Featured Coach: Joey Hoffman of Fram Soccer Club
Our Featured Coach series continues with an interview with Joey Hoffman of Fram Soccer Club.
Hoffman is currently the Director of Coaching and Player Development for the club and the Girls U13 head coach. In addition to his work with Fram, he serves as an assistant coach for the Loyola Marymount University women's soccer team and a scout for the U.S. Women's Youth National Team.
You can learn more about his experience in the game by visiting his official Fram Soccer Club page.
1. Who is your favorite professional player to watch, and what is it about his game that intrigues you the most?
Joey: Phillippe Coutinho of Liverpool has the ability to skillfully get out of tight situations; He plays 20-40 yard passes precisely into space for forwards with his laces on the outside of his foot and his shooting ability from 20-35 yards is brilliant.
At 23 years old, he has potential to become one of the best players in the world and I hope he stays at Liverpool for a long time. I was at the Liverpool vs. Man City game last year at Anfield when he scored. The atmosphere was unbelievable and when he scored, Anfield rocked.
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?
Joey: The most important characteristics to me are work ethic and attitude. The general public doesn't get to see how hard the best players in the world work to get to the top. It's not good enough to be a great player at a young age; players have to have the work ethic and attitude to achieve greatness.
Tens of thousands of players say they want to play Division 1 college or play for a national team but the percentage of players that work hard enough to achieve it and put the time in is very slim. It's called hard work because it isn't easy!
3. Is there a specific individual training drill that you would recommend for all youth soccer players?
Joey: If we want players to play good soccer, they have to be proficient with the inside of the foot pass and have a good first touch; this is something that should be done at an early age. If players can't pass well with the inside of the foot and their first touch is poor, they will never really be able to play at the highest level.
Repetition is key and making sure that it is quality. Find a wall and chalk or tape a box inside, use the foot right and left foot 100 times hitting inside the box, then back up five yards.
Next, you can add controlling the ball with the right and passing with the left and opposite. You can also add outside of the foot to control and inside to pass.
4. What gives you the most satisfaction as a coach in terms of player and team development?
Joey: Everyone likes to win and winning is satisfying. But when you have a team that works hard and plays well, it is great to see the players get the reward of a medal for the hard work and good soccer.
However, the most satisfying for me now is seeing players go on to make State ODP teams, play in college, play professionally, but most of all, become great people.
It’s not about winning and losing but it is about having the characteristics of a winner and not a loser.
5. What is the most influential piece of advice that you've received that's helped you throughout your career?
Joey: There isn't one piece of advice that has helped me. Every lesson I've learned as a coach, every great person I've had the chance to be around, and every session I see I learn something.
Understanding soccer is more than X's and O's; it's about the relationships you build with the players and parents that gives you the ability to get 110% out of every player.