Featured Coach: Ivan Todorovic of Slammers FC
Our Featured Coach series continues with an interview with Ivan Todorovic of Slammers FC.
Todorovic currrently serves as the coach of the GU8, GU11, BU11, and BU13 teams for the club. He is also an assistant coach for the Serbian National Indoor Soccer Team that will compete in the 2015 World Cup.
Additionally, Todorovic is the head coach for the California High School boys soccer team and captured All-Area Coach of the Year in 2014 and 2015. His team set a CIF record with 22 consecutive wins and broke a school record for most wins in a season.
You can learn more about his experience in the game by visiting his FC Slammers coach page.
1. Who is your favorite professional player to watch, and what is it about his game that intrigues you the most?
Ivan: My favorite player of all time is Lionel Messi. He makes the game so simple and his game intelligence and movement with the ball is superior to today's level of playing. In my opinion, he is the best player that has ever played the game.
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?
Ivan: My idea of development is based on strong technical skills and understanding the game. When I say understanding the game, I mean understanding the fundamentals of offense and defense, moving without the ball, and being able to keep concentration throughout the entire game.
3. Is there a specific individual training drill that you would recommend for all youth soccer players?
Ivan: The drill that I would recommend to all youth players is this: Take the ball every single day and just play with it. One day it can be kicking it against the wall. Another day it could be juggling. The next it could be shooting.
The point is not to let a day pass without with playing with a ball and improving your skill.
4. What gives you the most satisfaction as a coach in terms of player and team development?
Ivan: The best feeling that you can get as a coach is when you can look at your players and ask them these questions: Where were we when we started and where are we right now? Watching their development and success between those two periods is a great feeling.
5. What is the most influential piece of advice that you've received that's helped you throughout your career?
Ivan: A former coach told me once that talent is only 30 percent and the other 70 percent is hard work, dedication, and love for the game. I always remembered that piece of advice, first as a player and now as a coach.
The most important thing that you can remember is that there are always new things to learn and ways to get better.