Rising to the Top: Brandon Hellem
Brandon Hellem is a true Rush success story. After starting out with Rush as a U13 player on our Nemesis (A1 Third Level Team), he is now a U15 player on our Nike team. Please see below for a few questions with Brandon on his development as a player and his journey to the top team.
Was it always your goal to be pushed up to higher lever teams or did you just enjoy playing?
I have always enjoyed playing soccer and it is my goal to get to the highest level I can.
What do you think are the biggest game differences from both Nemesis to Swoosh and then Swoosh to Nike?
When I played on Nemesis, it was mainly just playing and having a good time. When I moved up to Swoosh, it had a more competitive feel to it. The speed of play was quicker and the other players had a drive to win. So far this season on the Nike team I have really enjoyed how the game has a more complex take to it. Passing and game speed both increased, what a great experience so far.
How have you changed as a player over the last 2 years?
I have stepped up my game more and adapt to the situation when needed. I feel that I make the smart decisions when they are needed. My comfort level using both feet has increased, but I still prefer my right foot.
What did you do personally to improve your game?
On the off days of practice i would go out and run up my street and around the block to build up my stamina. That was very helpful for game play. I also gave 100% at practice and did not take it easy. I tried to use both feet as much as i could to benefit me. Getting touches on the ball whether it's juggling or just dribbling increased my control with the ball.
What advice would you give to a player who aspires to be moved from A1 or Swoosh to a higher ranked team?
Any players that want to move up should always give it there all in whatever they are doing, you still want to have fun playing, but take it serious. You should keep motivated and don't lose hope that you won't get moved up. getting more practice time is also very important. Practice with the higher level teams allows you the opportunity to play at a different skill level. Coaches are looking for players who are involved and want to improve.
How has Rush Pkes Peak helped you along the way?
Rush has afforded me the opportunity to show my potential. The coaches have taught me a lot along the way. The players on my teams have made it an enjoyable experience as well as the DOC coaches. I was never denied an opportunity to practice with the upper level teams. The coaches were always supporting me during good and bad situations.
Head Coach Dan Highstead on Brandon: "Brandon has always worked hard and gives his all whether it be at practice or a game. Has has the self motivation and work ethic t get better at any part of his game that needs improving. He is a very quick learner and makes adjustments quickly. He is very coachable and someone I can rely on."
Director of Coaching Brian Lux on Brandon: "Brandon works his tail off every in training and every game. It is no surprise he has found this level of success with his hard work and commitment to training and getting better."