How/Why did you become a youth soccer coach?
I primarily became a youth soccer coach because my son loved soccer, even when he was just a toddler. But why I became a youth soccer coach is probably less interesting than why I’ve stayed a youth soccer coach. My good friend Oliver Germond (Fresno City College Women’s Soccer Coach) and I started coaching our kids together when they were about 3 years old. We loved getting to watch them run around, seeing them learn the game, and having fun. Oliver’s passion for teaching the fun and the fundamentals of the game got me hooked. Oliver and I stopped coaching together when our kids aged out of the co-ed groups, and I began coaching with my friend James Hill, who’s coached with me for the last 6 years. Getting to do life with the families on our team, getting to watch our kids develop their skills, and seeing the kids grow in their love of soccer keeps me coming back year after year.
What do you enjoy most about coaching?
My favorite thing about coaching is watching how much the kids (and parents) on our teams have learned about soccer, using soccer and it’s lessons as tool to develop character, and teaching them to love the game. Many of the kids have gone from “just playing soccer” to “soccer being their favorite sport” – which is one of the most satisfying parts of getting to be a coach.
What do you like the least about coaching?
The thing that I like the least about coaching is the way many of the adults around the game act. Too many people have a win-at-all-costs mentality, not just in their tactics, but in the way that they treat their players, and the referees. I love the competitiveness and the passion that soccer brings out in people, but too often I’ve seen adults lose their perspective and lose sight of the reason we play.