Page 1


March 2013 · No. 01

Ready to Launch PDA Program

31 College signings so far in 2013 big n i W

o n i s Ca ght ni

e sid n i ails Det

Motivating the Passion Within Encouraging self-challenges

Alumni Feedback from recent graduates

From Youth To Pro and Back

Simon Davey reflects on his experiences

Message from Technical Director · Academy · Staff News · Player ID Chelsea FC News · Photo Gallery · Success Stories

The road to success is always under construction


March 2013 路 SSA

Letter from the Board of Directors

Dear Members,


n behalf of the Executive Director and the Board of Directors, we would like to welcome you to the inaugural publication of our new club magazine, SSA MAG. The SSA MAG will provide exciting news about our club, and interesting articles about players, teams and coaches.

It has been an exciting first year as our membership has continued to grow. An increase of more than 500 new recreational players this spring season brings our total for this program to over 3500. And with the growth of our academy and select programs, and adding our franchise partners in Georgia, Tennessee and Arkansas, Southern Soccer Academy has now grown to include nearly 9000 players across the Southeast! Inside you will find an article on our newest division in Roswell, as we expand our reach across metro-Atlanta. As you know, Southern Soccer Academy was formed to provide the highest quality recreation, academy and select level play in our region. In keeping with our commitment to offer developmental opportunities for all players, programs such as the U8 Player Development Academy (PDA), the Academy Center of Excellence (ACoE), and the summer Super-Y League are offered to more players to meet their needs for more competition. Becoming a “Football Partner” with Chelsea FC is an exciting achievement and an honor provided to only a few US clubs. This relationship will not only bring additional opportunities for players at all levels, but is founded on the belief that promoting respect for others, healthy living, and sportsmanship through the game of soccer will build better

communities for all. With the launch of the SSA MAG, we are also pleased to announce a new organizational structure. With the merger of 5 clubs in to the SSA, not only did we become one of the largest clubs in Georgia based on our player numbers, but we also became a club with one of the largest coaching staffs. In observing our new club over the past year and speaking to players, parents and our staff, the Board recognized that the talent and skills of our staff were not being used to their fullest extent. To better serve our members, and to take advantage of his 15 years of coaching and training experience, Steve Gummer has moved to a new position as SSA Technical Director. Steve will be responsible for the delivery our curriculum to players, coaches and our franchise partners. He will support the college recruitment efforts, and most importantly, work in all divisions to help train and develop players to their potential. Simon Davey has been moved into a new role as the Director of Coaching, and will be responsible for managing the coaching staff, the allocation of coaches to teams, and supporting the day-to-day operation of the club. He will also work with our Directors to oversee all soccer programs. We hope that you enjoy the new SSA MAG, and appreciate your continued support as the Southern Soccer Academy strives to create the most rewarding youth soccer experience for you and your family!

SSA · March 2013


Content 20 From Youth to Pro and Back Simon Davey reflects on his playing experiences as a youth into the professional leagues, and then his journey back to the youth leagues as a director for Southern Soccer Academy.

Regulars 6 Gallery SSA photo gallery




Motivating the Passion Within

Think like the Coach

Sam Clark provides suggestions on how to bring out the best in youth players

Helping you as a parent ‘think like the coach’ and also some areas to help your son or daughter to realize how they can improve within their team.

52 Find a way to win Helping you as a parent ‘think like the coach’ and also some areas to help your son or daughter to realize how they can improve within their team.

SOUTHERN SOCCER ACADEMY No. 1 · March 2013 · Year 1


March 2013 · SSA

Recent News Club events, tournamnet accomplishment shoutouts, staff updates and location specifc news.


Technical Director Message from Technical Director.


Program Specific PDA program launches in multiple divisions.


Making a Statement Tyler Edwards and Andrew Carlton standing out.


Team Spotlight 97 Elite Girls.


46 Succeed with Hard Work ‘92 Alumni Jack McInerney on developing at SSA as a youth player and progressing to the MLS stage with Philadelphia Union.

38 Player Identification Southern Soccer Academy players getting recognized in ODP, Super Y ODP, and ASL All Team Events

Welcome The new Southern Soccer Academy magazine designed to spotlight on player accomplishments and the latest club news.


elcome! You are an important member of the nearly 9,000 youth soccer players of Southern Soccer Academy playing in Arkansas, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Regardless of where you live, we hope all of our members remain informed and tuned into the latest news and happenings within SSA and the game of soccer. We hope to continue with semi-annual volumes of the SSA Magazine, as well as a special volume coming early summer on SSA’s Year in Review.

Enjoy this issue!

J. William Rucker Jr. Bill Rucker Executive Director



Myles Englis

Stephen Bivens

Freshmen experience at Creighton

Senior experience at Mars Hill.

SSA · March 2013


Year in


A look back at Souther Soccer Academy’s first year.

Elite 97 Girls Region 3 Premier League champions

ICP U15 girls inter club practice.


March 2013 · SSA

2013 Pictures


rn t

Disney Jr Cup SSA younger teams taking on competition at Disney Jr.

Southside Girls Giving Coach Tim a run for his money

SSA 路 March 2013


Half Time Talk U15 Elite Boys.

Wrestling Match U17 boys tackle coach bill

Two in One Two SSA U13 girls teams in the final together.


March 2013 路 SSA

Confidence Academy Girls showing Southern Soccer Academy fun and confidence.

Academy Girls SSA Academy girls combined session.

Great Hair U13 Boys showing style and confidence SSA 路 March 2013


The Emirates Coach Simon in the U.K. for the FA Cup Draw & Chelsea meeting.

Simon & FA Cup Draw

Coach Simon pulled the Away side of the Draw

ICP Boys academy inner club practice.


March 2013 路 SSA

Disney Jr Celebration U12 ACoE girls enjoying Disney Jr Cup and their Championship.

On Parade SSA South U-9 boys on parade in Newnan.

Big Hands U-12 Mickey Mouse size hands SSA 路 March 2013


Super Y League Southern Soccer Academy’s Super Y program ranked by USL as the #1 Super Y program for the region and #6 nationally.

Recent News

Red Diamond Vulcan Champions

St. Patrick’s Day Cup Champions

St. Patrick’s Day Cup Champions

U-13 Girls Congraulations to the U-13 Elite Girls, Champions of their division at the Red Diamond Vulcan Cup.

U-11 girls Congratulations to U-11 North Girls, Champions of their division at South Carolina United’s St. Patrick’s Day Cup.

U-9 Boys Congratulations to the U-9 Central Boys, Champions of their division at the South Carolina St. Patrick’s Day Cup.

Red Diamond Vulcan Champions

Red Diamond VulcanFinalist

Red Diamond Vulcan Champions

U-14 BOYs Congraulations to the U-14 Elite Boyss, Champions of their division at the Red Diamond Vulcan Cup.

U-14 girls Congratulations to U-14 West Girls, Finalist in their division at the Red Diamond Vulcan Cup.

U-11 & U14 Congratulations to Coach Josh’s U11 and U14 Girls, Champions of their divisions at the Red Diamond Vulcan Cup.

Jack McInerney Fans voted Jack McInerney, SSA Alumni, to the MLS Week 3 Top 3 Performers awards.


March 2013 · SSA

SSA Roswell Location

New Location

170 Cox Road Roswell, Georgia.

SSA has agreed a partnership with Wall to Wall Sports Center (W2W) to offer a competitive youth soccer club at the W2W sports facility in Roswell.


SA Roswell will serve as a satellite venue for SSA and will offer academy level teams for boys and girls in the U9, U10, U11 and U12 age divisions as well as older age group teams on demand. Elite level players will have the opportunity to progress into regional and national level teams throughout the SSA Club network which includes nearly 9000 players playing out of nine locations across four states. SSA Roswell will be the tenth SSA club location joining Carrollton, Cobb, Coweta, Douglasville, Kennesaw, Little Rock, Nashville, Paulding and Savannah.

SSA 路 March 2013


Casino Night Marietta Hilton and Conference Center will host this year’s event on May 4th from 6:30PM - 10:30PM

Staff News

Kelham O’Hanlon New Please join us in welcoming Kelham to SSA. After a playing career that included Middlesbrough, Rotherham United, Carlisle United, Preston North End and the Irish National team, Simon became David Moyes assistant at Preston. When Moyes departed for Everton, Kelham became manager..

Coach Estep: Climbing Mountains for Kids Charity Coach Sean Estep is preparing for his third mountain climbing expedition to raise money for at risk teens in urban areas. The program is done through Big City Mountaineers (BCM), a non-profit organization that trains youths to overcome life’s challenges through wilderness mentoring expeditions.

Trip to Chelsea Planning Simon Davey, Director of Coaching and Bill Rucker, Executive Director traveled to London to meet with Chelsea staff, as well for Simon to participate in the FA Cup Sixth Round Draw.


March 2013 · SSA

FA Cup Latest rounds of FA Cup not only saw Chelsea advance but also saw SSA’s Simon Davey determine who Chelsea will play.

FA Cup News 2012 FA Cup Champions FA Cup Chelsea blasted past Middlesbrough 2-0 to officially land in the fixture as the away side vs Manchester United. Setting up what will most likely be a hotly contested match as Chelsea, 2012’s Champions, fight to make it through to the next round.

Simon Davey Draws Chelsea

2012 Final vs Liverpool

FA Cup SSA’s Simon Davey was asked by the FA to join Graham Taylor, former England National Team manager, for the 6th Round FA Cup Draw. Graham pulled the home side, Manchester United, and after Chelsea’s win over Middlesbrough, Simon’s draw puts Chelssea vs Manchester United.

FA Cup Last year’s final saw Chelsea take down Liverpool 2-1. Drogba and Ramires scored in the second half to put the Blues in front. Despite late game heroics from the Red’s, Chelsea managed to win their fourth FA Cup in the last six years.

Chelsea Ladies to face Lincoln in FA Cup 5th Round Women’s Team In 2012 the women’s squad, a founding member of the Women’s FA Cup, made it to the FA Cup final, in a match that was finally resolved with kicks from the mark. Chelsea lost the penalty shootout against Birmingham City in what was a classic tension filled penalty kick contest that saw the Chelsea Ladies take the lead twice. The Chelsea Ladies look to build on last year’s success with another return to the final.

FA Youth Cup Progress Chelsea has won 2 of the last 3 FA Youth Cup trophies. Can the Blues do it again? Sixth round will see them face Derby County. Youth

Match will take place on March 8th at Pride Park

SSA · March 2013


Providing the Pathway Steve Gummer and Coach Richard Bello with U13s in Greenville, SC

Steve Gummer, SSA Technical Director


March 2013 路 SSA

A message from Steve Gummer


n a renewed mission to promote a club-wide philosophy and goal of increased attention to player technical development, it gives me great pleasure to announce the new role for myself at Southern Soccer Academy. As a soccer educator and purist coach for over 15 years at the club, the time has come for me to revisit my first love which is the development of players and coaches. My new role is one of SSA Technical Director. With great confidence in the club structure and leadership, it is also my pleasure to announce that Simon Davey, who brings a wealth of experience in the management of players and coaches, will step in as the Director of Coaching. Simon will oversee all staffing and the allocation of coaches to teams. He will also manage the club on a day to day basis, working with all of our program directors. His unique experience and knowledge will provide a new guidance and a clear vision of our journey in creating a special soccer club. The role of the Technical Director will be a very big task. Within this position I will ensure that our new club curriculum

will be delivered and understood at every SSA location, including our partner clubs. The commitment to which we adhere will be executed on a regular basis, from which we will see the benefits for years to come. Coach education is also a building block of our mission, and this new role will help us improve all of our staff and enhance every team and player. As our club grows in strength with its increase in player base throughout all locations, I have a strong desire for us to excel together in new directions. To that end, my role is in the trenches, where it is evident that consistency and passion will benefit all by helping staff and players reach their potential. I approach my new position with enthusiasm, as I focus on the development of our whole club from a technical standpoint. Going “back to the basics” and providing more focus on the individual player, the philosophy on which SSA is founded, excites me and I am eager to get started. Our unique relationship with Chelsea FC also provides us an opportunity to follow a supplemental blue blueprint to take us out into local communities.

Steve on a visit to Chelsea FC’s Stamford Bridge

As leaders at SSA, we at the club have thought long and hard over the club’s philosophy and our responsibilities. United in direction, we want all players to “know the game and then play the game”, and we will spread the message of that style of play. The technical development and tactical implementations that our players and teams must learn will be a major focus of our long term goal. To date, there have been many ex-players from our club who have gone on to play at the collegiate and professional level. We will work hard to present the same opportunities for many more players over the next few years. The development of all our players is a special task to which I am 100% committed. The joy and love I have for being on the field, working with both coaches and players, is the essence of the passion I have. It is a passion I look forward to expressing as we enter into a new stage at SSA, continuing to create a soccer club of which we can all be proud.

SSA · March 2013



March 2013 路 SSA

Go for the gear Feeling Adventurous? Deck your team in the Chelsea 3rd kit.

The Mighty Blue One of the best looking soccer jerseys, the Chelsea Blue Home kit looks amazing.


Add Numbers Premier league version of numbers is now available for the shorts

gear More Chelsea Replica gear available in 2013. Get your team wearing the latest and greatest.

Back in Black The black and yellow 3rd kit has that aggressive stated look that simply says... we are here to win.

Best Socks The replica away socks are simply awesome.

Boots The most important piece of gear... the killer boots.

Get the Facts Throw in a Mi Coach device, an iOS app, and start tracking the facts.

SSA 路 March 2013


It’s a fairytale, it’s what dreams are made of - he’s scored the winner in an FA Cup tie at the Kop end. It is fantastic and it will live with the players for a long, long time.

Simon Davey Director of Coaching, Central Director of Coaching Education


From Youth to Pro

And back My Professional Football career consisted of playing for 12 years with four different Clubs. I earned a Welsh Cup Winners medal, two Championship winners’ medals and also gained European experience by playing in the European Cup Winners Cup against Monaco, the French Cup winners, and Panathanaikos, the Greek champions.


ife was very different growing up as a young Football player in Wales. The country is predominantly a Rugby nation. There are dozens of Professional teams compared to the two professional Football teams; Swansea

Simon Davey at Preston North End with David Beckham who was making his league debut

City and Cardiff City. This is reflected in the schools programs where if you were athletic you were pushed to the Rugby team. I had to mix the two sports and make a choice at the age of 15 having represented the City at both sports. I didn’t start playing football until the age of 11 but in a short space of time I found myself In 1987 making my Football League debut for Swansea City at the age of 16 against Torquay United. I became the second youngest player ever to play for the “Swans”. After answering an SOS call from Terry Yorath (the then Manager of the Club), my

SSA · March 2013


6th Round FA Cup Chelsea vs Manchester United at Old Trafford. A match-up that resulted from Simon’s partiicpation in the last FA Cup Round Draw

FA Cup Semi Simon’s Barnsley side defeated powerhouse Liverpool 2-1

headmaster at Olchfa comprehensive school summoned me from a maths lesson into his office. I was sent immediately, still in my school uniform to the Vetch Field Stadium where, later that same evening I came on as a Swansea substitute. This early introduction to the world of Professional Football led me to being offered a role as an apprentice at the Football Club.

Shocking, giant killing FA Cup win 2-1 over Liverpool and manager Rafa Benitez

The Apprentice This is the start of 90% of all professional Players careers. It is a full time job and lasts for 2 years. I left school on a Friday afternoon in July 1987. Two days later my career began alongside six other 16 year olds from all over the country. When you visit a professional Club in Europe today, you


March 2013 · SSA

Liverpool’s Anfield Stadium, site of the FA Cup game

will see the best facilities in the World; indoor arenas, Gymnasiums, classrooms, spa pools, apprentices with Mercedes and BMW’s in the Parking Lot and players practicing their skills at all times of the day. In my time it was different. I worked 7

days a week from 8am to 8pm. My day consisted of an hour cleaning the professional teams boots (cleats), an hour to prepare all the Kit (uniform) for the Pros, an hour and half practice and then the rest of the time cleaning the stadium, dressing rooms and washing the


Next thing I know, the headmaster’s telling me that Terry Yorath has been on the phone and asked if I can have the afternoon off. I’m 16 and I’ve never even played for the youth team. But he wants me to play against Torquay that evening.

Managing a Champions League side

uniforms for the following days practices. The weekend would see us play other Professional Youth teams. At the end of the 2-year contract comes decision time. This is where dreams are shattered. The Manager of the football Club decides whether to offer you a Professional contract or not. Fortunately I was lucky and the only one to be offered a place. Now I had the dream job and most importantly an apprentice who would clean and wash after me!!.

Professional Football Player My Professional Football career consisted of playing for 12 years with four different Clubs. I earned a Welsh Cup Winners medal, two Championship winners’ medals and also gained European experience by playing in the European Cup Winners Cup against Monaco, the French Cup winners, and Panathanaikos, the Greek champions. Games, in which I played against Youri Djorkaeff (French world cup winner) and George Weah (world footballer of the year). I was bought for £125,000($200,0000), played alongside David Beckham at Preston North End and was also recognized amongst my fellow

professionals by being selected for the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) team of the Season, an award voted for by all the professional players in the Football League.

Professional Coach My playing career started and

Barnsley’s famous 2008 FA Cup run

finished early! At the age of 27, whilst at Preston North End FC playing under David Moyes, an accident with a medicine ball injured my back and that was the end my playing days. Fortunately David Moyes (now manager of Everton FC) offered me the opportunity to

I had to scrimp and scrape. I’ve done it the hard way as a player and as a coach I’ve had to do every badge from scratch. It took me eight years.

SSA · March 2013


6th Round FA Cup Chelsea vs Manchester United at Old Trafford. A match-up that resulted from Simon’s partiicpation in the last FA Cup Round Draw

become the clubs Youth team coach and from that day on I began to attain all my coaching qualifications. The next 8 years was course after course. Today, I currently hold 11 licences including the highest coaching qualification that can be achieved, the UEFA ‘Pro’ License. Year on Year I was promoted, starting at Youth Coach and ending up in the manager’s (Head Coach) office at Barnsley’ FC in the Championship. I assembled the Championship’s most cosmopolitan squad. Supplementing the side’s British core with 13 imports from countries as diverse as Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Nigeria, Holland, Germany and Hungary. The resultant blend produced an FA Cup run that took the club


March 2013 · SSA

Shocking, giant killing FA Cup win 2-1 over Liverpool and manager Rafa Benitez

Liverpool’s Anfield Stadium, site of the FA Cup game

to the Semi Finals at Wembley Stadium in front of a live crowd of 87,000 and a television audience in the millions. On route to Wembley we recorded victories against Liverpool and Chelsea. Both these teams were in the Champions League and

fielded teams full of International players.

Developing Players Even though Managing at a high level is every coach’s dream, I always had a passion for developing players. Manag-


ing a club like Barnsley FC was the perfect scenario for me. It wasn’t a big powerhouse club that could spend fortunes on recruiting players, so this meant that all players were looked at as assets. Giving me the opportunity to put a coaching structure in place to develop not only the young academy players but also the current senior team and future targeted players. In a three-year period I developed and sold players for a profit in excess of $4.5 million. I produced numerous Professional players and also hold the record for playing the youngest player in the UK Football league when I selected a 15-year-old named Reuben Lazarus. The structures put in place are still producing players today that have gone on to play professionally in the Premier League.

Southern Soccer Academy

and achieve their ambitions. I therefore decided that I would look for my next challenge in the USA. Having met with Bill Rucker and Steve Gummer, listened to their plans and ambitions for SSA I found the right environment that matched my ambitions. A newly formed, forward thinking club that is looking to go on to Great things. I now look forward to helping achieve this Goal with the players and staff in the next few years!

Simon Davey, Director of Coaching, Central and Director of Coaching Education

Managing a Champions League side

Having spent the last 26 years in the Professional Soccer game I always found time to travel and study abroad. I have visited both French and Spanish Soccer Academies including Real Madrid and also looked at training methods in other sports to educate myself. This led me to the US, where for the last 5 years I have spent time back and forth consulting with clubs and also organizing and directing the Disney Soccer Academy alongside English Premier League players. During my time in the country, I was always impressed with the dedication of the players, parents and staff to improve, learn

SSA · March 2013



November 2012 路 SSA

SSA 路 November 2012


Southern Soccer Academy is excited to announce the U8 Player Development Academy - coming soon at your SSA location.


SA Central began a unique pilot program over a year ago, designed specifically to focus on the development of soccer players 6 to 8 years of age. It was recognized that there are many talented U8 players within SSA, and in Georgia, who would benefit from a dedicated soccer environment to continue to nurture and further their development in preparation for higher level soccer. The Player Development Academy (PDA) provides this exclusive opportunity for U8 soccer players at our club!. With the success of the PDA program at SSA Central, SSA is now ready to introduce this program across all SSA locations. With this implementation, SSA will be the first club in metro Atlanta to offer this type of developmental program.


March 2013 ¡ SSA

Game Format

Practice Sessions

5v5 (including GK), in-house game

2 per week

Get ready for the

launch Tell Me More‌... The PDA program is a U8 academy program for the passionate, motivated, and advanced U8 player who fosters the desire to be challenged in every aspect of their game. This program gives those players the opportunity to become even better soccer players by training in a professional environment with professional coaches and alongside like-minded players. Players will be exposed to an exclusive SSA Coaching curriculum, providing the tools to help accelerate their technical and tactical development to continue to take their game to the next level. The PDA program is a completely different program to the U8 rec program or supplemental programs (jr. academy) as participants enrolled in our PDA will receive a full fall, and spring season schedule. This

Dean Gilewicz PDA Director

program will allow players to participate on a season-to-season basis, permitting players to register for one season without committing to a full year. This provides a chance for those players who turn 6 during a season to enter the program the following season, and those that turn 8 a chance to move up and join the U9 Academy program should this be in the best interests of the player. The purpose of the U8 Player Development Academy (PDA) is to provide a more soccer focused environment for players who love the game where


individual player development is paramount to master key soccer techniques and concepts that are required at a higher level of play. This program allows players to get a “taste” of an academy soccer environment and prepares players and parents for the next step of the soccer process.

Who Is It For?… SSA PDA will be available to all Recreational boys and girls who are in the U8 age bracket – players must be a minimum of 6 years of age. Before considering this program, it is required that players have at least one full year of organized soccer experience and participate a minimum of one season in a U8 Recreational program. This program will have limited spac-

es to ensure a superior soccer environment is maintained.

Who Are The Coaches?… SSA PDA will have a full time PDA Director, and professionally licensed coaching staff, with help from qualified assistants to create a superior environment for the advanced and motivated U8 soccer player to continue their development. Player:Coach ratio will remain low to ensure players are provided the instruction and attention necessary to continue their development..

What About Practice and Games? Players will practice two (2) times per week and games will be played on Saturdays. In an effort to maximize player devel-

PDA game on Marathon Park lower field

opment, players are maintained in training groups and play non-results oriented games. Players may also have the chance to represent SSA when playing neighboring clubs.

What About The U8 Rec Program? The Player Development Academy does not replace U8 Recreational Soccer but offers those more advanced players another avenue of continued growth in soccer. Players will not be able to participate in both rec soccer and PDA as they are both separate but complete programs.

How Can I Find Out More? Visit, highlight programs, and click “U8 PDA”.

SSA · March 2013


Academy Festival Fun club wide academy events designed to get all of our academy players at one venue meeting each other and meeting all of the academy staff.

Think like the Coach

Helping you as a parent ‘think like the coach’ and also some areas to help your son or daughter to realize how they can improve within their team.


he early ages of any young soccer player are important and can more often than not shape a player’s development. It goes without saying that the purpose of your attendance here at the


March 2013 · SSA

Southern Soccer Academy is to enjoy yourselves and to gradually improve over the weeks and months and years that you are here. As Coaches and Parents of young players, we need to ask the fundamental question: What kind of practice and competition is the player ready for? Successful progression occurs when the practice or competition corresponds to the player’s abilities. We as coaches and Parents need to take care not to over estimate a player’s maturity, intellectual/psychological and physical abilities. Young players mature gradually, hence the need for their coaching program to grow towards the 11v11 game. Our programs provide a logical progression with gradual increasing de-


Creativity and initiative can only flurish when we release control to the players.

mands that mirror the mental and physical profile of the player at each stage. Young players need to experience enjoyable activities that match their current abilities whilst offering a challenge that is attainable. It needs to be fun and offer a sense of achievement. Players like to feel that are continually being successful.

Coach Sean, Central’s Girls Academy Director, working with large academy group

Recently graduated from our Academy system, and Coach Richard

We must not fall into the mistake of rushing youngsters into trying to play like adults. Learning, like growing, takes time. We must let this progression happen naturally. As players mature there is a progressive build-up in their skills, techniques, physical strength and stamina. Our practices need to lead this progression at a pace that is in tune with the player’s growth. Similarly, young players need

the opportunity and the time to allow their mental attributes to develop. In particular, time is needed to allow/encourage their decision-making abilities to develop. Simplified training and games can provide the opportunity for the successful development of decision-mak-

SSA · March 2013


Casino Night Marietta Hilton and Conference Center will host this year’s event on May 4th from 6:30PM - 10:30PM

Having fun with silly string.

ing. Failure is a natural part of the learning process. Coaches and Parents should expect players to fail sometimes in their attempt to reach a realistic challenge and not to admonish them when they fail. In developing a learning culture the management of failure is paramount. However, excessive failure will become counter-productive by bringing about a lack of confidence, self –esteem and interest. If the tasks are too complex then excessive failure can result. Well-planned tasks, matching the current development of the player, will provide the correct balance of achievement and failure as the players strive to meet new challenges. Coaches and Parents need to help players manage their failures as part of their learning process, in a way that does not diminish their self-esteem and peer position. As a coach/educator/mentor, we should not constantly make the decision for the player. Youngsters need to practice decision making for themselves. Our program provides opportunities for decision-making. Rather than solve the problem constantly for the player, the coach can provide the minimum guidance necessary to enable the player to solve the problem himself or herself. In this way, the player becomes actively involved in his/her own learning. He/she is more likely to be creative and far more likely to remember the


March 2013 · SSA

I think as coaches, players and parents, we need to have realistic expectations, whatever they maybe.

Tiur sitatur, simincte lacessin eos adi quae quam. Simus id moluptatur.

key points. Children learn best by being actively involved in using their newly learned skills and techniques in problem solving situations, particularly in games – not by being lectured to and being fed answers that they have not been involved in forming. Learning to be a complete soccer player is a

long process, it’s a race without a finish line. Players who totally rely on their coach for instructions will not progress as quickly as the players who learn to think independently. This independence grows gradually over time as the player matures and becomes less reliant on the coach.


Successful progression occurs when the practice or competition corresponds to the player’s abilities.

Coach Hagan leading a technical session.

We as Coaches and Parents need to need to continue to encourage this growth of independence and not claim total control of the young players actions. As this independence grows, learning has the opportunity to happen away from the coach, away from the club. We would like to think we are empowering the player to become an independent learner. As players mature, the coach can increase the level of ownership of the players’ learning to where they can confidently pose their own questions and offer answers with the coach and team mates. Creativity and initiative can

Disney Junior Cup Champions but still having nothing but fun.

only flourish when we release control to the players. As coaches, we encourage our player’s to become effective users of their new skills and techniques in game situations. To fulfill this area, players need good decision-making skill and an understanding of the use of their abilities. As supportive Parents, you play

a vital role in your child’s soccer development as we only get to see your son or daughter for a few hours a week. One thing I can confidently say is that the SSA soccer program works best when the players are free from too much pressure, both from coaches and parents. Many of the SSA families will remember when I first joined

SSA · March 2013


the club back in 2008. Having played in the Liverpool FC youth system as a young player from 9-18 and then served as an Academy Coach for 8 years after that, many of you were interested in the ‘secrets’ of developing players. Well I can only repeat that there are no secrets. As some of you know, I was very fortunate to play in the same Liverpool team as Steven Gerrard and Michael Owen, however you don’t see me playing on the Fox Soccer channel!! Every player has to work hard and be patient over the years to reach his or her full potential and that potential will be different for each player. I mention Steven and Michael above as an example that I received the same training program as those two did and clearly their maximum potential is a little higher than mine!!

If it were me, I would want to think that most of the list on the left hand side applied to me. More importantly, it would be nice if my teammates thought the left hand side fitted my personality.

How do good players react in games?

We need to have realistic expectations, whatever they maybe.

I think as coaches, players and parents, we need to have realistic expectations, whatever they maybe.

Look at the following ‘qualities’ and see where YOU fit in. Do you have positive or negative effects?


March 2013 · SSA

Positive Effect

Negative Effect

Encourage others

Nasty to team mates

Always tries

A bully

Has a sense of humor

Jealous of team mates

Can listen and learn

Moody and sulky

Never gives up

Never smiles

Gets on with others

No sense of humor

Carries out instructions

Doesn’t like anyone

Always willing to help team mates

Doesn’t listen

Always looks like he’s enjoying himself

Moans at referees

Can take advice

Gives up when the going gets tough

Sometimes puts others before himself

Always asks when are we scrimmaging – doesn’t want to practice

Practice on their own

Never does any extra work

Can you add any of your own to the list?

So how can a player and the team help themselves reach their full potential? The list is endless but I would like to touch on the atmosphere in which the team practices and plays! There is an atmosphere that surrounds any group of individuals who come together with a common purpose. I would imagine that for any group of people to be successful, the individuals must create a healthy atmosphere.

Staff watching model session

A lot goes on in the game of soccer: • Referees are making decisions for and against you and your team. • Opponents are competing with you and perhaps occasionally discouraging you.

Academy Festival.

• •

Coaches are offering advice and sometimes it can sound like criticism Parents are supporting and encouraging Sometimes you might hear things they say about YOU


How do you react to all that is going on? • • •

What if a teammate has a go at you? What if an opponent says something to you? What if a referee gives a decision you disagree with? What if Mom or Dad shouts something you wish they hadn’t? What if your coach draws

attention to a mistake you have just made? It seems to me that the ability to CONCENTRATE on the game and your performance is a very important skill. It should not be possible to put a good player of their game.

A good player? • •

Does not become distracted Maintains concentration

• • • •

Gets excited but not angry Does not sulk Stays focused on what they are doing Expects to make mistakes but does not become affected by them

If this is true of a good player then how do you compare and what can you do to help reach your potential?

SSA · March 2013



November 2012 路 SSA

SSA 路 November 2012


Player Boys Recognized


Georgia ODP Jackson Conway ‘01 Thomas Robinson ‘01 Arturo Valdes ‘00 Andrew Carleton ‘00 Dawson Gideon ‘00

Super Y ODP Parker Campbell ‘00 Austin Shukoor ‘01 Jerren Nixon ‘98 Mohammed Jallow ‘96

Andrew Carleton U13 Kurt Moore U15 Sam Borgel U16

ASL Event Team Bethesda Showcase

ASL Event Team Triangle Friendlies

Dishawn Cullen U14 Jerren Nixon U15 Joshua Oduyoye U16 Kevin Sosa Rodriguez U17

Milan Card U14 Jerren Nixon U15 Matthew McWhorter U16 Kevin Sosa Rodriguez U17


November 2012 · SSA

Tennessee ODP Tyler Edwards U17 Matt Dognazzi U17

Patrick Ferrell ‘98 Travis Tuerff ‘99

Players ID’d

ification Girls Recognized

Georgia ODP Kyndal Anderson ‘00 Laney Steed ‘00 McKenna Moore ‘99

Super Y ODP Anna Marie Arino ‘99 Angel Gray ‘98

Tennessee ODP Allison Halloran ‘00 Ella Steinhilber ‘00 Maggie Robinson ‘00 Grace Laster ‘00 Sydney Partee ‘00

Olivia Rose Paoli ‘00 Parker Smitherman ‘00 Abby Browder (00) Ellie Faber (00) Natalie Escobar (97) ‘99

Kyndal Anderson U13 Morgan Epps U14 Treva Aycock U15

McKenzie Anderson U17 Abby Roth U17

ASL Event Team Bethesda Showcase

ASL Event Team Triangle Friendlies

Annamarie Arino U14 Whitney Johnson U15 Perri Bonner U17

Angel Gray U14 Megan Spacht U15 Mallary Hedden U17

SSA · November 2012


Player ID

Tyler Edwards.

Andrew Carlton.

Making a statement SSA boys making a splash at the Super Y Boys ODP National Camp.

This is exactly what I wanted, because my coach told me that you could be recognized in this tournament to come back for camp, and that’s what I wanted to do, to show our team what I can do. It’s great. They have a great facility, and I love playing on their fields, and we get the chance to have all the college scouts watch us, and even national team scouts, it’s great.


March 2013 · SSA

We got to see the first team play and the speed of play was really good. They pass really fast and their touch was really good. I learned to play one step quicker because that one step can be the difference in scoring a goal or getting a goal scored against you.

SSA 路 March 2013


Motivating the Passion



March 2013 路 SSA

Super Y League Southern Soccer Academy’s Super Y program ranked by USL as the #1 Super Y program for the region and #6 nationally.


We have all seen the parent who sits on the sideline screaming at the referee for a missed call, demanding a child shoot the ball then throwing his or her hands up if the child misses, storming across the field to berate the coach for line up selections, and the list goes on.


hese types of hypercompetitive actions are encouraged in a society in which we celebrate the idea of being “better than” someone else. The focus on winning and being the best, however, may foster an environment which leads to ethical concerns, especially in youth sport, about the treatment of children. Sadly, it is these types of parent who sometimes allow their own egos to dictate the spirit of the game. The real harm is that the children are watching these behaviors. They are seeing and hearing the blatant disapproval when they make mistakes, they are sitting in the car listening to parents degrade their teammates (who are often their friend at school) or coach after a losing game. This type of conversation does not feel good for the child to listen to. They start to associate

that bad feeling with the sport itself. Even more disturbing is that these children will start to internalize the conversation- “If my dad is saying this about Johnny, what is Johnny’s dad saying about me?” You can start to see why opinions provided by overzealous parents are in fact demotivating for children. This high pressured, often overly negative environment has the potential to strip away the child’s pure love to go out and “just play.” Since the game itself is no longer innately fun and the child no longer loves to “just play,” many interesting motivational tactics have been introduced from parents to entice their young child to play. Often, the parent will create an external reward in order to “motivate” their child to perform. Remarkably, financial inducements have made their way into

Academy girls getting touches on the ball.

youth athletics. Some parents offer financial incentives to their children for winning games or scoring goals. This is modeled after the idea that college athletes receive large scholarships based only on their athletic accomplishments and potentials (less than 1% of youth athletes actually get a full ride scholarship to college). However, offering this type of external reward has the potential to tear away the child’s internal drive to participate for the pure enjoyment of the sport. Consequently, 73% of children drop out of physical competition by the time they reach age 13. Offering external rewards for performance turns an intrinsically motivating activity – playing a sport – into work. The game becomes a job to these children; their self-worth is evaluated on a weekly basis much like a performance plan that is conducted on employees.

SSA · March 2013


Super Y League Southern Soccer Academy’s Super Y program ranked by USL as the #1 Super Y program for the region and #6 nationally.

Why is offering rewards for play ineffective? •

Results are out of out of the participant’s control: If you are trying to motivate your child to score more goals by offering him or her money for each goal they score, what happens if the coach plays him or her as a defender, or they play against a very good team? They will view themselves as failures despite the context of the situation. It hurts intrinsic motivation: Rewarding people for doing something removes their innate desire to do it on their own. You will have to give the reward every time to get the child to perform. You get diminishing returns: If the reward stays at the same level, motivation slowly drops off. To get the same response next time will require a bigger reward It is not sustainable: As soon as you withdraw the reward, the motivation disappears.

So how can we motivate our children to participate in sports and to continue to want to improve? •

Challenge Them: Challenge your child to push the limits of his or her skill set. Have them try a new move they worked on at practice during the game. They can control when they want to perform the skill. If they are successful, they will be filled with a sense of accomplishment and competency. Recognize Them: Give your child positive feedback. Find and recognize special qualities about his or her effort and skill and make sure that you are honest and sincere in your recognition. Acknowledge your child’s effort at improvement; even if they don’t get the desired result, it is important that they are trying. Reward Them: Make sure the reward is communicating something positive about their performance, such as “The Best Coerver Move Award” or “The Never Give Up Award.” This will give your child a sense of pride, ownership, and competency in an area in which they feel they have control.

Guiding young athletes is a complex endeavor. The problem is an age old one in which adults attempt to apply an adult-centered method to children; the problem is that these successful techniques were not built upon the developmental needs and capacities of children. Thus, not only can children not relate to these techniques, these techniques do not meet their specific needs. Motivating children does not have to be as complex or expensive as we make it. You must ask yourself a simple question, “what type of parent am I?” Are you the type of parent who will choose to tempt your child into desired performance for just a short time, or are you the parent who wants his or her child to have the drive from within to continue to play the sport and want to continue to develop and grow? It is your choice as to which path you choose to take for motivating your child. If you chose the latter, it is as easy as being positive during games, making your child feel valued no matter what his or her role was on the team, and encouraging self- challenges. It really is that simple.


March 2013 · SSA


SSA’s Annual Casino Night


Marietta Hilton and Conference Center will host this year’s event on May 4th from 6:30PM - 10:30PM

4 success stories

Follow your dreams

Go ahead Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you’ll land among the stars. So aim high, aim higher than you ever thought you could because if it wasn’t meant to be, you’ll still shine.

Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability. -John Wooden

Jack McInerney

Joe Bendik

Bilal Duckett

Shaq Moore

MLS Jack had an outstanding season in 2012 for the Union. He started in 18 games and lead the Union in goal scoring. He also won MLS Goal of the Week in week 18.

MLS Joe went from Portland Timbers to Toronto FC in December of 2012. So far he’s had 4 games in the net for the Canadian MLS side.

MLS Bilal has signed with New England Revolution after first being drafted in the MLS Super Draft by Vancouver. He spent the 2012 season with the Harrisburg City Islanders of USL PRO.

Residency Shaq is now in US Soccer’s Residency Program at IMG Academy and is the team captain of the US U-17 National Team.

SSA · March 2013


Alumni in the MLS

Jack McInerney airbourne for the Philadelphia Union.

Succeed with Hard Work All of my experiences at SSA were great foundations for my graduation into the National Team and then the MLS.


joined Cobb FC /SSA Central when I was 11 years of age, and joined the top team in the state for many reasons. The style of soccer the team played was suitable to my style of play, it was very much based on a possession style of passing and moving involving the whole team and not just relying on certain players to win games.


March 2013 路 SSA

All of the players on the team were very good technicians and could all master the ball very well. The coach of the team, Steve Gummer, has a reputation of producing great teams that play very attractive soccer and this was a team that excelled in this area. I played with this team from U12 to U16 and in that time we won several Major tournaments including

Work hard... and enjoy the game.

the prestigious Dallas Cup. It was there that a professional scout spotted me playing in the final at the MLS stadium. During my time on the team I made some great friends who I still stay in touch with to date. I represented the State , Region and National team and visited England on tour with the club team playing against Liverpool FC, West Ham, Bolton Wander-

Who will be the next SSA player Dream big and dream often because nothing is impossible.

Alumni Inspiration ers, Fulham FC, and Wrexham. All of my experiences at SSA were great foundations for my graduation into the National Team and then the MLS, where I was 7th pick in the MLS Superdraft. Since then I am in my 3rd season for the Philadelphia Union and enjoying being a professional player. Looking back at my days with SSA I would like to thank my coaches, Steve and Drew Bentley, who were constant in their information to me and the team and always demanded the best from players during practice and games. There information and coaching was very good and it helped me adjust into the U.S. Residency program and the U 17 world cup team where I scored 5 goals in the qualifying rounds before scoring a couple in the finals in Nigeria. Much of the information given to me as a youth player is the same as being a professional. My time at SSA has definitely had a major impact of my success and taught me the importance of listening to your coaches, focusing on the game, and working hard to improve your own game, at every opportunity you have. My advice to all young players is stay focused, work hard, listen to your coaches, and recover quickly from any mistakes you make, and enjoy the game.

SSA 路 March 2013


Alumni in College Becoming a champion is a choice and it involves a decision making process. You do or you don’t. You will or you won’t. You are or you are not. You can start at any time of life, you can start right now. The fact is that The Way of the Champion is there for us to choose. Jerry Lynch , The Way of The Champion

Tiur sitatur, simincte lacessin eos adi quae quam. Ibus doloreped magnam num.

Myles Englis @ Creighton Myles reflecting on decision to join SSA and playing in college.


aking the move from Rome Arsenal to Cobb FC (SSA) was easily one of the most significant decisions in my soccer career. Not only was the standard of soccer going to be much higher, but I knew that the coaches at Cobb FC would give me the attention I needed to develop as a player and a


March 2013 · SSA

person. My experience at Cobb FC was very valuable to me, as I was able to travel around the region and the country to play some of the other best clubs here. Another benefit of playing for Cobb FC was all the exposure that I got from colleges, starting at age 13. Not only were the college coaches coming to watch our games, but my coach, Ben Parks, called each

Quote goes here. Is endae net omnis ullenduam verumqui.

coach I asked him to in order to see their interest level, and to reveal to them my interest level. He really helped me break the ice so that I could start talking to coaches on my own. From the time I started at Cobb FC, Coach Parks probably talked to around 30-40 coaches for me. The aspect of the player to coach relationship is something that I found extremely valuable

Alumni in College

Myles’s SSA team, coached by Ben Parks, at 2012 Regionals

at this club. Another thing that I found extremely beneficial in having Ben as my coach was how he was always willing to work with me. He would stay with me after training, or drive an hour and fifteen minutes to where I lived to give me a two-hour training session. He and Coach Gummer were two of the biggest influences for me at the club. They were always willing to train me or help me. Those are some of the memories I hold most dear to this club. Last but not least, the relationships that you build with your teammates here are unmatched by any club in the southeast. Everything you do at Cobb FC you do as a team, and that is something that I always enjoyed. I am now playing at Creighton University. It is a top ten division 1 program in Omaha, Nebraska. We play in the

Missouri Valley Conference, and are perennial NCAA Tournament participants, last year getting to the Final Four. The college experience has been great for me so far. If I could pass on any advice to you, it would be to keep your head down and always work hard. Never talk back and always do as you’re told, whether it comes from your head coach, a sophomore, or a senior. Anything that you’ve done or accomplished in club or high school doesn’t matter at all when you get to the college game and you have to prove yourself again. You will have those days in training in college where you have an absolute stinger. The good thing is that you’re a member of a team and the other members of the team will always pick you up. My first few days at Creighton were like that. I had bad days, but the older guys always picked me up. Now, with their backing, I’m getting a lot of time and playing very well. College is a

If I could pass on any advice to you, it would be to keep your head down and always work hard.

new place, and your decisions will define you. If you commit to the system, the college game will make you a better player. Once you get here, it’s all about confidence, drive, and persistence. Never be satisfied, always want more. I’ll leave you with this quote from the book The Way of The Champion by Jerry Lynch: “Becoming a champion is a choice and it involves a decision making process. You do or you don’t. You will or you won’t. You are or you are not. You can start at any time of life, you can start right now. The fact is that The Way of the Champion is there for us to choose.”

SSA · March 2013


Alumni in College

Team captain as a sophmore, junior and senior.

Stephen Bivens @ Mars Hill Applying principles, learned at SSA, of hard work, discipline, team work, and trust to succeed at the college level.


started out on the west side with my youth playing experience. When I was 13 I was playing for Cobb FC on one of the better teams in the state. I learned many aspects of playing the game while I was on that team. When I was 17 years old I made the move to the Carrollton Crew team. This team is where I really began developing as a soccer player as well as a person. I played for Bill Rucker and Josh Bivens for my last three years of high school. At the time, we were one of the few teams that were outside of Atlanta that would still compete with the best teams in the state of Georgia. Our team was the team that was always considered the underdog and never expected to win against the better teams. Coach Bill and Josh really taught our team how to face adversity and overcome. At one point, we were being called a group of farmers trying to play soccer. Game after game we would compete with the best


March 2013 · SSA

teams and win but still be under the radar. We took pride in who we were and we never got the big head. I learned the importance of giving your best in order to succeed. Nothing was ever handed to us. Our team relied on hard work, discipline, teamwork, and trust to get us through games. Coach Bill and Josh would give us our tactics for the game and we would stick to them as a team. I took the principles that I had learned and applied them to the college level. I received a scholarship to play Division 2 soccer at Mars Hill College. Now I am able to reflect on my four years played in college. I was in a similar position as I was when I was at SSA. My college team had similar characteristics as my club team. My first two years we were not able to compete with the best teams but we had good hardworking players on the team. I was captain of the team for my sophomore, junior, and senior year. Each year we

My college team was a group of best friends. We each were best friends with each other. I have never been part of a closer group of people in my life. My four years at Mars Hill have had meant so much to me that I can’t even explain it.

became better at the division 2 level and my junior and senior year we made the national tournament and did well. At first I was skeptical about playing at a smaller division 2 school but I quickly realized how much I loved it. My college team was a group of best friends. We each were best friends with each other. I have never been part of a closer group of people in my life. My four years at Mars Hill have had meant so much to me that I can’t even explain it. I am glad that I chose to play division 2 even while everyone was telling me to play division 1.

Alumni Signings


Collegiate Bound Players‌ Another graduating class moves to the next level from SSA to playing in college. We wish all of our alumni great success and experiences at colleagiate level.


Angelece Barrett, Young Harris College Haley Jones, Berry College Jessica Bingham, Georgia Southwestern University Perri Bonner, UNC Charlotte Carlie Couch, Furman University Sydney David, Gardner Webb University AnnaLeah Deece, University of West Georgia Shannon Driscoll, Kennesaw State University Rachel Dymecki, Troy University Kelly Ebert, Jacksonville State University Maggie Gaughan, Kennesaw State University Maslyn Greene, Mars Hill University Tyler Heard- Southern Polytechnic State University Mallory Hedden, Troy University Baley Jackson, Winthrop University Cole Cuertin, Darton College


Necee Jennings, Jacksonville State University Amber Jent, Reinhardt University Cassidy Kemp, Kennesaw State University Heather Lashley, Faulkner University Erica Laurens, Armstrong Atlantic University Paige Livesay, Gordon State College Drew Loconte, North Georgia University Emily Moore, Charleston Southern University Devin Mueller, Georgia College and State University Luke Oesterle, Georgia State University Rachel Overly, Georgia College and State University Nicole Polk, Valdosta State University Sarah Sheffield, Troy University Carsen Taylor, Jacksonville State University Emmy Holbert, Columbus State University

SSA ¡ March 2013


Find a Way to


By Dan Coughlin A conversation on managing great team performances with Terry Michler, America’s All-Time Winningest High School Soccer Coach


March 2013 · SSA

Super Y League Southern Soccer Academy’s Super Y program ranked by USL as the #1 Super Y program for the region and #6 nationally.

Driving Impulse

A conversation on managing great team performances with Terry Michler, America’s All-Time Winningest High School Soccer Coach


he Game led to The Conversation. In searching for powerful insights to improve group performance it’s important to always stay open-minded to every possibility. On November 21, 2009, I took my eight-year-old son, Ben, to see the Missouri Class 3 Boys State High School Championship game. I wanted him to see soccer played at a very high level. Little did I realize what was going to happen starting that night and continuing over the next few weeks. The game was won by the CBC (Christian Brothers College) Cadets 1-0, but much more than that was the way they won. It was the single finest display of soccer I’ve ever seen at any level including collegiate and professional. CBC displayed a relentless intensity of passing, attacking, moving without the ball, and winning the ball back for the entire eighty minutes. Every player was in sync with each of his teammates. We sat in the first row and barely heard the players talking. They seemed to know where to go and what to do spontaneously. They had no wasted effort or activities. It all resulted in a precise, attacking style of play where every member fulfilled his responsibilities offensively and defensively in a remarkable manner. It was like watching a world-class jazz ensemble performing at their highest level. The other team was a very good team and had beaten

CBC twice earlier in the season, but they could barely make two passes in a row and never had a shot on goal throughout the championship match. When I got home that night I sent a congratulatory e-mail to Terry Michler, the head soccer coach at CBC. He and I had met briefly 20 years earlier and I just wanted to congratulate him on one of the most amazing group performances I’ve ever seen in athletics, business, education, or entertainment. I didn’t think he remembered me, and I certainly didn’t expect a reply. …and then the magic started to happen. Terry Michler is the all-time winningest high school soccer coach in the United States. In his 39 seasons he has won over 800 games and six state championships. More than 200 of his players have played college soccer and more than 30 have played professionally. However, he sent me an e-mail that said, “Thanks for the kind words -- I enjoy what I do and I continue to learn more about what I need to do -- the passion to learn is still there.” Those last seven words really caught my attention. Let me repeat. Terry Michler has been coaching at CBC for 39 years. He has six state championships. He has won more games than any high school soccer coach in the U.S. has ever won. Yet he still has the passion to learn how to be

better at what he does. I wrote an article about the importance of investing 10,000 hours of sustained thoughtfilled practice in order to achieve expertise in any activity and I mentioned Terry in it. I sent it to him, and then we began to seriously exchange e-mails. I realized that not only did Terry have powerful insights on great group performances, but that he was also willing to share them with me. He sent me a copy of his book, Dutch ‘Total Football’, where he described the enormous influence that the Dutch Coaching Approach to soccer, which is called football everywhere outside of the United States, has had on him. He explained that he has been to the Netherlands nine times in the past 12 years to study Dutch Football. There are more people coaching national soccer teams from Holland than from any other country. As I read his book I realized that what he was describing about Dutch football had tremendous implications for business managers. 10 days after the championship game Terry and I sat down for three hours to discuss in much greater detail his thoughts on how to generate great group performances. This article is written for managers. I define a manager as a person who is responsible for the results of a group performance. Whether you are a business owner, CEO, sales manager, not-for-profit executive

SSA · March 2013


director, youth coach, or the head of a volunteer group project, these ideas have been written for you. After each of Terry’s responses I’ve tried to convert his comments into a management insight that I hope is useful for you. I encourage you to do the same. Consider what Terry has said and ask yourself what insight you have gained from him that you can capture and apply with your group.

Dan Coughlin: How do you define a team and what does it take to build a great team?

Terry Michler: A team is a group with a common focus that works together to achieve a common goal. First, you need basic talent. I take the best players available regardless of what year in school they are in. On the very first team I had a freshman starting on the varsity. So I evaluate the available talent and I select the very best players regardless of how old they are. You need all the right ingredients to build a championship team. Then you need to get players to buy into a common purpose. At CBC, tradition plays a big part in getting the players to focus. They are part of a soccer program that has been very successful for over sixty years.


March 2013 · SSA

can. Take it for what it is.

Management Insight: Does your group have a common focus? Are the members working together to achieve a common goal? Does your group have the basic ingredients necessary for success? Are you selecting the very best talent for your organization regardless of the person’s age? These are the starting points to eventually achieve extraordinary results as a group.

Dan Coughlin: What can ruin a great team’s performance and has it ever happened to one of your teams? Terry Michler: That’s easy to explain: a “me instead of we attitude” will do it every time. It ruins the team’s performance when players have a bad attitude or when every player has to have the ball all of the time. Whenever you’re in anything long enough you get a little bit of everything. Occasionally, very rarely in fact, I’ve had a group of talented players who got along great everywhere except on the field. I needed 11 soccer balls to keep all of them happy. Unfortunately there is only one ball. When that happens you try your best, and then you move on to the next season. Decide whether it’s correctable or not. Not every year will be perfect. Don’t beat yourself over the head for it. Assess it and correct it if you

Management Insight: Building a great team takes a lot of intentional effort. Ruining a team can happen very quickly. Be aware of individuals who focus primarily on their personal rewards and recognition. Assembling very talented employees is powerful, but only if they are working toward the common purpose and goals of the team and not just toward their own individual glory and income. Dan Coughlin: How do you get super talented soccer players who are stars on great club teams to pull together and support one another? Terry Michler: I don’t value a star concept. I don’t make a big deal about post season awards. After we won the state championship this year, we had a couple of players who were named AllAmerican and one player who was named Player-of-the-Year in St. Louis. But I don’t make a big deal about that. I don’t want the players who did their roles as well as they could and were very successful in doing so to feel bad because they didn’t get the big honors. I don’t want a star system because if everything depends on the star player and he has a bad day, then we lose. This year we had different players step up

Super Y League Southern Soccer Academy’s Super Y program ranked by USL as the #1 Super Y program for the region and #6 nationally.

every game. The other teams couldn’t just concentrate on stopping one player. One way we foster teamwork is to have every soccer player at all levels from varsity to the freshman team wear the exact same practice uniforms. So on Mondays they all wear certain colors. Then on Tuesday they have different colored practice uniforms, but they are the same at all levels. The players pay for the practice uniforms at the beginning of the season and then they get to keep them. I brought that idea back from the European club teams. It helps build a sense of pride in being a part of the team, and it also helps to break down the star system. It doesn’t matter if a player is All-American or the third string player on the freshmen team. He still wears the same practice uniform as everyone else for that day.

Management Insight: Teamwork is not complicated to explain, but it’s not easy to build either. Avoid the star system that makes it seem that one or two star performers generated all of the results. Treat all the members of your organization with an equal degree of respect. Just as better soccer players get more playing time and bigger college scholarships, certain employees will get better assignments and bigger salaries. However they can be treated with an equal degree of respect.

Driving Impulse

him with a really skillful player. If there was a long pass into an open space, the fast player’s role was to run onto the ball. If it was a shorter pass on the ground, it was the more skillful player’s role to gather the ball in and distribute it. Throughout the entire team we find paired opposites so that players can complement one another in what they are doing. Everybody has a vested interest this way, and they’re all part of the outcome. This way everyone is much more motivated to do a great job because our team depends on each player successfully fulfilling his role.

Management Insight: In your organization, does every member of the group understand the responsibilities of his or her role? Are individuals paired with someone who brings complementary strengths? Do the members of your group have a vested personal interest in the success of the team? Do they feel that the team might fail if they don’t fulfill their individual roles? Focus on talent management, which includes organizing individual talent into “paired opposites” that can make each part of the organization stronger.

Dan Coughlin: What does it take for an individual to become an extraordinary performer? Terry Michler: Motivation plays a big part. It’s always best if motivation is intrinsic where the kids want to get better, but sometimes I have to provide some additional motivation for the players. If I need to be with a player at every moment to motivate him, then that’s a problem. There comes a moment when the player is on his own. If he can’t motivate himself, then he’ll never be an extraordinary performer. Some players need constant reinforcement, and they just aren’t going to become extraordinary performers. Motivation is important because no player can be an extraordinary performer without having taken his technical skills to a very, very high level. To do that requires thousands of hours of practice with an effective coach. No player will be willing to do that if he is not motivated to improve. And most of that motivation has to come from within the player. Sometimes a results-driven player is under too much pressure from other people and that can get in the way of a

Dan Coughlin: How do you determine the best role for each member of the team? Terry Michler: First, develop roles for every member of the team. The better players have bigger roles with more responsibilities, but they are still just doing their role. Everyone on our team has a role. I make it very clear what each player is supposed to do. Then every player is expected to fulfill his role as well as he can. I’m big on “paired opposites.” One year I had a lightning fast forward so I paired

SSA · March 2013


great performance. Occasionally a player’s dad or brother will constantly hound him to score more goals and do more things on the field. When that happens I pull the player aside and just ask him how he’s doing. Eventually the player usually confides in me what is happening. Then I tell the player that I really believe in him and that the results will eventually come for him, but for now I want him to just relax and have fun. I point out the things he is doing well and tell him not to worry about the other stuff. A lot of times I don’t have an answer for the person at all, but as I allow him to talk and really listen to him I can see him becoming much more relaxed. Players can’t perform if they are under too much stress. I want them to be relaxed because soccer requires a lot of mental and physical effort during the game. In soccer, there’s so much mental and physical flow that I don’t want to interrupt it, and so I don’t yell out to the players during the game. I just let them play.

motivated, you may very well have the wrong group of employees. When you have a terrific employee who is performing well below his or her normal standards and stoking too much pressure on himself or herself, take some time to sit down with the person in a one-to-one meeting. Patiently allow the person to share with you what is bothering him or her. Eventually you may help the person to relax and that can create the dynamics for a great performance.

Dan Coughlin: Are intensity, toughness, and aggressiveness important ingredients in being a great player? Why do you feel that way? Terry Michler: Mental toughness may be the single most important ingredient, in my mind, because there are too many distractions and “shortcuts” that can interfere with maximizing potential. The truly great player has a single-mindedness of purpose and does not allow himself to be knocked off his course of action.

Management Insight: Are your employees intrinsically motivated, or do you have to provide constant motivation for them to perform? If you always have to be there for them, how will they create and deliver more value for the customers? If they are not intrinsically


March 2013 · SSA

All the ingredients you asked about are both physical and mental, and I am a big believer that the mental aspect is the most important. The will and determination that drives people to greatness may be exemplified through physical action,

but the mental part is the driving force. You can readily determine the physical component through visual observation, but it may take a trained eye to observe the finer points of mental toughness and intensity. The truly great player knows that losing is part of the deal, but they exhaust all means possible to prevent that from happening. The deciding factor when all things are equal usually comes down to the one with the stronger mental makeup. Can you really fight through all the obstacles, stay focused, not get too high or too low, and be at your best even when things are not going your way? The really great players can always find a way to get it done, even though it may be with less style points on some occasions. When the final score matters, they will be the ones with the best chance to win.

Management Insight: Notice Terry’s emphasis on mental toughness over physical toughness. Toughness is not about being macho and screaming at people. It’s about staying focused over the long term and carrying the project to a successful conclusion. Look for employees with the mental toughness to persevere and help other people persevere through all the obstacles that stand in the way of success. If anything has been proven in the past ten years,

Super Y League Southern Soccer Academy’s Super Y program ranked by USL as the #1 Super Y program for the region and #6 nationally.

Driving Impulse

it’s that individuals in business who try to take shortcuts in order to avoid the tough situations end up ruining the group’s results.

together into a cohesive unit, where each person is doing his thing in the best interest of the team as a whole.

“coached” into being an asset to a group’s effort.

Dan Coughlin: If you have to choose

Management Insight: First, notice

About Dan Coughlin

Terry’s honesty about the second type of performer. These types of individuals “will never reach great heights of performance as soccer players.” Managers sometimes fool themselves into believing that a person with a great attitude and work rate can suddenly become technically very proficient and significantly improve business results. Then the manager becomes very frustrated and upset when the individual doesn’t contribute in an extraordinary way. Technical skills and knowledge are important. They should be sought out in the recruitment process. The individual without technical strength may help the organization, but an organization with only these types of performers will not achieve greatness.

Visit Dan at Dan is a student and teacher of practical processes that improve business performance. His purpose is to work with executives and managers so they achieve great performances. He defines a great management performance as significantly improving an organization’s highest priority desired outcomes in a sustainable way.

between a superior soccer player with a bad attitude and a poor work ethic and a person with a great attitude and great work ethic but below average soccer skills and mediocre physical traits, what do you do?

Terry Michler: First of all you want to try to work the first case until you see no hope. Many times a good give-andtake conversation reveals reasons for all that and then you can work through those reasons. You would never just want to dismiss that player without exhausting all the avenues first. Many times that type of person uses those behaviors as defense mechanisms to cover up insecurities. Sometimes when you give those people more responsibility, they really take off. Of course, this is not always the case. There are times when you are dealing with a real jerk who wants NO PART of what you’re offering. If you keep him, he becomes a cancer. By cutting him it is addition by subtraction. In the end these types of people will more often let you down than fulfill any promise of potential.

Then notice how Terry is willing to invest time with a high potential performer who has a bad attitude. He’s explaining the upside of uncovering insecurities and helping a person move past this lack of self-esteem. He’s also explaining the upside of addition by subtraction. A true jerk cannot be

About Terry Michler Visit Terry at As the Varsity Head Soccer Coach at CBC High School for 39 years, Terry’s record is 809-199-96. He has the most wins of any high school soccer coach in U.S. history. His teams have won six state championships, finished second six times, and have appeared in 16 Final Fours. He has been named National Coach of the Year twice.

The other type will never reach great heights of performance as soccer players, but given a certain role in the team, they can and do become very useful and helpful. You could not build a successful team with a team of those types, but they can be a part of it. Building a team to me is like putting a puzzle together -- no two pieces are ever really the same but they still have to fit to complete the puzzle. Every piece has its place where it fits comfortably. The key is to identify the individual qualities of the players and then weave them

SSA · March 2013


Southern Regionals - Oklahoma Last year we had 4 teams move on successfully to regionals. This year’s regionals will be in Edmond, Oklahoma.

State Tournaments

Championship events Applications are now open for Georgia State’s Spring Championship Series tournaments.

Academy Cup

President’s Cup

May 11-12 The tournament, previously for Georgia teams only, will now be open to all u10 and u11 Academy teams from Alabama, South Carolina and Tennessee.

May 11-12 The President’s Cup is offered as a State Championship event for Classic II & lower and Athena B & lower.

Rec Cup State Championship

State Cup

Age groups for this year’s tournament are u10, u12, u14, u16 and u19 for both boys and girls teams.

The State Cup is open to all teams u13 and older, registered and in good standing with Georgia Soccer.

may 11-12


March 2013 · SSA

May 25-27

SSA 路 November 2012



Oklahoma Bound Already locked in for Regional Championships held in Oklahoma in June 2013.


November 2012 路 SSA

97 Elite Girls - R3PL Champions

SSA 路 November 2012


Get Your Casino Tickets


Helping Children Play the Game All proceeds from Casino Night and Raffle will be used to fund SSA’s Financial Assistance Program.

SSA Magazine  

Initial volume for new Southern Soccer Academy magazine

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you