DOC of the Week: Gus Castaneda
Our DOC (Director of Coaching) of the week series continues with Gus Castaneda, the Director of Coaching for the Girls program at West Coast FC.
Castaneda oversees player development and many other aspects of the girls program. He has been a part of the club since 2000, and has spent many years coaching and playing the sport.
You can learn more about his experience in the game of soccer by visiting his West Coast FC page.
1. Who is your favorite professional player to watch, and what is it about his or her game that intrigues you the most?
Gus Castaneda: I enjoy watching Alex Morgan. She has the passion and ability to be a complete player. She can pass and receive, dribble and shoot with both feet,and her incredible presence/composure in big situations is simply second to none.
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?
Gus: I encourage confidence with the ball in all situations and in all area on the field. Mental toughness and discipline are also obviously important when it comes to developing young soccer players.
Other important characteristics that I teach involve players learning to be a good teammate and leader, as well as learning how to show great sportsmanship.
3. Is there a specific individual training drill that you would recommend for all youth soccer players?
Gus: There are a large variety of drills that youth players can use to improve their skills. They can play with a wall, work on 1 touch/2 touch, and vary the distance. Players should also work on shooting with power and receiving clean with both feet/chest/thigh.
Other useful drills include playing 2v2 or 3v3 with brothers/sisters/mom/dad/friends, participating in futsal, and even intently watching games on television.
4. What gives you the most satisfaction as a coach in terms of player and team development?
Gus: I enjoy when teams can be confident with the style of play we've worked on in practice and then apply it for success in game situations.
5. What is the most influential piece of advice that you've received that's helped you throughout your career?
Gus: Whatever the situation, everything always works out for the best.