As we are approaching the opening of the spring season of soccer here in the Miami Valley, many organizations have already begun to market their camps. There are residential and non-residential camps, most of which last anywhere from a few days to a full week. Prices range from $80 to $500 depending on your choice. This can be huge time and financial commitment. In today’s economy, that can really be a challenge. Breaking out of these traditional venues for training is Jared Montz, a former professional soccer player and founder of America’s first online soccer academy.
Jared played professionally for Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire, and the Vancouver Whitecaps and Puerto Rico Islanders of United Soccer Leagues. A US Open Cup winner, undefeated collegiate National Champion, host of MontzTV and the Jared Montz Soccer Podcast, blogger, motivational speaker, coach, college recruiting consultant and an entrepreneur; Jared Montz has a vision of helping young players define their goals for soccer and “Believe in it” enough to realize those goals through hard work and dedication.
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Jared about his online academy, playing career and vision for Jared Montz Soccer.
Soccer Examiner: Tell me a little bit about your playing background.
I grew up in Mandeville, Louisiana but played club soccer for Jackson Futbol Club in Jackson, Mississippi. I played college soccer at LynnUniversity in Boca Raton, Florida. It was a DII school but we were very good and the team was full of older foreign players. It was a great experience to play there. Professionally I played for the Chicago Fire, Vancouver Whitecaps and the Puerto Rico Islanders.
Soccer Examiner: What are some of your most memorable moments from your playing career? What made them special?
Winning the National Championship with my college team was one of the tops. To win with a team of guys that you are so close with is a special feeling. The day I made my professional debut was a memorable one and also getting the chance to play against A.C. Milan and Club America. I have a few more but those are a few of the top moments of my career.
Soccer Examiner: Tell me about your organization.
Jared: My organization is comprised of two separate LLC's; Jared Montz Soccer, LLC and Jared Montz Pro Soccer Camps, LLC. We coach players all over the United States and Canada.
Soccer Examiner: How did you come up with the idea for an online soccer academy?
: I came up with the idea because of two reasons. The first was in the summer of 2008 I was running my summer soccer camps and everyone loved coming to my camp but not everyone could always make it due to scheduling. Creating an online platform made it available for everyone anytime and timing could never be an excuse because the Online Soccer Academy is done on your own time.
The second reason is I felt like no one was fixing the issue that American soccer players usually only train twice a week with their club team and if they want to make it to the next level they need to train on their own; however, most players don't know what to do on their own. The Online Soccer Academy is planning to fix that issue.
Soccer Examiner: Why do you believe an online academy can be successful?
I believe my Online Soccer Academy can be successful because it offers a great amount of soccer knowledge and motivation for a very affordable price. Lots of players say they want to make it to the next level but don't really know what that takes or how to do it. The Online Soccer Academy can show them the way because I teach the players what I know now that I wish I could have known at their age.
Soccer Examiner: An annual subscription for your online academy is $100. How can I be confident I’ll be satisfied?
Jared: A user can first try out the Online Soccer Academy with our 30 day free trial if they have any doubts. After that they should pay to become a yearly member if they are a player committed to improving their game and are willing to work hard on their own, not just at practice. The Online Soccer Academy will help them; it is just a matter of if they use it properly.
Soccer Examiner: From one of the videos on your website, it sounds like you faced a lot of challenges and skepticism throughout your career. What was that like and how did you overcome it?
It was tough to face challenges and skepticism but ultimately those hard times and obstacles have shaped me into the man I am today. I learned very early that when one door closes, two doors open. The key is to "Believe in it" and back that up with hard work. I just knew it in my heart that I could do anything I put my mind too I just had to keep pushing myself. I overcame these obstacles by never giving up, always striving to improve and not letting anyone tell me I couldn't reach my dreams.
Soccer Examiner: You also have a web service for college bound players. How does that work? What is the cost?
Yes, this is something new we just started and will be promoting soon. We now build Personal College Recruiting Websites for high school players trying to play college soccer. You can check out our example site at http://www.davidcollege.com
. That is what a player's website would look like except it would be personalized for that player, example being yourname.com. We have already started building a few for players and the process is working great!
With the website a players gets personalized training on how to you use the website, hosting, a personal domain name, analytics, Online Soccer Academy membership, a JMS College Recruiting Handbook, personal consulting from me to develop their recruiting plan, and they also get a chance to win a $1,000 college scholarship. The cost is $585.
Soccer Examiner: What is your vision for the academy and Jared Montz Soccer?
Jared: My vision is to teach young people if they "Believe in it" and back that up with hard work anything in life is possible. I have a few different platforms to motivate and educate players on how to do that. I want Jared Montz Soccer to become a company players and parents can trust, receive expert advice, inspiration, consulting and coaching.
Soccer Examiner: What do you want parents to know about your services?
Jared: Any purchase you make for your child in a Jared Montz Soccer product is an investment. Whether you are purchasing membership in the Online Soccer Academy or buying a Personal College Recruiting Website it is an investment in your child. Both products are done on player's own time so you, the parent, don't have to drive them anywhere. I believe that if because of me and what I do your child is confident, inspired to work hard and learning what to do on and off the soccer field to become a success in soccer and in life then it is well worth your hard earned money.
Soccer Examiner: What's next for Jared Montz Soccer?
I have a few ideas up my sleeves but I wouldn't be a good businessman if I gave them all away just yet. I can say I plan on ramping up my social media efforts and this year is a big marketing year for us so expect a lot of really cool motivational style commercials and other new marketing ideas to come out. We are also planning a few special events too. There will be some big things happening this year, we are calling 2010 the Playmaker year, so you will have to keep checking in at http://www.jmsoccer10.com
to see what is next!