This past weekend, CBW Soccer Elite held its first college ID combine at the Providence Day School campus in Charlotte. This invitation-only combine gave 30 of the area’s top female soccer players an exclusive opportunity to train under and play in front of coaches representing nearly thirty universities from around the country.
After a brief training session on Friday evening to walk the players through coaches’ expectations and help them understand how to stand out on the field, Saturday and Sunday’s schedules were nearly identical. The girls were split up into two groups, each of which had a 45-minute training session with one college coach before taking a quick break and training again with another coach. On Saturday, training sessions were led by the University of Kentucky’s Ian Carry, Queen’s University of Charlotte’s assistant coach Mark Catterall, Appalachian State’s head coach Sarah Strickland, and Cornell’s head coach Dwight Hornibrook. Their sessions focused on keeping possession to penetrate going forward. On Sunday, Ray Leone, Tanner Osborne, Brian Moore, and Josh Rife from the University of Maryland, Presbyterian University, the University of Georgia and Liberty University, respectively, stepped on the field to run special training sessions focused on pattern play in the final third and quick transitions from defending to attacking.
With just under fifteen girls in each morning training group, coaches and players were able to interact extensively with each other for an extended period of time. Players received feedback in real time and coaches were able to evaluate the players’ ability to take constructive criticism and adapt their game. The structure of the combine – training sessions in the morning and 11v11 full-field afternoon scrimmages – allowed coaches to evaluate players in two very different playing environments. At the same time, players were able to experience at least four different coaches’ training and instructional styles.
Players and coaches alike remarked that this weekend provided a unique recruiting environment. Unlike typical ID camps that provide access to only a few college coaches and accommodate upwards of 100 players, coaches and players who attended last weekend’s combine told us they were grateful to have repeated exposure over several days and they appreciated the almost even ratio of players to coaches. The coaches particularly appreciated being able to evaluate players in both training sessions and games.
We’d like to thank all of the coaches who took the time to travel and attend, and a big thank you also goes to the players for their effort and intensity. Planning is already underway for the next ID combine: Save the dates for November 2018 in Charlotte. We hope to see you there!
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Chris Bart-Williams is the founder and owner of CBW Soccer Elite. After an extensive career in the English Premier League, Chris now uses his vast soccer knowledge to assist families throughout the college recruiting process and prepare players for the mental and physical challenges of collegiate soccer. You can reach Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org.