GOOOOAAAAALLLL! STS Soccer Coaching Certification Seminar Scores Big Again!

Congratulations to all the service members, Veterans, milspouses, and Gold Star families who certified as Soccer Soldier Coach in June 2024.  There were over 150 attendees from all over the world.  One dedicated participant logged in every day from Quatar! However, it is worth getting on the computer at 4 AM to learn from the stellar line up of guest soccer coaches who contributed to the seminar. STS Soccer Director, Dr. Ben Freakley, was instrumental in creating the curriculum and establishing the lineup. His experience in sports psychology and professional sports provided a high level of mastery from a simple approach.

We opened the 12-hr. certification seminar with an interactive discussion with former U.S. Men’s National Team Captain, Carlos Bocanegra. Currently Carlos serves a Vice President of the Atlanta United.  He discussed how military service can be impactful in soccer coaching, and then fielded questions from the audience.

As usual, STS Founder and Executive Director, Harrison Bernstein, covered the essentials of high human skills for coaching success. “It is always amazing to see how seamless the synergies between the content of the guest coaches compliments the core high human skills of STS,” says Bernstein.

Marcie Schwartz, U.S. Club Soccer Education and Development Specialist taught all about Systems of Play which highlighted many aspects of long-term athletic development. Then later in the week, we heard from Interim Head Soccer Coach of Atlanta United MLS, Rob Valentino.  He discussed coaching philosophy and helped answer the concerns of all the Soldier Coaches.  Following Coach Valentino, Troy Lesesne Head Coach of DC United MLS discussed principle of defense and attack. It is rare to have direct access to two MLS Head Coaches in a two-hour time frame.

We could not forget about important role of goal tending.  Phil Boerger, Goalkeeper Coach of the Columbus Crew 2, gave us a masterclass in developing goal keepers.

The last evening ended with a bang. Karlie Paschall-Young, Head of Developmental Performance for Atlanta United, went into great detail about the physical considerations in soccer. Her easily digestible and practical methods for optimizing soccer performance was a fan favorite. Ian Barker, a 12-yr. soccer coach at Macalester College and current Coach Educator Developer for U.S. Soccer Federation, taught us the ins-and-outs of practice design.

The seminar was a huge success. It was our biggest and best soccer coaching seminar to date thanks to our generous sponsor PWC through their Reimagine Grant. PWC recognizes the transformative role coaches have in our communities.  PWC also recognizes that coaching in the community provides tremendous purpose and fulfillment for our Veterans who were born to lead.