Since 1991, Global Sports Academy (GSA) has been arranging tours for college and youth teams from the United States and countries around the world to promote international competition and goodwill. Not only do athletes learn valuable lessons through participating in their respective sports in other countries, but they also enjoy the experiences of a lifetime by being exposed to different cultures, languages, and environments and performing community service while abroad.
Coaches who travel with GSA equally benefit from participating in such international competition, honing their coaching skills and learning about international play, as well as having an opportunity to work with new talent or share valuable additional playing time to learn the assets and challenges of their teams. For athletes and coaches alike, the opportunity to engage in dynamic, international competition is professionally and personally enriching. And Coaches go for FREE.
For more information, please visit: Global Sports Academy
Binghamton Men’s Basketball Assistant Coach Marlon Guild shared his thoughts on his time overseas with Global Sports Academy:
1. How did you come in contact with Global Sports Academy?
I had heard about the Global Sports Academy from other college coaches around the country. They raved about the opportunity to move “one seat over” and having the chance to “call your own timeout”. From there I ended up getting in touch with Coach Roy (Blumenthal) and letting him know of my interest and from there we got to work.
2. What was the primary reasons(s) for your choosing to travel with Global Sports Academy, such as for professional development, international recruitment opportunities, etc.?
The main reason for me choosing to travel with Global Sports Academy was the opportunity to coach in a game which I think I needed for the advancement in my career. I was also intrigued by the opportunity to coach in another country and learn the way the game of basketball is played outside of America.
3. How were the players selected for your team?
The players on my team were selected through cold calling coaches around the country and seeing if they had any players who would be interested in seeing the world while playing the game of basketball from a different lens.
4. What countries did you visit and what was your daily activity schedule?
My team and I visited Belgium and the neighboring cities. Our daily activity was getting on the road to whatever city we were playing in later that day and sightseeing. We would do this from a couple hours before heading to the venue to play against a local team from city we were in. After the game ended, we would eat a meal with the team we played against. It was such a great experience because I was able see how other coaches did things and how the players from those cities went about their way of life.
5. How competitive were the games, and how do you think that the players benefited from the experience?
The games were very competitive. I think the players that I had benefitted by having a chance to play against “pro level” players and allowed them to see what they needed to work on if they wanted to play at the professional level down the road.
6. What challenges did you face having players from different universities as well as with international play?
If there was a challenge I would say it was that there wasn’t enough practice time for them to adapt to the rules. I definitely give credit to the players that I had because they were able to pick up on the rules that were different from what they were used to in America.
7. What were some of the highlights for you as a cultural experience?
There were so many highlights for me on my trip to Belgium. I made it my duty to eat all the local foods. Sure, they had McDonalds and things like that, but I really wanted to immerse myself with the culture of the respective cities we visited.
Visiting the Atonium and the Royal Palace of Brussels will be something I never forget, and I’d be remised if I didn’t mention the different versions of Belgium waffles, I tried LOL. All in all the culture experience was one I’d highly recommend for anyone.
8. How did you benefit professionally and/or personally from this experience?
I benefitted professionally from the standpoint of being able to run a team for the first time and experimenting with different play styles that intrigued me. Personally, I never thought I’d travel to a place like Belgium and visit cities like Amsterdam and Bruges, but I am glad I did.
9. Would you travel again with Global Sports Academy and recommend this program to other coaches? I would travel again with the Global Sports Academy and recommend this program to other coaches. Not only does it prepare people to be future head coaches, but experience of seeing the world allows for one to broaden their horizons.