Recently, OSC/KFJ U14 player, Jordyn Smith, traveled to Arizona to take part in a ODP ID2 National Camp. Jordyn was one of two players from Kentucky to be invited! We caught up with her to talk about her experience….
Firstly, congratulations! Tell us how you felt when you found out that you had been invited?
Surprised that out of girls from many states, I had been selected as one of only two girls from Kentucky. As it sank in, I realized what a big opportunity it was to play in front of such high caliber coaches, and how much fun was ahead. I was excited to meet girls from all over the country, room with them, and play alongside them on the field.
What did the week entail? Was it non-stop soccer?!
Once I arrived in Arizona, I was assigned to a room with three other girls. I quickly changed and went to our first meeting where we got to know the coaches and meet the other girls. We were divided into teams and from there it was practically nonstop soccer! Each day began with breakfast followed by a two hour morning training session. Then we had lunch and a couple of hours of down time before we had our second session and competed against another team. After that we had dinner and a few hours to spend with friends and sometimes have a team meeting or short coaches lesson. The final day, we ended the experience with a couple of fun activities like soccer tennis and a crossbar challenge to determine the winning team, since the matches ended in a three-way tie.
How was the level of play? Did you feel comfortable in the environment?
Obviously, everyone there was a very talented soccer player, so it was a bit intimidating coming into an environment where players excelled in so many different areas. Once I got a few touches on the ball and time to spend with the other players (both on and off the field), I felt more comfortable. Based on the training I received at both OSC and KFJ, I felt like I was prepared and able to do what the coaches asked of me.
What was paid for? Did you receive any cool gear?!
The only expense I had was the airfare. Once I arrived, along with my room key, I was given all of the gear that I would need for the week. This included a jacket, 5 jerseys, 4 pairs of shorts, and 4 pairs of socks. I was also given a drawstring bag to carry gear to the field, a water bottle, and a large duffle bag. All items were provided by Nike and have the id2 logo on them. We were required to wear the id2 gear at all times when outside of our room.
That’s awesome! What did you learn from the experience?
I learned what it takes to play at a high level, and what it will take to make the national team. Along with this, I learned technical and tactical aspects of the game. With continued hard work, I can improve my skills and hopefully find a spot playing at the collegiate, professional, or national level.
Do you have any advice for any young girls just starting out playing?
My advice would be that there is no such thing as enough practice. With love for the game, dedication, and hard work, you can find yourself in a position to grow as a player, and compete with other highly skilled soccer players. Take advantage of all opportunities that come along, such as extra practices, playing with an older age group, and invitational trainings or trips.
Thanks so much Jordyn, and congrats again!