Sharks in the Pros: Catching Up with Former NSU Men’s Soccer Player OT Bah

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. –  In the midst of the unprecedented pandemic, caught up with former Nova Southeastern men’s soccer player OT Bah on Monday, as the current pro was kind enough to take a moment to discuss his first season at the next level, how’s he’s handled the Coronavirus, his time at NSU and more.  
What is the name of the club you are with?

“Miami FC.”                                                        ​​​​​​​                                                                ​​​​​​​                    ​​​​​​​                                ​​​​​​​        ​​​​​​​            ​​​​​​​                ​​​​​​​

What league/level does the club compete in?

“The United Soccer League (USL) Championship, Second Division.”

Describe, personally, how you think your first season went.

“My first season at Miami FC was good. I learned a lot and grew as a professional player.”

 How successful was the team this past season?

“The team was very successful during the 2019 season. We won three titles – the South Region, Conference, and National Championship during the 2019 season.”

 What is your favorite part about playing professionally?

“My favorite part about playing professionally is just doing what I love, which is playing soccer. Most importantly, doing it at a higher level with good competition.”

What has been the toughest thing to adjust to as a professional player?

“Being a professional player comes with a lot of responsibilities. Everything must be done a certain way to benefit the team. It is more of a job rather than just for fun. Every job has its own stress.”

How would you describe the jump of competing at the collegiate level as compared to the pro level?

“The first few weeks for me was a bit difficult. When you are playing with guys, whether older or younger, who have played at the professional level for a while, the competition is a lot tougher. It takes time to adjust and compete with them.”

Was there any sort of eye-popping moment where you said to yourself, “Wow, this definitely isn’t college anymore?”

“The speed of play on a professional level is a lot faster. Players think a lot faster and everyone knows exactly what they are doing. Soccer IQ is higher, as players on a pro level train to think and play faster and smarter.”

What’s been your reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic?

“The Covid-19 pandemic was a shock to me. I did not see it coming. At first, when it was in China, I did not take it seriously. However, I have been following the rules and putting in place the necessary measures to stay safe, healthy and active.”

Are you still in the South Florida area during this time?

“Yes, I am.”

What has the club put in place to keep everyone on the same page/in form during this time?

“As a club, we have a workout and technical plan that we have been following during this time. We have a team workout session every Monday, Wednesday and Friday via Zoom. We have technical sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays.”

What have you personally been able to do in terms of training?

“As I mentioned previously, I work out with the team in the morning. I also do my personal training in the afternoon in the backyard of my apartment, or go for a run at a golf course nearby.”

How did your time at NSU prepare you to play professionally?

“The competition at NSU was good. Having had two coaches that also played on the professional level, and had lots of experience in coaching helped. Although it was collegiate soccer, the coaches made sure that some level of professionalism was implemented.”

How much did you follow the NSU team this past season? 

“I went to several of their home games this past season. I tried to go to as many home game as possible.”

What do you miss most about being a part of the NSU team?

“NSU will always be a part of me. I had so many great experiences both on and off the field. I miss just being part of the team. Having to chat with the coaches, my teammates, going on trips, being together, etc. I miss the campus, the gym, the UC, all of it.”

What piece of advice would you give a collegiate player hoping to make it to the next level?

“Work hard, be humble, and enjoy the process.”
To stay up-to-date with the Sharks this offseason, follow them on both Instagram and Twitter @NSU_MSoccer.

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