A Word From... is a new series of monthly articles from Alaska Rush Soccer Club's Techinical Director and Directors of Coaching. Each week, a different Director will submit an article pertaining to Alaska Rush, Rush Soccer or even world football in general. It's an opportunity for our readership to gain more insight on the sport and understand further what Alaska Rush Soccer Club is about and what Rush Soccer offers it's Members.
A Word From... Director of Elite Programs
Since being launched in March 2012, Next:1 Training has had a positive impact on the soccer community in Alaska. Next:1 Training is a developmental skill building training program for soccer players of all ages. The program is designed to give players the tools to perform and excel during match-play under any circumstances. It is intended to assist players in taking their games to another level, challenging them to reach their highest potential. Next:1 Training is also great because not only is it open to players from Alaska Rush Soccer Club, but soccer players throughout the whole community. Over my time coaching the program, it’s been amazing to watch players improve their skills and play over such a short period of time.
Feedback from coaches have been very positive and many of them have commented they can see the level of their players improve and give a boost to their overall team performance. Players who attend the Next:1 Training feel they are consistently being challenged, in a positive and safe environment. Players attend Next:1 Training to improve because they fully invested in their personal development and making it a priority to be the best they can be throughout their soccer career.
Carina Welker (Alaska Rush 99G Nike) expresses, “Next:1 Training has been a positive impact on my game. Since I’ve been attending the practices I feel stronger in many different ways, mentally, physically and technically, giving me more confidence in myself as a player. This program has helped me to develop my 1v1 skills. One of the things I love from the Next:1 Training is the practices are different, hard, and challenging, but also fun.”
As the coach, I’m inspired to share my own experiences from my soccer career as a professional soccer player and help the younger generations reach their highest potential, to live their dreams. I want players to experience the challenges of playing high-level soccer while succeeding. With that said it is really important as a player to ask yourself three things:
1) What are your goals?
2) Who do you want to be as a player?
3) Where do you want to go?
These three questions are important questions to keep in mind. I remember as a little kid I was always dreaming to be a superstar, becoming a professional player, and playing for the national team. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I was determined to do whatever it took to reach my goal and live my dream. It took me time, dedication, and perseverance, but I never gave up. I worked as hard as I could to make my dream happen, and it did. What began as a dream from a little kid became a reality. I was able to play professionally, and become the captain of the National and Olympic teams. I was able to reach my goals and live my dreams. I am a big believer that anyone can make their dreams come true with some hard work and opportunity. It all starts with you, your mentality, your hard work, your dedication, and your perseverance. Believe in yourself, dream, and always try your best because when you do it helps create possibility. As a coach I strive to create opportunities and challenge players to carry a belief that anyone can do it.