We met up with our Class of 2021 Sport & Study graduate Karl, to hear how he managed his intense football training schedule alongside the rigorous IB Diploma programme.
Would you like to introduce yourself, your sport and the club you played for during your IB Diploma studies?
I played in the FC Lausanne-Sport under-18 team throughout my DP2 year in Haut-Lac. I previously played for the under-17 and under-16 teams in Lausanne, and prior to that I was part of Team Riviera for 3 years (a team comprised of the best players born in the same year as me in the Riviera region). I would describe myself as a versatile player, as I played both left-back and right-wing during my time at Lausanne.
You received a D1 Scholarship offer to play football in the US at Manhattan College. What a fantastic achievement, ! What are you most looking forward to about this transition?
I am looking forward to the whole experience – moving to a big city, playing football at near professional level and trying something new. I am super excited to start playing and proving myself over there in hopes of making it far in the US.
In addition to playing sport at an elite level, you also managed to maintain excellent academic performance. As your Sport Science teacher, I know you are a very intelligent and hardworking student, but what other aspects do you think helped you balance your studies and sport effectively? What tips would you give others that are hoping to achieve similar goals to yourself?
Having constant contact with teachers and coaches is always useful, as if you have any doubts about missing a deadline or missing training, the teachers will always be able to make exceptions if you are too busy to complete your work. I was often given extensions so as to be able to complete my tasks to the best of my ability. Coaches are generally also available to talk to if you have any doubts about the balance between school and sports.
I would encourage younger students to maintain organization first of all, as I believe organization is the key to thriving in multiple areas. This means that you have to organize when you will complete their schoolwork and co-ordinate that with your training schedule as well as any social events you may want to attend. Otherwise, you just have to take risks and try your best to attain your goals.
I have heard you are also a very talented skier. It must have been difficult to decide which sport to focus on. Could you explain a little more about why you decided to pursue football as your main sport instead of skiing?
I decided to pursue one sport out of the two at the age of 12, when I joined the under-12 Team Riviera team. I did this as I’d realized I didn’t have time to train for skiing and football and complete all my schoolwork to the best of my abilities.
It was an extremely difficult decision to make as I thoroughly enjoyed skiing, but I saw myself having more potential in football and enjoyed it more than skiing so I decided to stick with that rather than have to balance both sports.
As a player, do you have any role models or coaches that you look up to? What is it about these people that inspires you?
I have always looked up to my dad, as he was a professional alpine skier and has given me plenty of valid guidance and advice to help me make the correct decisions and balance my academic and athletic pursuits. I look up to my dad a lot, as he was in a similar position as me and has experienced similar things, so he is always there to help me whenever I need it.
What has been your most memorable and proudest achievement in football so far?
I think making it into the under-16 Lausanne team would be my proudest achievement as very few from the Riviera region end up making the team. It felt like all my hard work felt had paid off.
Aside from becoming a full-time professional athlete, what other educational and/or professional aspirations do you have?
For now, I would like to pursue my studies with no specific goals for the future. I would just like to obtain my degrees in the US, and then see at where I am in terms of football before making any further decisions.
Thank you for your time Karl. We look forward to keeping track of your progress in the future!
Sport & Study Coordinator