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In The Huddle
Study & Play USA
A collection of interviews with coaches, athletes, students and families about US College sports scholarships. Hosted by Study & Play USA.
Nov 5, 2023
Maximise Your Summer!
In this super short episode, Chris discusses the sometimes unknown life changing opportunities available to student – athletes to set themselves up for a successful sporting and post sporting career. Chris provides some tips for maximising your summer break whether preparing for college or already in college. A must listen for ALL student-athletes wherever you are in the process
Oct 19, 2023
Supporting Student-athletes Beyond College With Industry Leading Recruitment Agency Robert Walters
In this episode Chris Bates chats with Robert Walters Associate Director Hamish Winterbourn, about that the characteristics that international student-athletes possess like resilience, time management, team work and discipline make them some of the most recruitable candidates across a wide range of industries.
Aug 31, 2023
Family, Opportunity & Basketball with Sudanese Australian Freshman Kuol Jongroor
In this episode, Study & Play USA Director Chris Bates gains invaluable insights and pearls of wisdom Kuol Jongoor, a highly impressive young man about to set out on his US college basketball journey. You can feel the passion in Kuol’s voice in this episode as he imparts his mature take on the importance of family, legacy, attitude and opportunity, including some key advice for young athletes.
Aug 8, 2023
Undergrad in the USA and Post Grad in the UK - Our Partnership with Play Overseas
In this episode, SPUSA Director Alexia sits down with the Director of Play Overseas, Harry Newton to announce their new partnership which will help US graduates obtain graduate opportunities in UK. Together, Harry & Alexia chat with an NCAA track athlete in the USA to see how her sporting interests led to her postgraduate studies in the UK on a netball scholarship. *Learn more here:* https://www.playoverseas.co.uk/studyandplayusa/
Jun 19, 2023
Set yourself up for life through US College Rugby with UCLA Rugby Coach Harry Bennett
In this episode, Study and Play Director Chris is joined by Australian born UCLA Rugby Coach Harry Bennett. They discuss the power of rugby as a connector and network tool for student-athletes.
May 18, 2023
The Danger of Letting Other's Opinions Get in the Way of Your Dreams with WA Softballer Mackayla Denney
WA Softballer Mackayla Denney sits down with Talent Coordinator Claire to discuss her regrets and mindset shifts she had to make in her softball recruiting journey. Filled with "say it louder for the people in the back" moments, Mackayla is a positive & high energy treasure trove of wisdom. This no questions barred podcast dives into the Division 1 or bust mentality, the danger of allowing others opinions to dictate your dreams and much more.
Apr 4, 2023
Key Tips: How attitude and mindset impact the US College Recruiting Process
In this episode, Study and Play Director Alexia is joined by Talent Coordinators Chris and Claire to discuss common mindset barriers they have encountered over 20 years with student-athletes athletes and their families during the US recruiting Coach Communication phase. This is a must listen for all student-athletes across all sports, filled with valuable advice for all ages.
Mar 13, 2023
NAIA Women’s Soccer Player Katie Jones: The Support Network For Student-athletes at US College
In this episode of ‘In The Huddle’ Director Alexia Bates and current soccer student-athlete Katie Jones discuss her journey from Australian high school student to Sophomore at NAIA women’s soccer program at SOKA College in California. Together they dissect the differences between soccer in the USA and Australia, Katie’s key factors to finding her right fit, the importance of assistant coaches in your recruiting process as well as answering one of our most frequently asked questions What is the support network like for student-athletes?”.
Feb 22, 2023
A deeper insight into US College admissions with founder of Internationally Educated and former US admissions officer Debbie Shively
In this episode, Director Alexia Bates takes you into the world of US College admissions with founder of Internationally Educated and former US admissions officer Debbie Shively. They discuss the differences between admissions here in Australia to the processes in the USA, what admissions officers are looking for and ensuring your college applications are authentically you. It is worth a listen just to hear Debbie’s views on the challenges that international applicants can encounter and her top tips to overcome them and get your best outcome!
Jan 9, 2023
Reflections from my first Semester at College with Water Polo player Izzy Lumley
In this episode, our Director Alexia sits down with Freshman Water Polo player Izzy Lumley to reflect on her first semester in College in the US. They discuss how the recruiting process itself helped prepare Izzy for College, how she was able to find her right fit and advice for students navigating high school and the US College pathway. A must listen for all prospective student-athletes and their families!
Nov 6, 2022
What Coaches Look For During Recruitment with NCAA Coach, Timmy McCormack
In this episode, Chris is joined by Talent Coordinator Claire Mulligan and USA South Coach of the Year 2021, NCAA Division 3 Women’s Soccer Coach Timmy McCormack. They discuss what coaches from all sports look for in a recruit, recruiting video tips, great questions for a recruit in any sport to ask a Coach as well as dispelling some critical Division 3 myths along the way. This is a podcast packed with valuable wisdom for athletes of any sports background, at any stage of their recruiting journey.
Aug 30, 2022
Water Polo Player Philippa Piper on her journey from Brisbane to a National Championship
Philippa Piper has just graduated from 4 years playing Water Polo at an NCAA D2 program. Alexia catches up with Pip to hear about her time in College from Conference Championships, the recruiting process, competing with the men’s team to be the best academically, working as a student athlete and her plans to stay a fifth year and study her Masters. She has had a heck of a journey and has made the most of every opportunity presented to her! Be sure to join us to hear Pip recount her journey as a high school water polo player to an All American!
Jul 5, 2022
My First Year Of US College: With Decathlete Jackson Willis
In this episode, Chris sits down with decathlete Jackson Willis who reflect on his first year as a student-athlete in North Dakota, all the way from Orange, in country New South Wales!
May 11, 2022
How the Other Half Lives : A Chat with Study & Play USA Talent Coordinator Claire Mulligan on the key differences between being recruited in the USA and Australia
Claire is the latest Talent Coordinator to join the SPUSA team! Hear about her journey, her soccer career, and why she is so passionate about the US College pathway for Aussie Student-athletes!
Apr 18, 2022
Lauren Mason: From Former Queensland Junior Golfer To Top Coach In US
Former outstanding Horton Park junior Lauren Mason has been *head golf coach* at one of the United States most respected universities. After being appointed assistant men's and women's golf coach at Texas A&M University-Commerce in 2018, Lauren was named head coach in August 2019. Lauren is now the head coach of the women's golf program for SMU.
1 hr 1 min
Feb 16, 2022
Preparing physically for college with leading physiotherapist Mr Sean Fyfe
Sean Fyfe is the Founder and Director of Performance Physio Fitness Health He is a leading Sports Physiotherapist, Masters Level Exercise Scientist, Level 2 Strength and Conditioning Coach and Tennis Australia High Performance Tennis Coach. Sean has worked around the world in many different capacities including at the 2012 London Olympics, on the ATP world tour and as a Physiotherapist for London’s west End shows including the Lion King, Billy Elliott, Stomp, Rat Pack and Women in White .
Jan 23, 2022
The Journey Continues: Learn how swimming graduate James Hone used the US College pathway to gain a position at a world leading company
Today’s Guest on In the Huddle comes to us from chilly Indiana. James Hone started his college journey back in 2016 at Franklin College as a prized swimming recruit from Melbourne Australia. He has agreed to join us to reflect on his four - year experience and share his story of transition into the work force since his graduation.
Dec 17, 2021
‘Game Changer’ – How Director Chris Bates’s USA college experience prompted him to write a book… with Dr Anthony Ross and Coach Luke Bourgeois
In this episode, our Director Chris Bates sits down with two old friends; two old friends who shared a similar journey through their sport. Years on, they reflect on their junior journey, transitioning through the professional ranks and the college path. All these themes are seen on the pages on Chris’s book ‘Game Changer’ which is broken down in this episode. This is a must listen episode for parents of junior athletes, not just in Chris’s sport of tennis, but for all sports to help navigate the world of junior and professional sport.
1 hr 1 min
Oct 6, 2021
A Chat with the Phillip’s Family: a parent’s perspective on the golf recruiting process
Chris sits down with parents of golfer Harry Phillips, into his second year in college in Illinois. Tune in to hear another great parent perspective!
Sep 5, 2021
The Art of Coaching & Giving Back with Brian Kerle: An Australian Basketball Icon
In this episode, Chris sits down with Australian basketball royalty – Olympian and NBL championship coach Brian Kerle – to discuss where it all started, his coaching philosophy and why his passion for coaching is still as strong as ever today! Brian Kerle has spent a lifetime playing basketball, as well as selecting and nurturing great talent. Brian is still passionate about basketball and dedicated to helping young people thrive at the game, and he draws on his experience and skill set developed as a player, coach and business manager in order to foster excellence in players on and off the court as the Head Coach and Director of the Brian Kerle Basketball Academy.
1 hr 4 min
Aug 18, 2021
Find Your Passion Through Travel and Sport – advice for student-athletes with Rupert McCall, Internationally Renowned Australian Poet Part 2
In part 2, Rupert’s passion for people, his state and country and for being a good person comes to the fore in an emotion charged reflection of his career as a poet, in media. He reflects on the life changing experiences of performing live in front of some of the worlds’ best athletes, hoping to do their careers justice in verse. How he managed to nail his poem at Anzac Cove in Gallipoli to honour the ANZACS, one of whom was his beloved grandfather and the sheer honour of inspiring thousands at ground zero in New York in his famous ‘ A Firefighters Dream’ poem at the 10 year anniversary of 9/11. The podcast wraps up with some parting words of advice for all of our young student athletes. This is a must watch and listen!
Jul 13, 2021
Find Your Passion Through Travel and Sport – advice for student-athletes with Rupert McCall, Internationally Renowned Australian Poet Part 1
Our next guest features across two episodes or more aptly ‘stanzas’. Rupert McCall openly and at times emotionally shares his story growing up in a sports mad family, onto a brief career a solicitor and onto world fame as Australia’s modern day Banjo Paterson. In Stanza 1 (part 1) Rupert sits down with our director Chris Bates and produces some pockets of gold when discussing the silver linings of Covid, the life lessons of travel, the art of decision making and building resilience, all highly relevant for our budding student-athletes preparing for their US College opportunity.
Apr 20, 2021
NCAA Div 2 graduate Jono Ledger: from improving his handicap to how college prepared him to pursue his golf dreams
In this episode, Chris sits down with budding professional golfer Jono Ledger, three years of out of college, based in the US to talk about his progress as a pro as well as share some learnings from his college years.
Jan 27, 2021
Mason Cox: From College Basketball to the AFL
*Mason Cox* is an American professional Australian rules footballer who plays for the Collingwood Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). Playing as a ruckman and key forward, he first played Australian rules football in April 2014 before making his AFL debut two years later in April 2016. Cox had previously played basketball for Oklahoma State University in the Big 12 Conference and, standing at 211 cm (6 ft 11 in), is the tallest player to ever be measured at an AFL Draft Combine.
Nov 13, 2020
Why Student- Athletes make the best employees with CEO of Athletes to Business and Former US College and Professional Basketball Player, Alex Opacic
Chris sits done with Alex Opacic, former college and professional basketballer and founder of Australian based company Athlete2Business, to discuss employability and unique opportunities for US college student-athletes graduates.
Oct 20, 2020
Why Rugby is one of the fastest growing sports in the US with Founder of the Ruggers Edge and All-American player Karen Fong Donoghue
Two ladies from Colorado Talking Rugby Opportunities: Our very own Colorado staff member Maria talks with Karen Fong Donoghue , one of our valued partners from Rugger’s Edge in the US. Listen as they discuss the state of the women’s and men’s game, opportunities for young Australians and why working with a reputable company is critical to finding the right fit college.
Sep 16, 2020
Aaron “Apples” Applefield – Australian Baseball Identity
Chris sits down with passionate Australian baseball identity Aaron ‘Apples’ Applefield to talk the state of the game, the college pathway and much more..
Sep 9, 2020
US College and COVID
Our founders Alexia & Chris provide an update on our current student-athletes heading back to college post COVID, what it means for recruiting and how it hasn’t changed the process or timeline for prospective college goers.
Sep 2, 2020
Life in NCAA Division 2 Soccer with Robbie Baker
Chris sits down with 2nd Year college student Robbie Baker, whose football journey has taken him from Brisbane to Manchester City Academy onto US College. A great chat about resilience, open mindedness and positivity.
Aug 26, 2020
US College Divisions Explained
Ellen, Chris and Alexia sit down to dispel myths about the various divisions of competition in the US, sharing some of their own experiences as athletes within these divisions
Aug 19, 2020
Kerry Galhos: From East Timor to College and back
Aug 12, 2020
Two Nudgee High School Classmates, Two Different Sports, Two Different Colleges: Hugh Johnston and Seth Macute’s Unique College Perspectives
Chris sits down with some Old Boys from his high school who have recently taken the college pathway, Hugh Johnston and Seth Macute.
Aug 5, 2020
Baseball perspective: Athlete Luisa Gauci on Changing the Sport for Women and Girls
Maria Hopes interviews Student-athlete Luisa Gauci, who continues to break barriers in the sport of baseball!
Aug 3, 2020
The Pressures of Year 12
Addressing differences in the US & Australian tertiary systems eases pressure for Australian Year 12 students
Jul 29, 2020
Reflections of a Successful Career with Coach James Wadley – Retired NCAA Division 1 Tennis Coach of 40 years
Coach Wadley amassed over 600 wins at Division 1 level. Never short of an opinion on the state of the game, he sits down to reminisce with one of his former players, Study & Play USA's very own Chris Bates
Jul 22, 2020
The USA College Rugby Experience from the Sunshine Coast to Arkansas State: Patrick Meagher
Jul 15, 2020
A Full Scholarship: Rowing for University of Miami with Geelong College School Captain Mimmi Balaam
Mimmi Balaam, former school captain of The Geelong College, is now rowing and studying for the University of Miami in Florida on a full scholarship.
Jul 8, 2020
Koby Jansen – NCAA D1 Tennis Graduate on how the US College pathway gave him more than just tennis
Jun 30, 2020
The Eligibility Minefield : US College Eligibility and why it matters with Informed Athlete founder Rick Allen
Alexia Bates chats with US College eligibility expert, Rick Allen.
Jun 23, 2020
Perfect SAT score…twice: Michael Zhang on SATs and life at Harvard University
In this episode, we talk to Micheal Zhang - Harvard Freshman 2020 & Recipient of Perfect SAT Score 1600!
Jun 17, 2020
Two Sons in College – Family perspective with the Jaede family and why both boys went to College in the US
Chris Bates chats to Ruby and Bill Jaede about the college pathway and learn what it was like from a parents perspective to send two children to a US college.
Jun 11, 2020
Coachability and Resilience with Professional Athlete and Coach James Hopes and former Talent Coordinator Maria Hopes
In this episode, Chris sits down with former Australian cricketer and current Big bash and Indian Premier League coach James Hopes, along with his wife, our very own Maria Hopes to discuss two key topics that are crucial to a successful US college career: coachability and resilience. James also shares his thoughts on the US college opportunity and Maria provides her insight as an experienced member of the Study & Play USA team. It makes for a very unique and intriguing episode!
Jun 5, 2020
US College Rugby Player Izzy Robinson on winning the NCAA National Championship
In this episode, Study & Play USA Talent Coordinator Maria Hopes chats with Student-Athlete Izzy Robinson. Take a listen!
Jun 2, 2020
US College Rugby Pathway Perspective - Latter Family
Chris Bates chats to Jake and Carolyn Latter about the college pathway and learn what it was like from a parents perspective to send your child to a US college.
May 17, 2020
College Sports Psychology with Dr Anthony Ross
Anthony is a registered Psychologist and works across athlete developmental to elite sport, as well as in corporate environments, to develop human well-being and performance. Previously Anthony played tennis professionally as a doubles player competing at tournaments including Wimbledon.
May 12, 2020
Getting to Know Our Directors Chris and Alexia Bates
In this episode, our very first episode, we will be interviewing the founders of Study & Play USA, Chris and Alexia Bates. Over the course of the interview, we will get to know them and find out why they started and what Study & play USA is all about. Find out more at studyandplayusa.com.au