My Dublin Assessment Day - Rory Cleat
3 min read
Rory Cleat has joined FirstPointUSA on a summer internship. A keen sportsman himself, he'll be attending university in the summer to study Business and Marketing. This is his own experience at one of FirstPointUSA's assessment days - On Tuesday the 24th of May, Andrew, Simone, John, Jack, Danny and myself flew to Dublin to asses the hopeful scholarship candidates at the rugby and football trial day. John and Simone led the presentation about what FirstPointUSA is all about and how we help many talented sports men and women achieve their dream of a scholarship in the USA. Meanwhile Jack, Danny and I pumped up the balls and sorted the bibs into colours and numbers. When the presentation ended, everyone headed outside the two pitches booked for today’s session. We wanted to get started as quickly as possible due to the high temperatures. Jack and Danny took the rugby and organised warm-ups, drills and fitness exercises to see how the boys would cope with different aspects of the game. The football boys were warmed up and they lightly passed the ball around to get a feel for their touch, the surface and who they were playing with. Then, were given a bib colour and number to represent who they were to the assessors. It was good to see different nationalities that came to the trial. There were eight teams of eight and two teams were assigned to each quadrant of the pitch where goals were set up at each end. The staff discussed what position they’d play in the 8 a side game and got to know their teammates for the day. The games then all kicked off and each of us assessed a game that was 20 minutes long. I noticed in the first game of the boys not knowing each other, the standard wasn’t as high as later on in the session but this was down to the boys not knowing each others playing styles. However, later on in the trial when the next games kicked off, the boys had a better understanding of each other and the way each other played. From the beginning, it was easy to spot outstanding talent and these were the boys who created space on the small pitches, who created relationships with other newly met players and who could execute the basic skills like passing, shooting and defending. As I said earlier, the games that followed the first were generally a higher quality and this is where the competitiveness was seen in the players as although they are playing with the other boys, they are also rivals as only limited successful places are given out. Once the small games were finished, the outfield players were able to leave but the goalkeepers stayed behind for some one on one assessing. They were tested with goal kicks, catching and shot stopping. Overall, I had a great experience in Dublin with the lads at FirstPointUSA and learned skills from them that I will use on business trips as well as in office.