Featured Coach: Joe Franco of Santa Anita SC
Our Featured Coach series continues with an interview with Joe Franco of Santa Anita Soccer Club.
Franco currently serves as the President and Director of Coaching for the club, and is also the Girls Varsity Head Coach at Temple City High School. He has over 30 years of experience in the game as both a player and coach.
You can learn more about his journey through the game by visiting his official Santa Anita SC page.
1. Who is your favorite professional player to watch, and what is it about his game that intrigues you the most?
Joe: My favorite player currently is James Rodriguez of Real Madrid CF. His position is midfield and striker, and although he is mainly known as a striker, his ability and grasp of the game allows him to extend his play to various positions on the field and adapt/excel in them as well.
He is a great well rounded player and expresses his passion for the game. Recently he suffered a broken foot and was out for two months. Although he was out for that much time, when he returned, he showed a broken foot just couldn't lesson his ability to plan for the game.
He's an incredible player for any team he competes with as he excelled for Colombia's national team during the 2014 World Cup.
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?
Joe: The major characteristics I try to instill in my players is always work hard from the opening whistle and trust your teammates to make the play all the way down to the last player on the roster.
You never know what a player can achieve when their teammates have their back.
3. Is there a specific individual training drill that you would recommend for all youth soccer players?
Joe: The individual training drill I would recommend for all youth players is the 5 v 2. I add restrictions ( one touch, two touch) and watch the drill progress into an intense session.
4. What gives you the most satisfaction as a coach in terms of player and team development?
Joe: As a small club, I take pride in knowing every player on every one of my teams. Sometimes we go against some huge clubs with unlimited scholarships and resources, but often we compete and have success.
That gives me a satisfying feeling to see them work hard and achieve confidence and success.
5. What is the most influential piece of advice that you've received that's helped you throughout your career?
Joe: The most influential piece of advice I received that has helped through my career that I pass on to my coaches is don't take things personal.
In the world of youth soccer, parents will pull or transfer kids to other clubs or activities for no reason at all sometimes.
My advice is always just worry about the kids on your roster and the satisfaction you get when they learn and grow and become winners is a terrific feeling.