Coaching the coaches: soccer clinic held in Brawley

Soccer Coach Miguel Perez instructs his team during the clinic at Brawley Union High School on Sunday. Photo by Gus Garcia.

BRAWLEY — The Cal-South Coaching Education E license seminar was held at Brawley Union High School Friday and Saturday, with Staff Education coach for California Youth Soccer Association Rick Flores presiding over the seminar.

“We’re here to not only coach and teach and mentor,” said Flores concerning the clinic. “We’re here to provide instruction and give the coaches the right guidelines to coach the kids in a dynamic fashion and follow the right methods for the age group.”

The clinic is an 18-hour coaching education course sponsored by the California Youth Soccer Association and is also functions as U.S. Soccer curriculum course. The clinic itself consisted of classroom instruction for coaches and on-field practice. As such, the clinic was open to local youth as coaches were then allowed to run drills. Flores supervised and observed the coaches who participated, including those like BUHS coach Miguel Perez who want to continue improving their coaching skills.

“One of the reasons I took this course Class E license for U.S soccer was to expand my knowledge in the sport that I love and have participated in for the past 24 years,” said Perez, who coaches freshman boys’ soccer at Brawley.

Over the last few years Perez has been been focusing on Brawley’s youth soccer scene, including overseeing recreational soccer leagues. Perez has gotten involved in the Cal-State soccer coaching clinics in hopes of taking Brawley youth to official Cal-State and U.S. soccer sanctioned tournaments in the near future.

“The course helps me coach kids from my local community to develop skills to get them to the next level with competitive soccer,” added Perez.

Over 40 youth and 16 local coaches looking to obtain their E licenses were in attendance.

“The coaches were very receptive. I thought they had an open mind, and I think they improved in the second day, but still the path doesn’t end here as you have to continue to raise your own level for the kids,” said Flores on working with the 16 Valley coaches.

Flores is a retired United States Marine and was also the state coaching director for the state of Illinois for five years prior to joining the California Youth Soccer Association.