‘During my first race in America I covered 16km’

‘During my first race in America I covered 16km’

Gijs Wellings is one Slamstacks A student-athlete chasing his dream in America. He played for the youth of Willem II and FC Eindhoven and has been active at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) since the summer of 2023. In this article he takes you through what his life has been like in America so far. You don’t want to miss this one!

“The beginning of the first year in America can be exciting, especially if you still don’t know what to expect, so that’s why I’m taking you and sharing my best experience. My desire to go to America didn’t come out. Blue is my dream to be a professional soccer player, but I combined it with a study. wanted to do, that’s why I chose America, where I can combine this wonderfully, which is not possible in the Netherlands.”

“My American dream started in the summer of 2023. Upon arrival I immediately felt very comfortable. I was well received by the boys in my team and felt at home. Soccer in America is a little different than in the Netherlands. Especially physically, here everything goes very fast and hard, especially at the beginning of the season when I Had to get used to the intensity, but over time it got better and better FC Eindhoven and Willem II, but in the tactical department we are still better than the Netherlands.”

“To be honest, I’ve already experienced so many fun and cool things, too many to mention in a short article. I’d like to take you to my first official conference (competition type) abroad, which is a truly unique experience.”

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“Robert Morris University is scheduled for this weekend. It’s a five-and-a-half-hour trip that we have to make. It’s already an experience for me because it’s one of my farthest trips. I have to make trips for a competition, so I’m already very tired, but the same. I am also nervous at times.

“Once we get to the campus, we and the crew stay in a hotel. This is also a new experience for me, it really feels like you’re staying in a hotel with your friends, so much fun!”

“Before we go to sleep, we have a short practice at the Robert Morris campus. The field is completely closed to us, and no one is allowed to watch our practice. That also feels like a unique, real privilege. After practice we go to our hotel room to sleep and prepare for the next day: game day!”

“In the morning we wait in the lobby and have breakfast with the whole team. During breakfast our coach conducts a preliminary discussion and after a few hours it’s time to go to the Robert Morris campus. We leave with the whole team. Full energy hoping to take three points.”

“As soon as we arrive at the campus, the tension starts to rise, because in America they do everything they can to win. I start in the starting line, in the midfield. I immediately feel that it will be a difficult match. I said: it is more physical than in the Netherlands, we are the last second. We fight till, we take everything home.

“During the competition I run no less than 16 kilometers (!), a huge load on my body, but all for three points for sure! With a big smile we go back to the dressing room as a team, after which a big party follows, we return to our own university, immediately to celebrate the victory Back to our campus, but ready for the next match.”

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“It’s a super unique experience to travel so far for a ‘soccer match’, experience the tension with the whole team, stay in a hotel, share everything that comes with a match abroad. Dutch football is never experienced, unless you really go to the highest level, playing and studying football in the US and so much more. There are benefits, and I certainly don’t regret my choice!”

During the process, Gijs was assisted by Slamstacks, which is committed to helping (young) soccer players transition to the American university system. Slamstacks caters to every level of soccer player and has room for every level of soccer player. Whether you play amateurs at your local football club and want a great experience, or you just want to keep playing football without doing it for the pros, this is your chance to play at a fun level! You can discuss your options with Slamstox for free, so this is an opportunity you won’t want to miss! project Here Your free call.

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