Sasha Rudenko, Staff Writer, @rudenko_sasha
First appearing in print September 29, 2014.
These are the words of the Utah Valley University men’s soccer commercial. The UVU men’s soccer team aims for success and therefore aims to build a strong team chemistry, which is necessary for it.
Cameron Kidwell, a UVU soccer player from Maryland says “we have a very good group of talent, which makes it a lot easier to glue.” He also highlights coaching and leadership as their key to good chemistry.
“We were a team from day one,” says Paul Hoffmeister, a player from Germany who only came from his country to join the team about one month ago. “Everyone was nice to me. There were no fights on the field. We have a good team chemistry.”
The players express how naturally their team seems to match so well and how they enjoy working together. There is, however, more than one reason for why they turned out to glue so perfectly.
Head coach, Greg Maas, explains the hard work of creating a team and not just a group of players.
“Recruiting the right type of players” is the first step of the process, according to Maas. He spends a lot of time looking for “the right character that would fit” and also someone who would be great at soccer.
Ironically, the last one is not as hard. “It is easy to see a good player but harder to see a good citizen,” says Maas. For this reason, he spends a lot of time interviewing the players and taking effort to “know them outside of soccer”.
There probably is, however, one more secret to their team chemistry. The team has bright examples of players who sacrificed comfortable and convenient conditions in order to come and play at UVU.
Kidwell and Hoffmeister both had to leave something in order to be where they are now.
Hoffmeister had to leave his home country of Germany and travel across the ocean to come play for UVU. He made this choice because there are no university teams in Germany and he wanted to play soccer while getting his education.
Kidwell’s choice to come to UVU was a different kind of sacrifice. He was just two classes shy of graduation from Towson University, but decided to transfer to UVU where he would have to complete another school year before graduating.
He transferred after the program at Towson was cut. Coming to UVU allowed him to be on the team. “This was a difficult decision, but I’m glad I made it,” says Kidwell.
There surely are more stories on the team because only those who love what they do are ready to sacrifice for it and to be “As one!”
Hoffmeister mentions the words “As one” conclude every practice of the UVU soccer team. As one they are willing to sacrifice and as one they are ready to win.