By Paul de Koning, director KingsTalent
Summer has almost passed already, but the weather is still fine here in The Netherlands. This is the time when goodbye party’s are thrown, tears are shed (of joy and sorrow) and Talents wave their goodbyes. Time to move to the other side of the world… A new environment, a new adventure, a new start… A new chapter in the lives of the Talents who took the next step.
The summer time is also the time of year to look back at last year and ahead to next season. This also goes for KingsTalent.
When we look at the 2015-2016 season we look back on a hectic but successful year! The last months have been incredibly busy. On the one hand we were busy aiding the Talents with finalizing their last paperwork to make sure they can apply for their visa in time. All this under a lot of time pressure.
On the other hand we have also visited all the Talents who were leaving for the US this summer. I have to say that this is the most rewarding part of our job. We were able to wish everyone a lot of good luck, success and a safe trip. From Groningen to Heerlen. These guys and girls couldn’t wait to get on their plane. What an overwhelming enthusiasm in these athletes! Ready to make the difference.
Talents are super excited and parents are very proud! Saying goodbye knowing that their world is going to change in the coming days/weeks. They are stepping in to a new world. Once they get off their plane in the US these players are part of a team and are immediately part of a new community. A life changing experience. If I’m honest I have to say I’m a little bit jealous of these Talents leaving, for they are stepping in to the journey of a lifetime.
In our last visit with the leaving Talents we also talk about things we as KingsTalent can improve for the future. We will never close our eyes for things we can do better and we are always looking for ways to improve our service. Our service can always improve, and because of these visits, it will always improve. We are setting high standards, this means we always have to listen to criticism and learn. We learn every day.
A new world will open up for these Talents. But their leaving is usually also hard on parents. A son or daughter going to live on the other side of the ocean. No more breakfast together at the kitchen table or a quick hug. This will be exchanged by Skype-calls and WhatsApp messages. It’s understandable that parents are reluctant to let their children go. Uncertainty, “where is my child going to get in to?” Very understandable feelings. Especially when their son or daughter is under 20 years old. Or in the case of Anoucke, not even 17 years old. In a lot of these cases the feelings of uncertainty have been taken away by the good contact with the future college coaching staff, with many contact moments which included the parents. But it is a huge step nonetheless. This is why we are proud, not only of the young student-athletes, but also of their supporting parents.
The gear is handed out, the first shuttle-runs, suicide-runs, coopertests and scrimmages are behind us. Now it’s up to the Dutch Talents to show what they are made of. Of course we will follow all these Talents closely. We bring you their news, experiences and adventures with blogs, photo’s and video’s.
Looking to the future we see a lot of exciting things. Every week we are watching soccer and field hockey games to view new Talents, sometimes even 4 times a week. Information meetings in Philips Stadium will be planned in the rest of this year. The KingsTalent Dutch Soccer Showcase will be held on January 7th 2017 in Gemert. And there are a lot of other projects we can’t say a lot about just yet. Of course we will keep you informed about all of this.
We will always be looking out for new talented potential student-athletes who have the dream of playing sports and studying in the USA. If you are looking for this challenge you can sign up here and we will contact you within 2 work days!
Read Paul’s other blogs #fromtheboardroom