WORDS FROM A WINNER

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.

How/Why did you become a soccer coach?
My college soccer coach, Ben Norton, asked me to become his assistant while I was doing my student teaching
at Fresno Pacific College. It was one year after I stopped playing for the Los Angeles Aztecs Reserves in
the Greater LA League.

What do you enjoy the most about coaching?
1. As a teacher by vocation, I genuinely enjoy seeing the progress that young players make when
introducing new techniques, concepts, ideas, and you see the light go on when they get it.
2. I am patient when it comes to process and thoroughly appreciate the time young players put into
developing their knowledge of the game.
3. To see each one use their personalities to how they interpret the game.

What do you like the least about coaching?
1. Having to go to sleep and thinking about the upcoming game.
2. Having to hear that a child is quitting soccer.
3. Some administrative minutia gets in the way of coaching, at times.

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.

Experienced Coaches:
1. Continue to improve the level of player development in our Regions.
2. Be willing to share your knowledge gratis to beginning coaches.

Beginning Coaches:
1. Always have kids on the ball in all sessions.
2. Organize small-sided games for most of your training session

Opposing Coaches:
1. I have several colleagues that are my best friends in coaching. Always be willing to learn from them.
2. Words that I like to share with them:
a. “Let’s get together the evening before our match.”
b. “Let’s get together during the offseason.”
3. Your opponent is your rival, not your enemy.

Parents:
1. Sit and enjoy watching your child practice/play.
2. Recognize other kids’ contributions to the team and let them know, even the weakest ones.

Referees:
1. We need you. You are a valuable piece of the whole.
2. Keep learning how to evaluate match situations.
3. Watch matches to analyze what you would call in particular cases.
4. Always be willing to learn.
5. Recruit younger referees

If you had a magic wand, what significant change(s) would you make in youth soccer?
1. I would create a scouting system for players who live in remote areas to be seen
by individuals who know the game and then recommended to join programs that would assist in their development.
2. Create a system of bussing kids to training facilities.
3. Build a Futsal/street soccer court in every elementary and middle school in District-7 and this country.

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