Blood, Sweat, and Confidence: Thoughts and Tips from the Varsity Soccer Team

It’s time to bring your A-Game.

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2013-14 Varsity Boys Soccer Team
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2013-14 Varsity Girls Soccer Team

“For every distance you fail to cover, always know that your teammates have to run just as more.”

– Steve Kim (’15)

Soccer season? Soccer season! This year’s soccer season is just around the corner, with try outs taking place during the week of February 9th. But just the mention of try outs can often illicit a range of emotions from sheer enthusiasm to slight dread in the minds of our varsity athletes. Often associated with notoriously rigorous try out sessions full of 5k runs and repetitive workouts, soccer season can seem like a pain rather than the fun it really is. But just how do these players survive try outs every season in the cold? What thoughts motivate them to survive? What wisdom do they have to offer the next generation of varsity soccer players? Blueprint sought out five outstanding varsity boys and girls soccer players to ask them about their thoughts on the upcoming season.

  1. Tips for new players?
  2. From 1-10 how excited are you for season
  3. If you could give your team an upgrade what would it be? (i.e. uniform, team name, etc)
  4. Favorite post practice snack?
  5. What motivates you during try outs?

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Phillip An (’15) 

  1. Tips: Don’t be afraid of upperclassmen- we were all in your shoes before. The faster we bond as a team, the better our quality of play will be.
  2. How excited? 11!!!
  3. Upgrade: Confidence Boost! They’re like steroids that are legal for your mind.
  4. Post practice snack: Favorite post practice snack would be dark chocolate, because chocolate.
  5. Motivation: The wails of pain that resonate throughout the locker room after each try-out days and pretty managers (if we get to have one).

Charlie Park (’16)Evernote-Camera-Roll-20150130-182729

  1. Tips: Just run a lot, try your best, don’t give up.
  2. How excited? 9.5
  3. Upgrade: UNIFORM! because ours right now is too old and kinda uncomfortable.
  4. Post practice snack: Banana? because it contains potassium, which builds bones! And it tastes good.
  5. Motivation: The fact that I get to play for a team motivates me, and having fun with friends? And getting to play for tournaments!


Kyle Shin (’16)

  1. Tips: I would recommend for the new players to just work hard and show their full passion about soccer.
  2. How excited? 9.5 (not fit yet…)
  3. Upgrade: Team chant…gotta be better than last year’s…
    • (The old team chant was like, “Woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo (louder) Who are we! Phoenix! Who are we! Phoenix! Are you ready, Yes! Are you ready, Yes! 3-2-1 Phoenix!” …something like that)
  4. Post practice snack: Cup Ramen!
  5. Motivation: Thinking about being the champions of the league!

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Steve Kim (’15)

  1. Tips: Similar to any other varsity sport, new players should be ready to dedicate a fair amount of time and effort to the team, giving it their very best every practice and game. Specifically for soccer, new players should quickly learn the importance of teamwork and responsibility. For every distance you fail to cover, always know that your teammates have to run just as more.
  2. How excited? 10! Those who are interested in playing soccer have been playing both in and outside of school every week leading up to the season, so everyone is excited.
  3. Upgrade: The soccer team should be receiving new, personalized uniforms every year for basic reasons. The idea of reusing the same uniforms for over four years is quite absurd and having personal jerseys with players’ own name imprinted would act as a big motivator for them to perform better.
  4. Post practice snack: Chocolate milk, banana
  5. Motivation: The fear of getting cut is probably the most fundamental motivation for all players looking to try out. For no one is guaranteed a spot on the team at that point. But more than that, the thought of playing a home game in front of the entire school with friends and family watching is another big motivation.


Harry Song (’16)

  1. Tips: From my Varsity team experience, I would like to give some beneficial advices to new players. Although new players might be afraid to upperclassmen, he or she shouldn’t be afraid of upperclassmen and play any sports with confident mind. Also you might think that you’re always right when you play sports or something, but listen to your coaches and sunbaes if they ask you to fix some attitude or skills based.
  2. How excited? 8
  3. Upgrade: If I could give my team an upgrade, I would like to get personal sports clothing such as Nike or Adidas.
  4. Post practice snack: 삼각김밥 (triangle kimbab)
  5. Motivation: Varsity jacket and badge

Sara Drake (’15)

  1. Tips: Tips for new players are to always work your hardest and communicate all the time! The louder you are the more effective we are as a team.
  2. How excited? 11
  3. Upgrade: I would upgrade our uniforms so they are more comfortable. Right now they’re super stiff.
  4. Post practice snack: Chocolate milk and a banana.
  5. Motivation: You have to be motivated in try outs, it’s try outs. No one automatically makes a team, you have to work for it, and show the coaches what you are capable of even if they have already seen it. I always want to show that I will work my hardest and play my heart out.


Faith Choi (’16)

  1. Tips: Key thing during try outs is to get noticed. Work hard, participate a lot, and that’s gonna get the coaches to notice you and remember your name. Especially when there are thirty to forty different girls on the same field all doing the same drill, you’re gonna wanna try to stand out. Also, try your best and work your hardest, because those are the things that will definitely pay off in the end.
  2. How excited?100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 x10000000000000000000000000000000000000 (no number can express my excitement)
  3. Upgrade: Definitely our uniforms- they’re way too stiff and a bit hot for the season we play in. And, the warm ups we used to have were the bomb. It’d also be nice if we could have some sort of stereo system to play music from during warm ups and whatnot like we can do up in the gyms!
  4. Post practice snack: Banana for that protein, Famous Amos for that sugar.
  5. Motivation: It’s the fact that I am not alone going through the thigh, butt, core burning exercises. I’m not the only one getting shinsplints. As Troy Bolton once said, we’re all in this together. Me working as hard as the rest and improving means that the team as a whole is – to a certain level – improving. Bettering my team and working hard for them, for me, and for my coaches is what honestly motivates me.

Shea Drake (’15)10984947_1049340635081026_958567028_n

  1. Tips: Come to play. No attitude, no lack of confidence, no self-doubt. Show spirit and try hard. If you don’t make the team, it’s okay because you know you tried your best. 
  2. How excited? 400
  3. Upgrade: Uniform, warm up, and bags.
  4. Post practice snack: Oreos with peanut butter and chocolate milk. If I feel healthy, then almonds.
  5. Motivation: Preparing for an awesome season with an awesome team and awesome coaches.

Sohee Yu (’16)10896998_915020905186864_1899573482296783697_n

  1. Tips: Don’t be shy and just play from your heart! Be confident in what you do, call for the ball, push yourself, and walk off the field every time knowing that you gave your best.
  2. How excited? 
  3. Upgrade: NOTHING CUZ THIS TEAM IS PERF but getting better apparel would be nice.
  4. Post practice snack: Does gogi count as a snack…?
  5. Motivation: Knowing that once I’m past it and make it on the team, I can spend time with the girls I love by playing a great sport and eating twice my usual amount.

Yena Kim (’15)

  1. Tips: What the coaches are ultimately looking for is someone coachable. They need to see that you’re willing to work your bum off even if you’re not the best player out there. They need to know that you will listen to their advice and try to learn it, because at the end of the day, the best player on the field isn’t the one with the best physical ability, but with the strongest mental ability. “I may not be the strongest, and I may not be the fastest, but you bet your ass I’ll be working the hardest.”
  3. Upgrade: If I could give my team an upgrade it would be three things: a new uniform, or our old ones back – they were perfectly fine and soft and one of the few good uniforms out there. I appreciate that Mr. Larue took the time, effort, and consideration to change them, but the ones we got last year are scratchy and un-athletic uniforms. The second would be a set breakfast to eat everyday that we can get at school (or coach’s room) because as an athlete I know how big a difference eating breakfast makes. Number three, I would have optional Saturday open field.
  4. Post practice snack: Either an acai bowl or a smoothie. For smoothies I’ll either have a mango-banana-orange smoothie or a blueberry-strawberry-yoghurt smoothie. Both with chia seeds.
  5. Motivation: My sole motivation is the sport. Just playing soccer and the liberation it gives me motivates me. And having the season ahead of me and being excited to see my improvements as well as the improvements of other players motivate me. Also, seeing the team come together on the field and off really inspires me to just keep playing.

Header: Korea International School Yearbook

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