photo: Elena Iourtaeva
Ongoing education is the key to perfecting a craft. This was the sentiment at U of T’s second annual National Soccer Coaching Conference on February 2. Organized by Varsity Blues manager of soccer operations and men’s head coach Anthony Capotosto, the two-day event hosted more than 380 people and provided a platform for coaches at all levels to come up with solutions to some challenges facing Canadian soccer.
With topics ranging from youth coaching strategies, to cultivating a more robust soccer culture in Canada, coaches were able to exchange ideas and receive insight from some of North America’s top clinicians and guest speakers. Presenters included Gordon Forrest, residency head coach and manager of coaching development for the U-18 Vancouver Whitecaps, and director for the Toronto FC Academy, Thomas Rongen. Bob de Klerk, former youth team coach for Amsterdam’s Ajax FC, and former assistant coach at Toronto FC, made a presentation examining the Ajax youth system, lauded as one of the best in the world.
Capotosto hopes that the weekend’s classroom and on-field sessions served to educate and develop coaches, and inspire new ideas regarding coaching and Canadian soccer as a whole.
“We want coaches to confirm what they know about coaching, collect new information, collaborate with colleagues and challenge ideas about the game,” he said. “It is only by educating ourselves that we will ultimately raise the standard of play in Canada.”
Watch video of the conference here.