In August of 2022 I had the opportunity to travel to Rush Spanish Pro Football (SPF) in Valencia, Spain. Here I got to train and play in Rush SPF as well as other clubs in the south east coast of Spain. I got to watch many professional matches and was able to learn a lot about the beginning process of becoming a professional soccer player.
The soccer within the Rush SPF was great. The coaching staff was from different backgrounds which I had never seen before. The Spanish coaching style focused a lot on being a technically sound player. Along with that the other players at the residence were from all over the world including Tanzania, Dubai, Egypt, and Morocco. Since most players came from different “soccer cultures” our playing styles clashed into something different than we have here in the United States. At the residence we trained in the morning and afternoons. During the week we played one to two matches with the local clubs and mostly it was with their U16/U17 boys.
Soccer outside of Rush SPF was different from soccer in the United States. Kids breathe soccer and everywhere you look kids are playing pick up games. The culture in Spain is for the players to be better technically and tactically. I was able to train with many well known Spanish clubs as well as smaller third and second division clubs like Mislata UF and Enrique Saura Gil out of Onda, Spain.
In Spain and most of Europe there is no fee to play at a youth academy therefore, the drive to succeed as an individual is higher. If you are not up to standards, you will be cut from the roster. This created a competitive training environment which pushed me to different levels of playing!
Throughout this trip I got my first taste at what professional soccer truly is. I watched many professional matches including Valencia C.F. and Levante UD. The atmosphere at both was unbelievable. Along with being exposed to the professional environment, I was forced out of my comfort zone which will help me mature as a person and a player.
Overall, my trip to Spain with Rush Spanish Pro Football was a valuable experience that I learned a lot from. The exceptional coaches, admin, players and other support staff made the entire trip great! I highly recommend this trip to anyone that is serious about playing soccer at the next level.