VSA 2019 Press Release – Coaching Ed.
As VSA begins 2019 it will do so with its largest and most qualified staff since the club’s inception. Directors and staff coaches have all participated in coaching education, whether they were earning formal licenses with US Soccer or participating in VSA’s various in-house coaching education programs. The trickle-down effect of these courses has been felt by the entire staff and has led to a season of reflection and progress.
Growth will continue as Dustin Butcher, Director of Goalkeeping, and Alex Herrera, Assistant Director of Coaching, will be traveling to Kansas City for the US Soccer B Course. Bronson Gambale will be making the same trip a week earlier to begin his US Soccer A Course. Both courses require an extensive application process. Thousands of coaches and professional soccer players from across the globe apply and less than 4% are accepted.
Executive Director Matt Lacey is currently enrolled in US Soccer’s Academy Director Course, and along with Director of Coaching Dale Parker, will be taking part in US Soccer Grassroots Instructor courses. Alex Herrera and Bronson Gambale attended the United Soccer Coaches Convention in Chicago, where they had the opportunity to share and learn with coaches from across the country. Locally, coaches have participated in both US Soccer’s C and Grassroots Courses. Directors Benjy Slator, Alex Saunders and Kelsey Surkamp have acquired their next licenses and will be pursuing their B and C licenses in 2019. Staff coaches Nick Rich, Shaka Bangura, Chad Mateer and Anes Bekric have also continued their journey on the US Soccer Coaching Pathway.
In addition to formal coaching education through Virginia Youth Soccer Association and US
Soccer, VSA provides regular in-house coaching education for all its staff coaches. Topics of VSA’s coaching education range from training methods and film analysis to tactical coaching in games. These in-house sessions not only provide a chance to grow knowledge of the game and learn new training methods, but to also build camaraderie and encourage competition amongst each other.
At the heart of all coaching education is leadership. Whether it is in the Academy Director Course or in the US Soccer Grassroots Courses, leading the player and leading the team are paramount to successful coaching. VSA has spent the last year coupling leadership with reflection to encourage our coaches to take ownership of their development. Reflecting on training sessions and game management has been both a humbling and proactive practice for the staff. The standard has been set; searching for ways to improve is the expectation for the VSA staff, and will continue into 2019.
“For 2018-19 our in-house coaching education program has taken steps to ensure our coaches spend more time self-evaluating and reflecting on their work. Our formal sessions have been very collaborative and as Directors, we have learned more about our staff regarding where they are in their own personal development as coaches.” – Dale Parker, VSA Director of Coaching
The new year will bring new opportunities for coaching education. VSA Futsal Club will be hosting its first futsal coaching education session and the VSA Goalkeeping Staff will be participating in goalkeeper-specific coaching education. As the club continues to grow so will the VSA way. New coaches will be developed, and new partnerships and programs will be provided to ensure that VSA not only has the most committed staff in the area, but also the most qualified.