The week’s Coach Spotlight features Thuba Nkomazana. Coach Thuba is originally from Zimbabwe, playing professionally for Highlanders FC in front of thirty to forty thousand people. Around age 20, he moved to Kentucky to play for Lindsey Wilson College. Coach Thuba said, “It was a culture shock to go from playing among all those fans to about 100 people at Lindsey Wilson.” He came to America for better opportunities in life and a better education than he could receive in Zimbabwe. “Zimbabwe is a third-world country, so coming to America provides better opportunities.”

Coach Thuba transferred to play at Coastal Carolina University for two seasons, followed by him beginning his coaching career at Coastal Carolina for two seasons. He then went to Lee University to coach for two seasons followed by one season coaching at Lindsey Wilson. Coach Thuba has been with Beach United FC for eleven years now as the coach and director.

This summer will make Coach Thuba’s third year coaching at Soccer Youth events. “It’s a different vibe. Getting to see kids come in from different states and play for about four to five days while getting out of their comfort zone.” Coach Thuba also mentioned that different coaches from different states getting to come and help kids grow is an important aspect of Soccer Youth. “It’s great fun and a great concept.”

Coach Thuba directs different age groups throughout events. “The first day, all the kids are nervous.” He says that not knowing what group the kids are going to be with and not knowing other players plays into that. “It’s a lot of work and challenging to rate the players and form teams. Do we get it right? Yes. Do we sometimes make mistakes? Also, yes. But this year’s new system on ranking players is going to make it a lot easier.” “Once the teams are formed, after the first day or two, you see kids start to open up and bond with each other. It’s a magical sight.”

Coach Thuba, along with the other fantastic Soccer Youth coaches, will be at the All-American series throughout the summer. With sixteen events scheduled for the summer, Soccer Youth will be all around the country to help kids grow and realize their soccer potential.