Episode 51: A Story Of MLS Moments And Doctoral Dreams w Seyi Adekoya
Welcome to the 51st episode of the In The 11 Podcast! Today, Brendan Griffiths is joined by Seyi Adekyoa where they chat about how sports psychology just might be the next step for Seyi In this episode Seyi shares what you would probably experience if you’re going to pursue a degree while putting in effort for your love of the sport. Seyi talks about the decisions he had to make to be able to balance, if not to focus on just one path that’s been presented to him. If you’re stuck on the same fork in the road as Seyi’s been then this episode will definitely give you ideas and inspiration on how to better handle your situation so stay tuned!
Balancing classes and training:
Right around the time that Seyi was getting pumped to go pro, his classes were starting to conflict with his training schedule. During that time, Seyi knew that he had to make a decision and focus on one road only. In the end, he’s decided to pursue football always with the intention of returning to finish his degree. He shares more about his future plans for his education and his soccer career, more on this episode!
Psychology and Soccer:
Seyi shared that he was working with a life coach during a good part of his soccer career, and having his own background with psychobiology, he understands the importance of the psychological state of the players, coaches, and a team. Seyi shares that a psychologist he worked with also worked with Oklahoma City Thunder and that there are insights from the therapist that has affected Seyi’s perspective on the game, on himself, and on his career. He shares that working with the therapist has been helpful to better understand things like how an athletic person is not always a good fit for the team.
About Seyi Adekyoa:
Seyi signed a homegrown player contract with Seattle Sounders FC, making him the ninth homegrown signing in club history. On March 26, 2017, he made his professional debut for USL affiliate club Seattle Sounders FC 2 in a 2–1 loss to the Sacramento Republic. Adekyoa scored his first professional goal on April 2, 2017, playing for Sounders FC 2 in a 2–1 win over Timbers 2. Adekyoa made his first start for Seattle Sounders FC on May 31, 2017, in a 3–0 defeat to the Columbus Crew. His release from the team was announced on April 3, 2018.
In June 2018, Seyi moved to Danish Superliga side Vendsyssel FF. In January 2020, he moved to Maltese Premier League side Balzan. He returned to Denmark in October 2020, signing a contract until December 2020 for the third-tier Danish 2nd Division club Thisted FC. On April 1, 2021, Seyi joined the USL Championship club Phoenix Rising FC. On August 6, 2021, he moved on loan to the USL Championship side OKC Energy for the remainder of the season.
Outline of the Episode:
[00:01:44] The small world of soccer
[00:04:41] Seyi’s experience with playing in an MLS Academy
[07:32] How did Seyi come to decide which path to take
[00:13:21] The difference between playing for the academy and UCLA
[00:19:22] The tough conversation and resolution
[00:23:50] Seyi’s thoughts upon being signed as a homegrown player
[00:28:20] Seyi’s experience with an MLS club and after so
[00:36:20] The changes in Seyi’s mindset as he tried to advance his career
[00:40:07] Adjusting to the local and football culture in Denmark
[00:47:12] The move to Malta
[00:49:21] The difference between a coach and a sports director
[00:54:09] What to look forward to with an opportunity in Malta
[00:58:38] How the pandemic affected Seyi’s career
[01:00:47] Going back to the US and signing to Phoenix
[01:07:38] How Seyi handled having an injury
[01:11:00] What’s a typical off-season is like
[01:12:45] Importance of mental health care for players
And many more!
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