SPUSA 20 years

Not Another Podcast!

By Chris Bates

Amongst the doom and gloom of 2020, some of us were presented with an amazing opportunity for reflection out of a situation which forced us all to gain a new perspective. Many friends of Study & Play USA reported spending so much more valuable time with family and getting around to doing things they have been talking about for years.

Our ‘getting around to it’ moment was starting up our very own podcast In the Huddle. It seemed that many others had the same idea with new podcasts showing up everywhere!

Our podcast has allowed for us to educate families the world over about this incredible pathway. There’s so much to share about this wonderful pathway and what our podcast has allowed is for families to listen to other families, to other student-athletes and other special guests sharing their stories and perspectives. Feedback from our listeners suggest that these conversations have been well received! Some families tell us that their morning drives to school listening to In the Huddle have created meaningful family discussion about the pathway.

So if you are like me and are not a prolific podcast listener, or if you are looking for a new podcast to tune into, I’ve listed some of my top 5 episodes from our first season of In the Huddle that you may wish to start with:

#5 Student-Athlete Perspective with Robbie Baker – Football Player at Saginaw Valley State University

Listening to Robbie makes us want to go back to college all over again! Robbie does a terrific job explaining the differences between divisions of competition which are different to anywhere else in the world, and the all-important first few weeks in college trying to settle in and prove himself to his coaches and teammates.

#4 Student-Athlete Perspective with Mimmi Balaam – Female Rower at University of Miami

We sit down to chat with Mimmi, one year into her 4-year experience in Miami. Mimmi reflects on her high school years balancing sport, studies, leadership as school captain of her prestigious school and how this all helped her prepare for what has been a phenomenal start to her journey already in Miami. Mimmi’s maturity and her passion shines through in this episode.

#3 Special Guest – Current Collingwood Football Club Player Mason Cox

In footy circles, Mason is a unique player in that he hails from Texas, attended Oklahoma State University as a basketballer, after a very promising junior career in soccer.

Mason shares his experiences rubbing shoulders with US president Biden on his pre-Covid visit to Australia, what it’s like playing at a packed MCG, and most importantly provides some very useful advice to prospective student-athletes

#2 Micheal Zhang & the Perfect SAT Score

Micheal is one of those rare individuals who we can all learn from. Like Mimmi, Micheal reflects on the challenges of being school captain, and balancing his studies and tennis throughout his final years of schooling. He talks proudly about the moment he found out he had been accepted into Harvard University and shares tips for high school students how as little as 15 minutes of spare time can really be put to good use!

#1 Kerry Galhos – from East Timor to Corpus Christi, Texas

Kerry is an inspiration to us and for all that know her. We sat down with her to discuss the long journey from her beloved East Timor to college in the US. Most interestingly, Kerry discusses her desire to empower those less fortunate and her plans to change the world for the better.

In addition to these gems, we have plenty of parent perspectives included from our first season, along with some special guests.

Coming Up – Season Two

In season two, we focus on the other side of college recruiting – the US Coaches. Some very successful college coaches will share their blueprint for success, what they are looking for in international recruits and how to maximise scholarship. Season two also features our first video podcast with world renowned poet and sports crazy Rupert McCall who shares some pearls of wisdom about the lessons from travel, how to make good decisions and how to find and harness your own passion. Stay tuned!

You can access all our podcasts right here

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An Aussie's Transformative
US College Journey

By Study & Play Director, Chris Bates