Featured Coach: Brent Broadhurst of FC Man United
Our Featured Coach series continues with an interview with Brent Broadhurst of FC Man United.
He currently serves as the Executive Director of Coaching for the club, and is also an assistant coach at the University of Cal Poly Pomona. In addition, he was named Gatorade Coach of the Year in 2008 and coached professionally with the OC Blues.
You can learn more about his experience in the game by visiting his official FC Man United page.
1. Who is your favorite professional player to watch, and what is it about his game that intrigues you the most?
Brent: I guess I would have to admit that Lionel Messi is my favorite player to watch today. . . although I will say that my all time favorite player to watch was Roberto Carlos.
Over his career he modernized the outside back position from both a defensive and offensive standpoint. His power, strength and willingness to get up and down the field were outstanding. His ability to distribute passes accurately over any distance in tight spaces was incredible to watch. His free kicks from 30 yards on goal were with so much power and accuracy that teams changed how aggressive they defended in their defensive third.
He passed like a center midfielder, he took on players like a natural winger, he defended in open spaces like a solid defender and to top it off he hit free kicks like a true goal scorer. All around remarkable player that took great pride in being a left back.
2. What are the major characteristics that you try to instill in your players in order to help them strive to become a complete soccer player?
Brent: The 3 H’s: Hard work, honesty and humbleness. With those characteristics any athlete can achieve success on and off the field. Nothing in life is worth having if you don’t have to work hard for it.
If you’re not honest about yourself it’s impossible to gage your weaknesses or strengths and ultimately you will struggle to get to the next level in your career. If you’re not humble coaches won’t want to coach you and players won’t want to play with you.
I preach to all of my athletes that before I look at how good you are as a player I look at how you are in the classroom, how you treat your family and how you carry yourself in society.
3. Is there a specific individual training drill that you would recommend for all youth soccer players?
Brent: Three things come to mind for me on this subject:
- Juggle, juggle and juggle. Juggling forces players to master the most basic actions used in the sport (pass and trap). You’re never too good of a player for juggling. There is no excuse for players not to juggle and all you need is a ball. You don’t even need a soccer ball, just a ball! Players should juggle and have fun with it by using all body parts (including both feet) and work on new ways of bringing the ball off the ground without of course ever using their hands.
- Functional training is very important for youth players. Take a specific action in the real game and make an exercise that replicates that and do it over and over again. The older players should do more specific actions/exercises that are conducive to their natural position(s) while younger players should do more general actions of the real game.
- Players need to play more small sided/unorganized games. Soccer in the US is too structured and if all we do is train a couple days a week with our teams we will never compete at the highest levels. Players need to participate in stress free environments and be able to try new things and not feel so pressured to make the perfect decision every time. This also indirectly helps players develop a passion for the game. Once a player has developed a passion and is inspired he or she is typically willing to overcome just about any obstacle to reach their full soccer potential.
4. What gives you the most satisfaction as a coach in terms of player and team development?
Brent: Seeing young adults develop into good positive human beings. When a player wants to be a better person because of the environment I created as the coach is very rewarding to me. It is also very satisfying for me to see lifelong friendships develop between teammates.
From a soccer standpoint I have always enjoyed seeing players reach their full soccer potential. For some that has meant making it to the next level in their club careers and for others that has meant becoming a professional athlete.
5. What is the most influential piece of advice that you've received that's helped you throughout your career?
Brent: Treat every player fair but don’t treat any player the same. Every athlete comes from a different background and upbringing. There is a key to unlock every player to help them get to the next level but you can’t use the same key on any player but no matter what you always have to be fair with all of your players.
You also have to be willing to work as hard as a coach as you’re expecting your athletes to work as players.