Mikayla Dayes joined Joe Parolini and his program in early March, 2016. Mikyala’s first experience was not good, as it was at York U. track & field center. Always being one of the top players on Brams, she found herself not being able to finish the workout with Joe & his team. In fact, both Mikayla & her twin Malikae were last.
This did not deter them, and shortly there after the team embarked on a 12 day March Break tour of the USA, traveling to Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Jersey & New York, playing 5 Universities, 3 top ECNL teams and gaining a lot of experience that they were not used.
Mikayla continued to work hard & learn the tactical side of the game, that was quite foreign to her. Mikayla started to understand the benefit and value of being in top shape. The March Break trip showed her that there are many, many good players in the states. As much as skill is necessary, once you’ve mastered it, skill only becomes about 10% of the game as everyone is good at that level.
The difference maker is fitness, tactics & mental toughness. Mikayla learned that fast.
In April, May & June, Joe & his team played more Universities, big showcases, and one off invitational games. It was not long before Mikayla received over 20 solid ‘full ride” offers, along with her twin. The choices were going to be difficult. However, the hard part of fulfilling one of her dreams (to go to school with her twin) was becoming a reality, as they got over 12 offers for “full rides” for the both of them.
Mikayla & Malikae starting touring and after grueling hours of driving, touring numerous campuses, visits with coaching staffs, etc., Mikayla and Malikae decided on U. of Maryland, a very highly respected school & a coach (Ray Leone) that had just come over to Maryland from Harvard.
Near this time, and with the assistance of her Club Coach, Joe Parolini, Mikayla was invited to join the Canadian WNT u17 team in China for a tournament. An international experience and fulfilling another dream & goal of Mikayla’s. Mikyla represented Canada in all three games & starting in her third game, while scoring her first International goal for Canada.
Mikayla is now in Jordan representing Canada at the u17 World Cup in Jordan. What an experience and life changer, all in a very short span of about 7 months. From almost giving up on soccer to achieving two of her dreams….. attending a top D1 University in Maryland, along with her sister, Malikae, and at the same time representing her country on the International stage & the World Cup.
We wish Mikayla all the best.