Story of How I Came Back from Injury to Play College Soccer

Whats going on? Little dap! Its Nick Bombard, former college player, youth
technical director and coach with OSA Soccer Camps and Online Soccer Academy. Today Im sharing my Believe in it story of
how I came back from injury my senior year in high school to play college soccer. Hopefully my story can serve as a source of
inspiration for you if you ever have an injury at a crucial time in your playing career. I grew up in Collegeville near Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. My soccer journey started a small local club
made up of volunteer coaches and loving parents. My dad never played soccer, but he was my
teams coach for 13 years. I miss those years! He had passion, he had desire and he knew
how to lead. He tried his best to learn the technical and
tactical side of the game, but he certainly had the little details right of being a great
coach. He has been a huge influence on me as an athlete
and a coach. Since being a young kid Ive had that alpha
attitude of I want to improve, I want to work hard and Im going to do what it takes to reach
my goal. Knowing I wanted to play college soccer, at
around age 15, my dad decided it was best for my team and I to move on to more experienced
coaches. We joined a fantastic club called FC Premier. FCP coaches were all collegiate coaches. My first coach at FCP was Aaron Tritch. Hes now an assistant coach at St Leo for their
womens program. Being coached by college coaches and continuing
to push myself to improve, reinforced my feelings I wanted to play college soccer. Getting recruited is about getting seen. No one was gonna come see me working hard
in my backyard, I had to put myself out there. Even scoring a nice goal occasionally like
this one doesnt always matter if no college coaches see it. So I started to attend college ID Camps. I was contacting coaches asking if theyd take
a look at me. This process of trying to get recruited is
difficult because most coaches dont reply to you and its more nos then yess. Unless of course you are a youth national
team player, but that wasnt me. I was a just a hard working kid from Philly,
with a dream. I went to camps, I went to clinics, I went
to tournaments. Coming up on my Senior year things got real. I was playing well, feeling confident and
it was coming down to crunch time. College is coming up quick and I need to get
on a team. I caught a break in late fall my Senior year
and was invited to an ID Camp at Philadelphia University; which is now Jefferson University. The ID Camp took place on a cold, fall Philly
day. I had my warm up kit on, was working up a
sweat and feeling confident. Coaches were taking us through their drills
and stations. Im doing the little things right, my touch
is sharp, but this stuff doesnt really matter at an ID Camp. College coaches dont care if you have a nice
touch in warm ups, but cant make a pass in a game. No coach wants a soft player, mentally or
physically. Coaches want winners. Coaches want leaders. And coaches want to know you can play when
the pressure is on. Sessions are coming to an end and is time
to get after it. Stoked to play with a little bit of butterflies,
coach separates the squads, intermixing some of the college guys with us and against them. Scrimmage starts and Im off. Trying to rally the guys behind me I get vocal
early. Five minutes in I rise up to win a header
and when I land, I heard a POP! After failing to get up and run after the
pop, Juan, a current player for Phila U comes over and says You good? I told him I heard a pop. Juan went Trainer! Trainer Adam comes over, helps me walk over
to the sideline, Testing my knee, the srimagge continues on. Adam finally tells me you most likely tore
your ACL. Yep. Five minutes in, at the ID Camp of the top
school I wanted to go to, there I was, with a torn ACL, not able to even attempt to play. I got in the car after it all, and I thought
my college soccer dreams were over. After the ID Camp I saw a doctor. He confirmed my ACL was torn and gave me 3
choices. Have patella tendon surgery, hamstring replacement
surgery or have a cadaver placed in my knee. I chose the cadaver option and never looked
back. Knowing how severe the injury was, I feared
not getting back to the level I was at. I did all my rehab and thankfully Philadelphia
Uni still wanted me on their team! Coming back from an injury is a real process,
working harder to come back stronger than before. At Philly U we played at a high level, won
a conference championship and made it to the NCAA tournament. Not long after that I transferred to Alvernia. It was a blast playing with some really good
players at Alvernia. We won the ECACs, which is another conference
for teams with an over 500 record. At Alvernia I lead our team in overall points,
was named All Conference as well. These were individual honors, that were not
a goal of mine, but I had some great teammates that set me up with some really nice chances
and I was able to put them away! I loved college soccer and Im thankful I have
great memories playing it. Thats my Believe in it story. I hope you enjoyed it. My name is Nick Bombard and remember if you
Believe in it and back that up with hard work, anything in life is possible.