I played professional soccer for 16 years in Scotland. As a player I scored over 500 goals during my career. I was called up to play for my country on three separate occasions. Another highlight of my career was being named player of the year for three different clubs, as well as finishing top goal scorer. Fortunate to have played with wonderful teams and players who made my job as a forward easier, by creating an abundance of chances for me. I realized that without my teammates I would not have been as successful.
Through dedication, education and passion for the sport of soccer, I have found my calling. While playing professional soccer I became interested in coaching soccer and fitness/personal training. For the past 13 years this has been my focus. I am personable, knowledgeable and energetic. furthering myself through education, licensing and researching allows me to provide players with training sessions that challenge them. Due to my lifelong interest in fitness and health, players are inspired to attend my fitness, fast footwork, and finishing camps. Given the opportunity I would like to expand on my knowledge, skills and experiences.
Over the last 18 years of coaching I have coached players from the ages of 5 who were beginning a new chapter in their lives who dream of the possibility of becoming the next Lionel Messi or Abby Womback. During those early days of becoming a coach I realized I had the ability when coaching young players to make practices fun yet challenging for them. Teaching them ball skills or the simplest task of being able to run and change direction at speed without falling over.
As I became more confident as a coach, as well as gaining more experience
coaching became more challenging. Not only does a coach teach technical abilities, he or she needs to have the confidence to coach a player the tactical side of soccer, I always had a way of either explaining or demonstrating to the player or players how to play in a certain position or what formation we as a team were playing that particular season.
When I became a club coach I was working with some elite players who were very accomplished as a soccer player. The challenge with this is sometimes dealing with (EGOS) players easily get carried away with themselves thinking they are better than they really are. WhenI worked with such players I enjoyed making practices challenging for them where they were tested fully. I would also take them to tournaments where they would play against other teams of their age, however these teams were much stronger, faster, technically and tactically better than them. I didn't do this to punish or embarrass them, it was to show them they had a lot of work ahead of them, they too could become even more accomplished not only as a player but most importantly as a team. It is very important to teach players how to deal with the highs as well as the disappointments, this is not just a lesson in sports it is in life its self.
I have become a very confident as well as an accomplished coach over the last 18 years. I have won State cup Tournaments at different age levels. The accomplishment that means more to me than anything is I can coach a player of any age or ability and make it enjoyable, challenging, educational, and most importantly they can have fun at the same time. If they don't enjoy what they are doing they may not come back.
As a Professional Soccer Coach for CRSA, I work closely with teams from the ages of U11 through U18. It is my responsibility tocommunicate with my team managers who have been assigned to my respective teams during either the spring or fall season. Annually, attending tryouts and collaborating with coaches after try-outs to make player and team selection.
My responsibilities were to work on a daily basis with the coaches assigned to a team or teams to help with the structure of teaching technical or tactical sessions. Reporting to the DOC as well as the Board of Directors on the progress of each of the coaches and their respective teams was also a responsibility in this position. Scheduling team practices during the off season was another duty. In addition, I had my own teams I was coaching in the spring and fall seasons.
Each coach was given certain venues which they would coach mostly in the evenings. The coaching curriculum consisted of teaching the players the importance of having good technical abilities. Our main aim was to totally focus on dribbling, moves to beat an opponent, as well as finishing on goal.
One day a week the coaches would attend Rangers Football clubs training facility. This would give us the opportunity to watch and observe the Professionals training as well as meet with the players,
As Technical Director at Heartland Soccer Club it was my responsibility to:
During my time at Heartland I had a very good relationship with the Board, I understood that they were volunteering their time and effort to make the club a success.
As Director of Soccer for Dixon Park District, a recreational program, coach education was the primary focus. This rec program had almost 800 players with most of the coaches being parents. Coaching clinics explaining and educating coaches on the rules of 3v3 all the way to 11v11 was my responsibility.
The challenge with this position was convincing parents why I was changing the formation that they were accustomed to playing (9v9 or 11v11).Through time and education I was able to convince coaches and parents. I attribute this to my ability to build an understanding through good communication and patience.This increased the number of teams, therefore requiring more volunteer coaches. Which I was able to successfully accomplish by building a rapport with families.
Additional responsibilities included working on a daily basis with all of the schools in the community promoting the sport, reporting to the CEO daily with any issues or concerns, and each summer I would organize soccer camps for players to attend.
Attaining my Health Fitness Leadership & Nutrition degree has given me the background knowledge to educate players on the importance of eating healthy. The courses required to receive my degree trained me on how to assess players with injuries as well as giving me the tools on how to treat those injuries. This has been an asset to me through the years while working with athletes at every fitness and age level.
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