You've Coached Clinic through College at various levels. Teams that have played and won in State, Regional and National Championships. In all of that experience, is there a recurring theme or model you tried to emulate with the sides?
It's kind of funny that no matter the sport, normally, when someone is asked if "Joe" is a successful coach, Joe's won-loss record, championships and alike drives the thinking. And then if "Joe" is interviewed, he always says something like: "winning is not important", It's not about the wining", "wins take care of themselves" or something similar.
At the various levels, it has always seemed that there was a, sort of, coming together: physically, mentally, psychologically, socially and even spiritually, a TOTAL ONENESS. Honestly, although one might not believe it when listening to coaches, even at the highest levels, successful sides are the result of the players; coaches add very little. The fact of the matter might even be, that the coaches of less successful sides may be one of the reasons for their lack of success! Coaches need to know what they don't know, and actually "get it" as to what they bring to the side. It seems the successful coaches, from all sports, spend time talking about the players and the team , NOT themselves. However, over so many years, the great majority of coaches talk about themselves or "their players" or "their team!" (The players on those successful sides should and do talk about "their team!")
Equally important, every player must understand how they fit into and what they bring to the team. They also must be willing to put the team first and be willing to do whatever they possibly can for the good of the team. Each one has to want to be the "go to" player when the chips are on the line.
The above points are not solely for the success of national champions but also for the U8 Recreation Team.
With all of the choices out there, what advice do you have for a parent who's looking at soccer clubs in the area?
Families might first make sure that they, their child AND the club are ALL on the same page! Surveys declare that players say that their main reason for playing is TO PLAY, BUT readily admit that IT IS MORE FUN TO WIN A MATCH THAN LOOSE A MATCH BUT THAT THEY WOULD RATHER PLAY ON A LOOSING SIDE THAN SIT-THE-BECNH ON A WINNING SIDE. Experience shows that for parents: playing time, starting, recognition, team ranking and alike are subliminally VERY important despite their talking about "fun" and "the players' choice."
The more a coach is paid, IF PAID, or the more that a hired-trainer is used does NOT fit into the equation which club will help their child reach their full playing potential. Look at genetics and then a players' OWN-DRIVE AND DEDICATION; ADD an opportunity to play at an economical cost; ADD what off-season training does the club offer and a parent will have a start as to what to look for in a club. As often as this is explained, just as frequently, questions are fielded about what division in what league or tournament does a team play.
What are a few of your favorite soccer moments?
There are so very many favorites that a book could be written on this topic alone. It really means a lot when a former player, whom hasn't been seen for several years, calls or e-mails about some event, great or sad, that has occurred in their lives and how a life-lesson from soccer from so-many years ago came to mind and helped them through that time. The truth is always explained to them that it was me, who learned so many-more and deeper life lessons from them for which I am so grateful.
What attracted you to HFC?
When first approached, as HFC was forming, about, possibly, being involved to offer some thoughts, it was clear that the founders bought into, "Players come first" and that "Players at all levels of playing-ability will be welcomed and treated equally!" The goal was to run an economical program so the youth could experience the greatest sport in the world; and to offer the opportunities for every player to reach their maximum ability and the level that they were willing to work to achieve.