Spotlight Profile: Chelsea SC Director of Coaches Jenny Anderson-Hammond
Chelsea SC is a SoCal club with big ambitions for its players - but it is proud of it’s family friendly vibe and its dedication to players of all ages and abilities in the local community around Yorba Linda, Placentia and Anaheim Hills.
For more than 40 years, the club has forged a strong bond in the community and it is an identity Chelsea’s Director of Coaching Jenny Hammond-Anderson is determined to continue. The former WPS pro player and college coach has also brought a new level of technical knowhow and experience to allow her players to reach their goals in the game.
With 4,000 children - a roughly equal mix of boys and girls - in the Rec. teams, together with a Signature “bridging” program, and another 500 playing competitive club soccer, Chelsea has something for everybody.
“I grew up playing for one of the biggest clubs in the area and I enjoyed it but this club has a really special community vibe,” said Jenny. “It’s very much a town club where everybody knows and cares about one another. That’s how I fell in love with it here.”
Chelsea runs 37 club teams with age groups from U8-U18 and recently launched an L.A. branch with another 7 teams.
As a pro with the Sky Blues in New York and OC Waves in the now disbanded WPS league, Jenny was known as an extremely motivated and skillful attacking defender.
Having played with the best women footballers in the world, she understands what makes them successful and enjoys the roots element of the youth game.
“I want the 8, 9, 10s as a group to be technically sound so that when they are 14 or 15 they have been exposed to the kind of coaching that will allow them to express themselves and be able to pursue whatever level of the game they want to reach for, whether they are to be competitive at the Club, High School, Collegiate, or Professional level, ” she explained.
The club plays in tiers I, II and III of the Southern California Developmental Soccer League.
Here, Jenny answers some more questions for Football.com:
1. Can you sum up your soccer philosophy in one sentence?
Jenny: To impact young players and encourage them to be the best people they can be, whether that’s on the field, in the community or at home.
2. What are the most important attributes you look for in a young player?
Jenny: Coachability. I like to see how players react when they are out of their comfort zone and how they respond for their teammates.
What is their reaction when they make a mistake? Do they throw their hands up in the air or work hard to get the ball back? I’m also looking at their technical ability and decision making in a game.
3. Who is/was your favorite pro player and pro team?
Jenny: Zinedine Zidane. Manchester United
4. What is your own background in soccer?
Jenny: I started out with Mission Viejo Soccer Club and the Blues before playing in college as a four-year starter at Clemson University. At Clemson, I was a two-year captain as an upperclassman.
While completing a master's degree in sports management at the University of Kansas, I was the director of soccer operations during the 2005-06 seasons and in March, 2008 I was named the new assistant coach for Eastern Illinois women's soccer under head coach Tim Nowak.
In October of 2008, I was drafted by the New Jersey Sky Blue of the Women's Professional Soccer league and I also played at OC Waves under coach Abner Rogers In 2010 I played with the Buffalo Flash where my team went on to win the 2010 W-league championship. I’ve been at Chelsea SC for the last 6 years.
5. What’s the best advice you can offer to a youth player?
Jenny: Don’t let anybody tell you that you are not good enough. It is your actions that will get you where you want to go.
It’s all about mentality; you are going to have highs and lows and you have to push yourself in training every day and have the right mental approach.