We are less than a month away from DWS’s opening practice for the 2013 season. Although we are all spread across the country (or world…good luck to Laura (Weinberg) in Israel!), everyone has been training hard and is extremely excited to return to Durham in a few weeks.
We worked tirelessly this past off-season to reassess our team’s core values and to make sure that we are as focused as possible the second we step on to campus. Since I arrived at Duke as a freshman, every year every single member of our team has always come into preseason ready to make an impact. What many people do not know, however, is the huge variety of things we all do off the field during the summer to help us prepare to make the same impact in life that we strive to in Duke soccer. I have teammates getting prepared for the after-soccer life in all corners of the country.
As for me, I have wanted to work in the sports industry since I was a freshman in high school when I realized that at some point in the future I would have to do something besides play soccer for the rest of my life.
This summer, I have made progress towards making this dream come true. For the last two months, I have been working for a sports marketing and licensing consulting agency, Encore Sports and Entertainment in Carlsbad, Calif. Encore specializes in the marketing of professional athletes in leagues such as the NFL and MLB, including star players like Drew Brees and Matt Kemp, as well as acting as a licensing advisor for companies looking to put professional and collegiate sports logos on their products. All of the various items you see in collegiate or professional fan shops, from stationary to apparel, have to go through a specific process in order to be able to be sold with the institution or team logos. I have been closely involved with companies seeking licensing approval and as a result, have learned a great deal about what it takes to start, market, and maintain a business along with how to promote professional athletes and create their personal brands.
As for outside of work and soccer, I have loved exploring San Diego. For those of you who don’t know, I grew up in Dallas, but my parents moved to San Diego during my freshman year. This summer has been the first chance I have gotten to actually get to know the city. I never really considered myself an “outdoorsy” person because I was always indoors trying to survive the Texas heat, but I believe that San Diego has changed that part of me. Every day I spend inside in San Diego, I feel guilty. For Fourth of July weekend, my aunt, uncle, and sister all flew across the country to spend a long weekend with my parents and me. We started the holiday by taking a boat out on the ocean where we discovered seals hanging around the rocks and then later went on one of San Diego’s famous hikes to visit Potato Chip Rock , where hikers are able to stand on a rock ledge and look out over the entire city and even parts of Mexico.
This summer I have learned so many lessons and become interested in a variety of new activities, but the 2013 season has always been on my mind. As I prepare to return to Durham for my senior season, I am more excited than I have ever been. The talent we have returning and incoming is as good as any team I have ever played with, and I believe, any team in the country. With the right mindset and all of us in sync, there is nothing we can’t accomplish. See you all in a few weeks! Go Duke!