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A Coach In The U.S.

By YESsoccer, 02/17/17, 1:00PM EST


Scott Wallace

YESsoccer's 2017 roster of U.S. coaches will be selected by our YEScoach ID Team at Villa Park, home of Aston Villa FC, on Sunday, February 19th. 

For an invitation to this special event please complete our YEScoach Application.

A Coach In The U.S. spotlights international coaches who have started successful careers in the U.S. with YESsoccer

Scott Wallace joined YESsoccer on a full-time basis upon graduating from university in 2016 and has progressed up through the ranks to become Program Manager for the Chicago Fire Soccer Club's Soccer In The Community program - he has not looked back since.

Scott tells YEScoachID Director Chris Andrew how he made it in America.

Tell us about your current club, role and responsibilities?

I currently work as a Program Manager for the Soccer In The Community program with the Chicago Fire Soccer Club. The department is currently working hard to reshape the youth soccer landscape in the Midwest and it’s great to be a part of the long term project with SITC and US Soccer. My role is to create partnerships with youth soccer clubs and various different youth organizations to deliver Soccer In The Community programs in their community.

Why did you choose to join YESsoccer?

I decided to join YESsoccer after speaking to a friend who currently works for YESsoccer and had a great experience with the organization. At the time I was exploring options of what to do with my summer between my placement year and my final year at university. Coaching during the summer season represented a perfect opportunity to work and travel the US and get coaching experience in a professional environment. After my positive experience in 2015, I decided to come back in 2016 to start my career in US soccer after graduating university.

YESsoccer has helped me kick start my career in the US by opening up opportunities that may have not been available to an individual not attached to the organization. Working for SITC has allowed me to meet a variety of different people within the soccer industry ranging from enthusiastic parent volunteer coaches to elite level coaches coaching at the highest level. I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside some of the best coaches in youth soccer and learn about their cultures and their coaching styles. With coaches coming from countries like Australia, South Africa and Ireland, YEScoaches are encouraged to apply their unique coaching qualities to ensure YESsoccer deliver a variety of quality practices and camps.

What differences between coaching players in England and the US?

Players in the US are much more enthusiastic to learn from their coaches. There is an element of mutual respect between the players and coaches. However, their knowledge of the game isn’t as strong as players from the UK and that stems from soccer not being the most popular sport in the US (yet). This can be beneficial to you as a coach as you can implement a playing style much easier.

What advice would you give to a coach in the UK thinking about joining YESsoccer in the US?

Firstly, enjoy it! It can be a once in the lifetime opportunity for some people and you should enjoy it to the fullest. Also, watch other coaches and be open to learning from them, if you come to the US with a ‘know it all’ attitude you will not develop your coaching ability. Be humble about your soccer experience, the US soccer culture is different but do not underestimate it. The facilities are second to none and the youth game is rapidly improving.

What do you do to improve your abilities as a coach?

One method I use is watching videos of first team & youth practices on the internet. By doing this, you gain an understanding of what elite coaches are doing with their teams. I then think about how can I adapt this to meet the needs of my players. Another method is watching my colleagues coach. By watching carefully you pick up unique techniques of the coach that enhance their practices. I can then bring those techniques into my own practices. 

What is your number one goal as a coach? How important is winning to you?

My goal as a coach is to ensure that my players bring the skills that we have practiced into games and play as a team. Winning is the ultimate decider of success, however winning at the youth level should be a by-product of correct technique and team cohesion.

Describe a time that challenged you as a coach and how you worked around it?

The most challenging experience I have ever had is coaching players who do not have a strong interest in soccer. This can be difficult as involving them in any team based activity often leads to the breakdown of the practice. When this occurs I usually try and find a mutual interest between myself and the player, for example, video games. I then try and find a way of using this mutual interest in the practice itself.