Even though our daily lives have been temporarily upended or hindered, it’s not an excuse to sit back and despair. Don’t look at this situation as a setback, but rather as an opportunity — an opportunity to improve your coaching. You will be ready to reach/teach your players by understanding and applying the “Perfect Soccer Practice Framework!”



In October of 2020, I found out that I had won the 2019 California Boys Youth Rec Coach of the Year, almost exactly a year to the day from when I had coached my final game in 2019, and what has turned out to be my final game coached to the present day.

I would like to thank our League President, Carmen Saucedo, and the rest of the Executive Board of the Clovis Crossfire Soccer League.  That award came with the nomination for D-7 Rec Coach of the Year, and I’d like to thank John Hodgson and the D7 Board for then honoring me with D-7 Rec Coach of the Year and nomination  for State Coach of the Year.  I’d finally like to thank the Cal North Board for awarding me with the 2019 California Boys Youth Rec Coach of the Year award.

Looking forward to 2021, I’m hopeful that we will emerge from the pandemic with an opportunity to return to youth sports in the summer.  Losing the opportunity to coach has made me realize how much I enjoy it, and while a part of me was secretly thinking it might be nice to take a year off, the truth is that I’ve really missed it.  I’ve realized that the boys, the parents (no, really!), the camaraderie, and the competition are all much more important to me than I would have guessed.  It is a great honor to get to lead players, model hard work and commitment, and try to build the skills our kids will need in life, through the beautiful game of soccer.

The loss and the sadness of 2020 has caused our family to “reset”, with a new focus on what is important and meaningful in life. In the middle of a season, and sometimes in the middle of a game, it’s easy to lose focus on who we are out there for, and why we are out there in the first place.  We are out there for the kids, and we are coaching to share the game we love, to grow better little humans, and maybe grow a little ourselves.  In the words of the legendary Jurgen Klopp, “football is the most important, of the least important things”.    Read more…


What are your feelings about receiving the United Soccer Coaches, “2020 Advocacy of Excellence” award?

Overwhelmed with gratitude for all the people that have contributed to my journey as a soccer coach and very thankful to be at the right place at the right time. I now understand why my mother arranged for me, as an 11-year-old, to live with my grandparents and go to school in the USA. A handful of people in my youth instilled in me a work ethic that has helped me in my journey.

 What “words of advice” do you have for:

Younger Players:

  1. Practice striking balls and play as much as you can after organized training sessions.
  2. Play for the love of the game.
  3. Do well in school.

Older Players:

  1. Share your knowledge with younger players.
  2. Support the game at all levels.
  3. Get involved in coaching or officiating.

Click here for much more…


Welcome to 2021, everyone!

With the New Year come the chances to start fresh, set those new goals, and aim for the net!
Last year we covered lots of technical ball control skills. How might you set new goals for this year?

Although there are many options, how about choosing a skill that you’ll work on for a month’s time and rotate your skills?

Shooting is a skill that requires both technique and repetition. This helps build what we often call “muscle-memory” and builds muscle strength needed to make your shots more powerful.

Here’s a video with shooting exercises that you can do on your own!

Decide how many times you will commit to practicing each week and make it happen throughout  January. It’s the repetition that will give you the time to explore your shooting abilities and make adjustments!

Happy 2021 everyone! 

Coach Louie and the SISM team 

Setting the Tone in 2021

The initial formal education, training and testing of officials may be behind them but once any match gets under way referees are being put to a test.  Players, coaches and some fans are often eager to find out how the referee plans to orchestrate their match.  The referee meanwhile is preparing for what the players may be geared up to do.

More prevalent especially in competitive matches, players will test the referee to see what his or her limits will be.  From the first whistle of the match players will push the envelope to see how the referee will act and react in certain situations.

The first throw-in of the game, for example, should let the players know how far from the spot where the ball left the field, the referee will allow throw-ins to be taken.  If the official chooses to comply with the Laws of The Game and decides that the player was exceeding his/her limits, stopping the throw and a short explanation may be an option.   That decision will send the message to everyone and set the tone for the rest of the match.  Most players will heed the advice but in the event a player does not, then there should be no surprise when the referee renders a decision.

Within the first few minutes of play it is important that the referee’s decisions let the players realize what will or will not be allowed.   Players need to quickly become aware of what the parameters are in order to have a safe and enjoyable game.  The parameters should partly be guided by the Laws of The Game, how intense and important this game is and if it is a rivalry or just a friendly contest.  When a player does something that the referee does not approve of, let him/her know right away.  If one sees the need to stop the match to make a public statement to everyone, let the player know what was called.  When dealing with fouls it is important to stop the serious or potentially serious ones early in the match.  The team that was fouled is concerned about getting injured and if the referee does not intervene appropriately at that moment there may be retaliation in the future.

Reliance on the yellow and red card should be reasonable and appropriate.  The Laws of the Game provide a list of instances when a card should be shown.  Prior to sanctioning a player, the referee must determine if the action exceeded the limits of the Laws.  Would a yellow card or a warning be enough to change the inappropriate behavior and allow the match to resume in a safe and fair fashion?  If a warning does not alter the behavior then a caution or send off may be the only option.

To pave the road for a successful 2021, the referees will set the tone of the matches as early as possible.  Knowing the parameters of the match will allow players to adjust to the referee’s decisions.  Allowing obvious breaches of the Laws to continue until enforcing the Laws becomes a necessity due to injuries or loss of control will, for the remainder of the contest, negatively impact the interactions between players, coaches, fans and the referee.


To All in District 7,

It is going to be 2021 when you get this message; what will 2021 bring? Hope is the word I would like to embrace.

For all of us, 2020 has been an extremely frustrating year, but almost all have come through this with resolve and commitments to family and friends. We have learned ways to communicate with each other, looked after neighbors and friends. Yes, it has not been easy; some families have dealt with tragedy, some have struggled for food and work, but we will get through this.

History has a way of turning the bad into good; in our soccer world, we have had a break. It’s now time to plan. Let’s try and reach out to many more children and bring them to the game in 2021. The economic situation could be stressful for many families; let us keep the affordability in check so more children than ever can play soccer.

I wish you all the best for the New Year, safety has to come first, but when we get to play again, it will be time to celebrate.


Hey my friends, I just wanted to wish all of you and yours a Happy New Year!

I am holding steadfast that we will be out of this craziness here in the near future. I know that we have had losses within our membership that hurts all of us, but I feel strongly that this will only make us stronger. So I would love to hear from anyone that wishes to discuss their loss. I am not a psychologist, but God gave me two ears and an ability to be attentive, so feel free to reach out to me if you would like to chat!!!

I would also love to have our membership give me some ideas for our future, like what’s going on in your community when we get a green light to return to see our kids out there on the pitch enjoying the world’s game… I visited one of our leagues’ sites, where they worked with their School District on the fields to prepare them by floating the fields and reseeding them. They looked beautiful and ready for the kids when the time permits them to take the field.

Another group is looking at reaching out for scholarship funding to allow them to scholarship the kids and help them with covering the cost for facility use.

I am here to help with any ideas like these few that I have mentioned, so let’s get ready because it’s not going to be much longer before we can get back to “Status Quo,” With A New Look, I feel strongly that we are in better shape for our future.

Thanks for your help, and I look forward to hearing from you!!!

Stay safe and Stay positive…….

Roads to Learning the Game

Between a poor World Cup & the infamous virus we are given chances to take stock & learn from our mistakes & errors.  To just revamp many of the past experiences is asking to repeat the errors of the past.  At every level we need clubs, schools & associations to rethink its role & purpose.

This is especially so at ‘Grassroots Levels” as everything feeds from there.  In truth we have done an average to poor job of educating our youngsters to learn the game.  The game has moved in, but we are still coaching & playing as though it is 1990.  The world has moved on, but we are stuck in a bygone age.  It’s time to get our learning caps on again.

The drop-out rate of teenagers is too high and must be a concern.  Too many players want out by their mid-teens and prefer a skateboard to a soccer ball.  That should tell us that we need to reassess how we offer they game to youngsters & get them more involved in their team & club.  They need to be more involved in running their own team & club.  Children are great learners if given the opportunity.  Give them the “Skin of the Game.”  Learning to help organize their team & have input into running the team.  At present adults dominate the team environment, and so youngsters often accept all gifts readily and have less connection with the team they play on.  So with no to little connection with their team means less loyalty.  Sadly many teenagers want out after 3 or 4 years of baby-sitting and want out & freedom.

 Parents can definitely help with educational guidance but let youngsters learn to control their team.  All over the planet, it’s the norm whereby youngsters run their own teams.  Such teams and players tend to stay the course for the longer term & it creates talent.  If you look at our soccer landscape, we have no leaders.  To become a ‘Real Player’ they have to go to Europe & this tells you how poor our ‘Roots’ are.  We should have the best soccer educational system going but between US Soccer, State Associations, Leagues & Local Clubs we have lost our way.  Think of it, we have had soccer a key sport for over 50 years & yet to produce a world class player.  We need to sit down & reassess our game seriously.  To stay on the same road means more drop-outs & talent waste.

The virus can be a blessing as it’s offering us time to reassess life as well as our soccer world future.  Like our non-active political leadership is seems to have seeped down to our soccer roots & hopefully, we are smarter than that!

We Have a Dream


“The Outcome of Our Children’s Health is Infinitely More Important…       

Then the Outcome of any Game/Practice We Will Need to Cancel!” Koach Karl