"As a coach, I will do my best to make soccer fun for my players. My goal is to teach my micro-soccer players the basics of soccer and help them feel successful in the sport, have fun and get exercise. I highly encourage parent and player feedback at any time, as it helps me to make this the best experience for my players. I plan engaging, game-like activities that involve all players all the time. No one waits in lines or sits around during practices, but my players don’t realize they are exercising and learning soccer skills. To them, everything feels like a fun game or activity. Of course their favorite thing is still scrimmaging, and I make sure to always plan time for my players to just play soccer without a coach or parents correcting and coaching. Yes soccer is a sport, but soccer is also and will always be a GAME. So in my opinion, it should always feel like a game: exciting, competitive, and especially FUN!"
US Soccer 7v7
1st - SFVSC Ulloa Sharks
Natalie has been teaching for several years now and has been playing soccer since the age of seven. She started on a Vikings school team called the Ulloa Sharks and is now teaching at Ulloa and coaching the new girl’s team, Ulloa Sharks! She is excited to start her coaching career.
Natalie has coached kids at soccer camps and in PE at schools, and this is her second season as an official soccer coach with the Vikings. Growing up with soccer, she loved how fun her coaches made it. It was game-based and very similar to the US Soccer’s play practice play, player centered philosophy. She excelled in this practice style. Getting up to a more competitive level, soccer grew less fun… she hated the drills and her coaches didn’t make fitness fun. It felt like pure conditioning, not high-energy games and competitions.
Playing soccer seven days a week (sometimes twice a week) coupled with a thyroid condition she was unaware of at the time, soccer became more of a chore than fun, and she soon wanted to quit. She was burnt out, and no longer enjoying her favorite sport.
After quitting two of her teams, focusing on her health, and focusing on her other two teams where her best soccer friends played with her, she was able to enjoy playing again. She decided not to join the college team after all, which she thinks 50% of her decision was still due to the burnout. She opted to play intramurals and focus on completing her degree of Environmental Science, Technology and Policy (ESTP) with a concentration in Marine and Coastal Ecology from CSU Monterey Bay. She received a Multiple Subjects teaching credential with an additional certification to teach introductory science in 2014. She then earned a Master’s Degree (Master of Science in Advanced Teaching Practices) in 2019 and obtained her National Board Certification in 2020.
Natalie still loves soccer now, but plays at her own pace. She is now dedicated to making soccer fun for her players (and students). She doesn’t want any other child to experience the burnout that she felt. She wants them to love soccer and play because they love it and because it’s fun!