FPUSA Class of 2013: Tom Saltwell

4 min read
Tom Saltwell secured a soccer scholarship, this year, to Montana State University Billings. This week we caught up with Tom to discuss how he's adjusted to life in the US, and what his pre-season training schedule has been like in the Montana heat!     Hi Tom, you've been in Montana for a few weeks now, what have you found hardest to adjust to so far? The hardest thing I've found is trying to eat well with all the fast food places around! Especially as it's pre-season at the moment, we have to watch what we eat! Also adapting to play in the heat took me a few days but I soon got used to it. Have you experienced homesickness at all so far? I'm a really homesick person, to the extent where I wouldn't go on school trips back in England because of it, but I've come to America and I can honestly say I haven't thought about going home once. The team, the coaches, and the school have been incredibly welcoming here at MSUB, I couldn't ask for any more, I've settled in straight away. What is your pre-season training schedule like? We train twice a day every day here in Montana which is demanding but essential for the season. It makes it harder when even in our morning training session it reaches 90 degrees, and the afternoon session over 100, so fitness in this weather is hard! What are the facilities like at MSUB? The facilities are amazing! Our soccer field is on turf, which to those in the UK, may be better known as 3G. That's what most of the pitches are out here, but it's fantastic, not just the soccer facilities as well. The basketball court, swimming pool, gym, training room, softball field, baseball field, I could go on forever!     What has been the highlight of your time in the US so far? Being with my team mates and coaches. As we train so often we're all really close, so to make so many new friends from different parts of the world and be able to play along side them has been my highlight so far. Do you feel prepared for your classes starting? My classes start on the 3rd of September, but we fly to California for 4 matches that day so I'll be missing my first 9 days of classes. I have my schedule and it compares to work of an A level student in the UK, however there's less time in classes and you can take some classes online which is good especially when your playing in away matches as you don't miss out on work. Would you recommend FirstPoint USA? I would recommend FirstPoint USA to anyone who has the ability and desire to work hard on the pitch and in the classroom, work in the classroom is just as important as on the pitch. It's such a great experience and a once in a life time opportunity. What advice do you have for anyone considering a sports scholarship to the US? That when you come out here you have to realise it will be hard work and that you need to put the effort in. It will pay off as it could lead to getting extra scholarship money and it will also benefit your game as a whole. Also how important class work is, you have to keep up a certain standard otherwise you won't be able to play, so if your struggling with classes don't hesitate to ask for help because it can effect your sport!  

We would like to thank Tom for taking the time to answer our questions, and wish him the best of luck in his freshman year!

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