Peabody’s Greg Conrad aims for a future in soccer
A 6-foot-5-inch striker in soccer and a forward in hockey, Greg Conrad attended Governor’s Academy for three years and spent his junior and senior years at the Brooks School. In soccer, the Peabody resident was the New England Small College Athletic Conference Player of the year as a Middlebury sophomore and was a first-team All-NESCAC selection each of the past three seasons. He was also named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s All-New England Region teams all three years. He scored 27 goals during his college career.
After missing hockey season last year because of surgery to repair a torn groin, he’s back on the ice this winter to finish out his two-sport collegiate career. He’s a psychology major.
Q. What has been the highlight of your athletics career at Middlebury?
A. Beating Williams in the quarterfinals of the NESCAC soccer tournament this year when our team scored a goal with three seconds left in double overtime would be one of them. I think that was a big character moment for our team. We won on the road and were underdogs. We were about to go to penalty kicks.
Q. So which is your favorite sport, soccer or ice hockey?
A. I get that question all the time. Truthfully, it depends on the season. I look back now and I don’t know if I could have played one sport all four years. The balance has become part of who I am and being able to change sports has made me the athlete I am. Soccer is definitely my best sport and I would say I’m a more talented soccer player. But I also love the grind of hockey and the game, for sure.
Q. Do you plan to play soccer beyond college?
A. That’s my goal. I’m kind of weighing my options and talking with people I’ve made connections with through playing. I’m hoping to connect with the right person and get overseas to play. I’ve never been to Europe and my goal is to use the game to get me there. I’m very interested in Scandinavia, Iceland, Finland, Sweden, Denmark. Those are the areas I’m focusing on and hoping for the best. There are no guarantees.
Q. How do you plan to use your degree in psychology?
A. I really loved psychology and I’m interested in philosophy and sociology. I plan to go into coaching or something like business marketing or maybe run my own company. I really like the idea of creating my own organization and workplace culture and creating a team culture.
Q. What do you see yourself doing in five years?
A. I’d probably say I see myself as a coach, whether at the college level or coaching in prep school or high school. I could be teaching and coaching and being around the games. I’d definitely like to give back to sports.
Q. Have you done any coaching to this point?
A. I’ve done a lot of entrepreneurship work at Middlebury and basically got a grant at the end of last year and started a middle school hockey team. We got kids from all over the region involved with a coaching staff of current college players. They’re mentors like big brothers, and it’s called The New England Core. We got it going last year and hope to do it again this summer.
Q. What’s the best piece of advice you ever got from a coach?
A. I’d probably say trust yourself. A lot of times in a game, throughout your career, you might lose confidence in your game, or you might not be sure whether you want to speak out or say something. Trust yourself and go with your gut feeling. Don’t ever lose confidence in your own opinion or your own game.
Q. Does that come from a particular coach?
A. A big part of it is from Coach (Bill) Beaney, the former hockey coach here. I’d consider him my mentor still. He’s the wise mentor. He’s still the golf coach here.
Q. Do you have a secret talent?
A. I’m pretty good at impersonations. I love doing impersonations and different accents, it’s one of my favorite things to do. I guess there’s a little bit of theater in me. I can do a typical Bostonian. That’s one of my go-tos.