Parent Letter from our D.O.C

Welcome to Coronado FC for the 2024-2025 season.

This letter has 3 key sections:

1) A third extra and optional practice session each week
2) The introduction of assistant coaches
3) A new philosophy and a new working model for CFC

The third practice

This will be a 90 minute session that is split into two 45 minute chunks. One 45 minute chunk will be spent on purely technical work, the other 45 minute chunk will be spent on physical work.

The physical work will be led by Joe Geletko, MA, RSCC, CSCS, USAW. Joe was the Athletic Performance Director in the soccer program at UCLA for seven years, he is highly qualified, has great experience and is very closely aligned with my beliefs on how to build the physical development of young athletes and young soccer players. I am absolutely delighted to be able to bring Joe to the club and I am sure he will be a huge asset for us.

The technical work will be led by myself, with support from lots of the other coaches. In my time here I think one of the biggest areas for improvement in CFC players is the ability to control the ball and pass the ball at a very high level, at high speed, consistently. This session will focus on those vital fundamental skills.

If a player is with a team that has practice on Monday and Wednesday, this third extra optional session will be on a Tuesday, 4pm - 5.30pm.

If a player is with a team that has practice on Tuesday and Thursday, this third extra optional session will be on a Wednesday, 4pm - 5.30pm.

All players are welcome to attend the extra practice. We will mix boys and girls. We will mix ages. The work that we do will not require one player to compete against another player and so we can mix in and coach anyone who turns up.

Assistant Coaches

I'm delighted to announce the introduction of assistant coaches to CFC. For the most part these assistants will work across two teams (occasionally one, occasionally three) and will support the head coaches. I believe that an extra pair of eyes and an extra pair of hands, improving our coach to player ratios, will allow us to offer a better coaching program to all of our players.


Thank you to those who were able to attend one of the parent meetings and presentations that I held back in February. For those who were unable to attend, I will try and arrange to do this on one or two more occasions in April in the hope that everyone will have a chance to hear my vision for the direction of the club. These meetings are also the perfect opportunity for me to take parent feedback and ideas as I continue to try and build a full picture of everything related to Coronado FC. Your views, your experience of the club and your input are vital. I hope to work together with you in building a great future for CFC.

For those that have attended a meeting, what is written below should offer written confirmation of what we discussed in those parent meetings. For those who have been unable to attend, I look forward to discussing and explaining in more detail what is written below in the April meetings.

I'd like to start by saying that I believe in the power of sport to teach life lessons. I want Coronado FC players to grow up as decent well-rounded young men and women who have a positive impact on society and that will always be more important to me than the soccer itself. That said, I plan to provide a world class soccer development program that will maximize the development of every player.

One of the key things that I would like to implement at Coronado FC in the new upcoming season is a system that allows for every player, every child, to develop and improve at all times. The model will look to support the development of a player in five key areas; psychologically, socially, technically, tactically and physically.

As children grow and mature they will go through different phases of development, we know from scientific research that there are different stages of physical development and different stages of psychological development. For example, on average, boys hit the peak of their growth spurt (peak height velocity - PHV) at 14.5 years of age. For girls this is, on average, at 12.5 years of age. What the body can do, what the body is ready for, and what the brain is ready for, changes as children go through these stages of development. Therefore, a system that looks to maximize the development of each individual needs to be flexible based on the needs of the individual and needs to understand that these needs change over time.

It is very easy for players and parents (and coaches) to get caught up in the moment. How did I play today? Did we win or lose today? What team am I in today? While I understand this, I will always take a long term and big picture view, a holistic view, of development. A performance level at one point in time is just that, it is at one point in time. It is not fixed. The performance today and the result of the match today do not dictate the future. I will work to instill and ingrain a 'growth mindset' culture where every player (and every coach) is always focused on how to get better. This will be balanced and will include "what strengths can I build on" AND "what areas do I need to improve on".

Development will not go in a straight line, it is not meant to. Progress being made in one component of performance (e.g. technical) will not necessarily mean that progress is being made in another component of performance (e.g. physical). I will be working with the coaches to build a model and a way of working where we are constantly analyzing the needs of every individual player.

Most of the time there will be a desire to have players in the 'zone of proximal development'. This is not within their comfort zone, but also not too far away from it, it is an area, a sweet spot, where players are being tested and stretched and challenged to support their development and progress. But, there are times where we want to allow players to be in their comfort zone, to build confidence and to consolidate skills that they have recently learned.

Therefore, a holistic development pathway will ensure that all players spend some time being one of the best players in a group, but that they also spend some time in a group where they are having to work really hard just to keep up with the ability of the players around them. This pathway will ensure that players have the opportunity to succeed regularly, but that they are also regularly put in situations where we know they will fail. This is by design. Mistakes are where the learning happens. We need to remove the fear of failure and support players as they make mistakes. We need to help the children in the club to be better technically and tactically when they make mistakes, but we also need to help them understand how to deal with failure from a psychological perspective. This is one of the very important life lessons that I believe sport can teach.

All of this leads me to saying that I do not intend for Coronado FC to have 'fixed teams' very often in the new season. Where we have had a white team and a green team in the past in some year groups, largely fixed for an entire year, my plan is for this to be much more fluid. Tied into the 'growth mindset' approach and culture that we will have, players will earn their place in a team on a day by day basis. The stigma attached to the 'lower' team will be removed and players will understand that there is a benefit to a varied development program. Not only will players who in the past were on the lower green team regularly get a chance to practice with the higher white team in order to test them and stretch them, players who in the past were one of the best players in a higher white team will need to move to practice with better players (probably older) who will test them and stretch them as well.

This is no different to a school where some pupils study 'further maths' or 'advanced maths', they do this because, at that point in time, they need to be tested and stretched in that subject. Just because some are at that stage does not mean that everyone is. Just because it is right for some pupils at that point in time does not mean it is right for all pupils at that time.

I will ensure that every player in Coronado FC is treated fairly, but fair does not mean the same. The journey of every player will be different and the needs of every player will change over time.

The new season will officially begin on Monday, April 8th. If a player who has recently attended tryouts is registered and signed up for the new season then they can attend practice from that date.

From April 8th until the SOCAL League season begins in early September there will be lots of movement of players between teams. This will be tied into an annual calendar so that you can plan ahead, we will not be dropping things on you at the last minute and expecting you to get kids to practice and games that are not scheduled in advance.

The longer the season goes on, the more teams will likely take shape. But, there will be player movement wherever it is necessary in order to test and stretch each individual player.

Please keep in mind that a move 'up' is not necessarily a good thing and it is not permanent, it is just to test an individual player in a different way.

Similarly, a move 'down' is not necessarily a bad thing and is not permanent. It might be to allow a player to build confidence, to develop leadership skills, or to hone skills that have recently been learned.

Even once we enter the SOCAL League season players can still move freely between teams. So the plan will include a period from early April through to early September where things are very fluid and games and matches that we play have more of a development focus and less of a results focus. Once we hit the SOCAL League season, although there will still be movement between teams, the teams will take shape a little more and we will place (slightly) more emphasis on the result of the match. The season will finish with State Cup and this competition has a 'roster freeze'. Therefore, by the time we enter and participate in State Cup the teams will become fixed and we will aim to perform as well as we can in those State Cup competitions.

In essence, all players will spend the whole season trying to earn a spot in the highest team for the State Cup Tournament. All players will spend a whole season trying to develop and improve as much as they can.

The priority order will be as follows:

What is right for the individual player, then...
What is right for the club, then...
What is right for the team

If it is the best thing for a player to move up and play with older players then that will also be the best thing for Coronado FC as a whole. This will trump the fact that a specific team is 'losing' one of its best players. All players are CFC players, no one is tied to one team, and we will do what is best for the individual and for the club.

Finally, please be aware that in addition to the registration fee for the season there will also be a cost to entering tournaments. The plan is for all teams to enter five (5) tournaments in the 2024 - 2025 season. This will include our own Holiday Cup, our own Crown City Classic, the State Cup and two others. All of this will be planned into the annual calendar and shared with you as soon as possible.

I'm sure there will be lots of questions and I hope to answer those as they arise. Please get in touch any time and thank you for your support as we look to take CFC forward. I look forward to seeing your player on the field!

Very best wishes


Simon Hayward
Director of Coaching, Coronado FC
Cell:  619-346-0888 |