We'd like to thank Spencer again for answering our questions, and wish him the best of luck with his first season at IPFW!
Spencer Brown - My First Month in the USA
5 min read
Spencer Brown recently began his soccer scholarship at Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne. We interviewed Spencer when he had just landed in the US, and this week we caught up with him to discuss what he has experienced during his first month in Indiana: Hi Spencer, you've been in the US for a month now, what have you found hardest to adjust to so far? The heat! All my training sessions and first two games have been in temperatures over 85 degrees, and the humidity has been really high. It's hard to catch a breath and makes adjusting to the pace of the American game even harder. It will definitely take some more getting used to. Have you experienced homesickness at all so far? Yes, I knew before I arrived that it would be difficult without my family and the people closest to me, I've managed to find a good amount of time in my schedule to call and Skype home etc. I also managed to get a special phone contract that lets me make unlimited calls and texts home and I can't begin to explain how much of a difference it makes to be able to just pick the phone up whenever I need. What is your training schedule like (pre-season and now)? Pre-season we trained for a week with the captains, getting to know each other and getting fitness in, as well as some ball work, then we had two weeks with the coaches before our first game. Fitness session in the morning and then two hours of ball work in the afternoon. Now we train for two hours a day at 1:30, and go to the gym and lift, as well, with our strength and conditioning coaches. Can you tell us a bit about your first game, against Ohio State? It took us around four hours to get there on the bus, we stopped half way and had a team lunch and a stretch. When we arrived at the stadium we were walked through to the dressing room by some stewards. I was a mixture of nerves and excitement. Before we went for our warm up the coach read the team out, I got the nod to start and it was just a case of getting myself ready to start. We walked out to 500 fans in a big stadium which was new to me as well. Ohio State are one of the strongest teams in the country, it was a tough game. We played better the second half and maybe should have grabbed a goal, we held our own against a very good team though which is encouraging for the season and 2-0 wasn't too bad a result. What are the facilities like at IPFW? The facilities are great, we have 4 grass training fields, for our use only, and a game field which is kept in really good condition. We had 3,000 fans at our home exhibition game against Valpo as part of the 'shindigz' soccer festival, which was a crazy experience. We also have a great athletic training facility with everything we need for after training and for treatment if we have any injuries. We have an indoor track were we can do fitness tests, and a huge gym facility for strength and conditioning. The locker room is a brilliant place as well, we get our own locker space with our names on top which isn't bad. What has been the highlight of your time in the US so far? I've already had a lot of good times and I've only been here a month, it would have to be the trip to Ohio State though. Everything about the day was brilliant...except for the scoreline obviously. How are would you say the academic workload and style differs from that at high-school/college in the UK? I've just finished my first week of classes, I think the workload is similar to university back home. I had a year at GCU in Glasgow which I think prepared me a lot for this year. We have study tables set up so we are required to do at least 6 hours of study in study halls, specifically for the student-athletes. How often do you speak with your friends and family back home? Every day, I spend a lot of my free time on the phone to home, I think it helps keeping up to date with what's happening back home. I have a really supportive group of family and friends, so that's made it a lot easier for me to cope. I'll take the opportunity to thank everyone at FirstPoint USA again for making this possible and I hope everyone else who left for the states is having as much fun as me!