Coach Rhodes answers questions about his coaching background and his time with Soccer Youth
This week’s Coach Spotlight features Jon Rhodes. Coach Rhodes is originally from England and began his coaching career at 18 years old. Mr. Rhodes has experience coaching at every level, starting with professional club Hull City AFC. While moving up the ranks in the Hull City coaching tree, Coach Rhodes helped foster Hull City’s academy that is still in effect. As the coach of the U12 and U14 Hull City girls’ team, Coach Rhodes helped developed the program to become the ladies’ semi-professional team.
Coach Rhodes has amassed a large number of awards and recognition that includes a certificate in Coaching Disabled Footballers, a Community Sports Leaders Awards, an associate degree in Supervisory Management in Sports and Recreation, three FA Coaching Licenses and one UEFA Coaching License. Coach Rhodes came to the United States for a brief period in 1996, an Olympic year, to work for the number one soccer camp organization in America at the time, British Soccer. After his time in the states, Coach returned to England and Hull City AFC in 2001 while also joining Futbol De Salo Brazilian soccer schools as a technical coach and fitness trainer. Coach also joined the School of Excellence as a head coach and a scout. Coach returned to the United States two years later to continue coaching and has since become a Technical Director for Bay United Soccer Club as well as being one of the first coaches for Soccer Youth, coaching at the first event in Soccer Youth’s young history. Bay United Soccer Club has won eleven state championships since Coach Rhodes has joined the staff.
SY: Can you describe your time coaching before coming to America?
Coach Rhodes: “Growing up coaching through the professional ranks in England, I’m very lucky. I see those clubs as the founding fathers of the sport. Where I began at such a high level at a young age, I was really able to gain a lot of experience early and the skills of professional coaching.”
SY: Did you play soccer at all before you started coaching?
Coach Rhodes: “I played for Hull City AFC and the School of Excellence as a player, but because of injuries my playing career was cut short. I was basically retired at 19. Although I’m proud of my playing career, I have blossomed more in my coaching career because I started at such a younger age and gained that experience. I believe my coaching has impacted the game of soccer more than my playing career.”
SY: Can you give your overall thoughts on Soccer Youth?
Coach Rhodes: “Soccer Youth to me is a great dynamic because it diverts from the regular camp you see across the country. It’s smaller teams so there are more touches for kids while they’re playing. It makes for easier scouting when it comes to Soccer Youth’s Golden Cup and Super Cup. It’s a great tool for those that want to get scouted and evaluated.”
SY: Can you describe a normal weekend for you at a Soccer Youth event?
Coach Rhodes: “It starts for me on Thursday by going to the performance training and getting to know the kids. On Friday, I go see the Evaluations and Assessments of the kids and help form teams. Saturday and Sunday I train with the kids to get to know them better and then coach them when the games start. It’s a good challenge for players but for coaches as well – we have to evaluate players and get to know them on a short amount of time but still try to coach them to a win. It’s great fun.”
Coach Rhodes, along with the other fantastic Soccer Youth coaches, will be at the All-American series throughout the summer. With eighteen events scheduled for the summer, Soccer Youth will be all around the country to help kids grow and realize their soccer potential.