United Soccer Coaches sincerely hopes this letter finds you, your family, and your loved ones healthy and safe. Though the time recommends physical distancing, the circumstances require social crowding. We must come together to cope. How fortunate we are to be a member of the United Soccer Coaches family. Planning amidst uncertainty brings more questions than answers. During a time of unprecedented interruption to our lives, how comforting it is to have family.
I am grateful to be connected to several meaningful families right now, including these: the Sims nuclear and extended families; a neighborhood comprised of well-meaning, decent people; my church family; fellow sports enthusiasts; teaching and coaching colleagues; soccer team players and families covering decades; teammates and classmates from years gone by; the United Soccer Coaches Board of Directors; and hundreds of United Soccer Coaches members I am privileged to know and with whom I have served.
Family matters. Family provides love, support, sympathy, empathy, listening, security, and fun. Family knows your frailties and embraces you anyway. Family understands your idiosyncrasies and lets you be yourself. Family senses your frailties and helps you work through them. Family helps you grow continuously into a better version of yourself.
The United Soccer Coaches family understands the anxiety, frustrations, and fears brought about by current changes and the unknown future. The family misses regular contact with players and coaches, the ebb and flow of training sessions, the highs and lows of competition, the joy of discovery and growth, and the building of relationships. The family has lost seasons in full or in part, league affiliations, club tryouts, income, jobs, team travel adventures, camps, ODP cycles, and myriad growth experiences that stem from success and failure. The family misses attending and watching soccer as performed by the tiniest tykes to the international stars of the greatest stature. The family misses the anticipation of championships, new seasons, new stars, the drama of competition, the thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat. Planning amidst uncertainty brings more questions than answers.
After this crisis period has passed, the world will be changed. Change creates opportunity. Each of us has the opportunity to proactively invest in becoming a better coach and a better contributor to the beautiful game. United Soccer Coaches people and resources stand ready to assist you. Leading figures from the American soccer community, legal and financial professionals, United Soccer Coaches Education Staff, United Soccer Coaches Board members, United Soccer Coaches Advocacy representatives and United Soccer Coaches from every level of the game are sharing their knowledge, wisdom, and expertise to make us better.
I encourage you to visit the United Soccer Coaches website to take full advantage of the wide-ranging opportunities there (membership resources, awards news, financial resources, business advice, professional development, at-home training, mental health resources, online educational resource library, dozens of coaching topics):
- United Soccer Coaches podcasts
- Coaching Through COVID webinars
- Match Day webinars
- COVID-19 Resource Page
- Online Resource Library
- Commitment to Culture
From the moment the coronavirus began to impact the soccer community, United Soccer Coaches has been looking forward. We have worked diligently to adapt and innovate, always with an eye on providing the exceptional service that has been at the heart of the association since its founding in 1941. We have devoted effort to help our members stay connected to one another, engage opportunities to cope, and sustain their development by providing growth opportunities. We are confident we can enrich our coaches’ experiences. The entire National Office Staff has stepped up and forward. We have a legacy to preserve and build upon, and we intend to exceed the high expectations that we know you have for us.
United Soccer Coaches must express our utmost gratitude and respect for frontline medical workers and other essential workers putting themselves in harm’s way for the masses. How lucky we are to have such wonderful teammates, such committed people in the family of humanity.
We must take care of ourselves and each other physically, socially, and emotionally. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your United Soccer Coaches family. Our world, the soccer community, and United Soccer Coaches need to get better, want to get better, and will get better. By choice, we will possess new and higher caliber capabilities as coaches and an association. For sure, we are STRONGER UNITED.
President, United Soccer Coaches
Member Since 1981