their game. Just as the boysí game finished, the FirstPointUSA staff came over to us and explained how the day would go. Everyone was registered and we were told which team we would be playing in. We were then lead into the changing rooms and were told how much time we had to get changed and be out on the pitch. FirstPoint are pretty good at letting you know what you need to bring, so make sure that you bring exactly what you are told to. That could include shorts and socks as well as shin pads and boots. And check what turf the pitch is, you donít want to bring metal studs to a 3G pitch. As I placed my stuff down on the bench I heard someone say my name, so looked up and saw someone I knew. Not only did I know her she was actually in the year above me at my school. I hadnít seen her for over a year and I had no idea that she was going to be there, so it definitely acted as a confidence booster to know someone on my team. Client games arenít easy; you are put in to a team with people that you have never even met before, let alone played with before. But talking to the rest of your team and getting to know their names is really important; you will find out that youíre not the only one whoís a little nervous. At my client game not one person had played one before, so we were all in exactly the same boat, you wonít be alone in how you feel. And even if you forget their name, youíve made an effort to try and learn it. Plus, it can be really awkward if everyone is just there getting changed andÖ silence. As we got out on to the pitch, I saw my consultant and had a quick word with him, it was nice to see another familiar face. After taking the warm up led by a FirstPoint staff member we were split into our teams and introduced to the staff member that would be assigned as our head coach for the day. We were then told what position we would be starting in and divided into small groups to do some ball work and try to get to know everyoneís names a bit better. The first 10 minutes of any football game is always used to try and sus out the other team, but it is a bit more difficult when you are playing with people you have never played with before. You donít know their style of play and you donít really know how good they are. The thing you have to understand is that every player has been personally accepted in to FirstPoint, has gone through the same process as you and is obviously very good. You have to make the most of the client game, ensure that you create a mixture of making yourself look good and making the whole team look good. Hogging the ball will more than likely annoy the rest of your team and avoid the ball being passed to you for the rest of the game, but not touching the ball enough will mean that you are not presenting your talent well enough. Donít be afraid to ask for the ball and occasionally try something different but learn from your mistakes, everyone makes them! Coaches are looking for someone that can do the basics well, so make sure you show how good you are at them. After cooling down and getting changed again, we had the opportunity to talk the FirstPoint staff so I spoke to my consultant. He told me what he thought I had done well and said that my footage would be ready within the next couple of weeks. I came out of the game feeling a little disappointed with my performance but after watching the footage I was actually really happy with how it had all gone. Even if you do feel that you havenít performed as well as you possibly could have, there are always moments in a game that come naturally to you and look a lot better than you realise at the time.  

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