Coaching Philosophy: Sports and winning championships are not an end in themselves, rather they are the means to reach other, more important ends, such as the development of leaders and problem solvers.
Chris Godart selected the original players for the Galaxy. He was not looking for the best soccer player, rather responsible athletes who were willing to work as a team and work hard individually to achieve excellence in their sport. That philosophy has continued in the ensuing seven years. Dedicated and supportive parents are essential to youth soccer because of the commitment involved.
In the first two years of play, the team set goals, which included committing to excellence. The goal of the team was to be an elite team and not a social, fun team. Nonetheless, the social element of a team sport is important and has proven to be a strong component of the team's success. The team has scheduled an annual ski trip and various other activities.
Achieving excellent soccer skills requires excellent training. The team has hired only top, experienced trainers. The team has also used a variety of different trainers. The change in staff has exposed the players to a broader view of the game. For example, Bill Creswick and Frank Schoon have worked primarily with technical skills. Hank Leung stressed attacking tactics and Tung has taught defensive tactics. Former pro AJ Woods worked primarily technical drills. Sully Hamid never officially served as the team's trainer but helps frequently as a consultant/helper to evaluate play and create drills for both technical and tactical weaknesses. Bobby Garza has been affiliated with the team for years and has concentrated on different subjects over the years, including agility and fitness, countering physical opponents, and finishing. The team emphasized training (3 training sessions per week) in the Spring of 2003 to heavily concentrate efforts before the players entered high school.
Finally, training is more effective in a proper training environment. Our goal is to create a positive atmosphere and recognize that mistakes must occur as players strive to improve.
"Coach Joe" has been involved with the Galaxy since the first season in WAGS. Joe is a former collegiate all-American athlete who has been coaching for more than twenty years. He graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1983 and coached Special Olympics for five years in Los Angeles. He coached for Edmond Soccer Club (OK) and NASA and Clearlake Soccer clubs (TX). Although he attends licensing courses each year -- most recently the C license course last year -- Joe credits most his coaching skills to working with top coaches in the field. Joe served as assistant coach under Chris Godart for four seasons. Coach Godart is well-known for his 10 years as head coach at Catholic University and 17 years of High School coaching at Oakton, Robert E. Lee, and Westfield. Joe spent half a year with the former National Womenís National team coach, Hank Leung (Hank also won an NCAA title while coaching at George Mason University). Joe played primarily defense in his younger years, but worked with Hank and then later with former pro Mark Brotherton, to study a variety of offensive systems. He believes that just as a player should never be satisfied with their level of achievement, a coach should likewise never be satisfied with his training methods or knowledge of the game. Former pro Mark Brotherton attends sessions each season and provides detailed evaluations of the team and the coaching. During the day, Coach Wendlberger practices law. He has a law degree from UCLA and a masterís of law in Health Law from the Univ of Houston.
Tung played soccer at Virginia Tech and is a phenomenal trainer. He has coached professional, collegiate and top club teams. He spent fifteen years working at various collegiate training camps, including UNC and Va Tech. He worked several stints at the Giva summer camp, which many local coaches consider to be the most rigorous youth camp on the east coast. He has coached a number of ODP teams and elite youth teams and has a USSF C-license.
Tung has been praised for his strength at all aspects of coaching:
Tung has produced tangible results for the Galaxy. Tung first worked with the Galaxy in the summer of 2003. The Galaxy attended several week-long camps as they converted from man-to-man defense to a zone defense. Jim Givargis conducted one of the camps and asked Tung to take the lead role on honing the defensive tactics and individual technique. Tung has been the team's primary trainer since Winter 2003 and has changed much of the training focus back to offensive tactics.
See Memorial below. Leigh coached the top Sterling Pride team with former pro Coach Brotherton for 11 years. He coached the joint Galaxy Pride summer team for consecutive summers and agreed to serve as an assistant coach for Galaxy in their final year--all without remuneration. Leigh represented Exeter University between 1975 and 1978 in the British Universities Championship. Between 1978 and 1991, played London league soccer for Weybridge Town and Southborough Arrows, and then for the British Football club of Toulouse in France. Has played representative cricket in England, South Africa, France, Spain, Gibraltar, and the Caribbean and representative rugby in England, France, Holland, and the Channel Islands. While living in France, was selected to play Cricket for the French National Squad in 1991. Currently plays squash in the Washington Area Squash League, and plays golf, very badly.
A Few Of Our Talented Coaches, Trainers, and Evaluators
Richard Prevost served as Assistant Coach for an incredible ten years. Last year, Col Prevost stepped down because of absences related to tours of duty required in support of the Iraq War.
Bill Creswick (Robinson HS) brings to the team more than 24 years experience at the collegiate, high school and club level. He runs our annual winter footskills program and an annual private one-week summer camp for the team."
Sully Hamid is the former soccer training director for the ABGC soccer club and now is the director of PAC. He is an entertaining instructor who is widely known for his training programs. Sully coaches one of the top boys teams in the country. The Galaxy has scrimmaged his boys' team several times and Sully has assisted with Galaxy training programs. Sully ran a full week summer camp for the Galaxy on systems of play. Sully's focus has been both tactical and technical, focusing on passing schemes to build play out of the back and attacking with quick play and varying forward runs.
Frank served as trainer for Fall 2003 and emphasized one v one skills and technical skills and possession tactics in small areas. Frank also assists Jim Givargis at the annual summer camp and runs sessions on one v one skills as needed.
Hank Leung has moved to Michigan, however, his 3 times per week vigorous training sessions have made a permanent mark on the team. Hank trained the Galaxy during the winter and Spring of 2003. Hank initially focused more on decision-making and possession skills to supplement Bill Creswick's winter footskills program. During the Spring 2003 season he changed the focus of his training to creative offense and speed of play. Hank's reputation is legendary. Hank has coached professional, collegiate, and national teams. He led GMU to eight NCAA post-season tournament appearances and three NCAA Final Four appearances in his ten years as head coach. In 1985, Leung engineered an NCAA National Championship, defeating North Carolina 2-0. He served five years as assistant coach to the U.S. Women's National Team where he trained such superstars as Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, Kristine Lilly, Joy (Biefeld) Fawcett and Carla (Werden) Overbeck.
Jim is not a trainer for the Galaxy but is widely known for his intense training programs. He runs the elite Giva Soccer Camp each July at Sweetbriar. The entire Galaxy team attended his camp in 2003 and 2004. In 2003, Jim also ran a second camp in August solely for the Galaxy. During the school year he trains many of the players privately at his Giva Soccer facility in Manassas. The results of his private sessions are phenomenal. Every player who trained more than one year with Jim was selected for ODP.
Bobby served as primary trainer in 2002 and continues to supplement the training. He often brought a volunteer staff of coaching buddies, including professional player Josh Witham. Bobby has been instrumental in the team's development. He was a club and high school soccer coach for years (Lee H.S.; formerly at Hayfield) and now is a trainer for the West Potomac boys team. While serving as primary trainer, Bobby focused heavily on team possession and movement. Bobby also inserted short technical drills into each practice, such as shooting technique and bending passes. Bobby runs three open summer camps including one camp dedicated to fitness.
D.C. United star A.J. Wood was the first trainer for the SYC Galaxy. A.J. focused on possession and techniques. A.J. took over as head coach of a boy's team but continued to make occasional appearances at summer camps. He now coaches the U-17 BETH Phoenix (first in Div 1 WAGS on 4/20/05).
Bruce Edgington and Richard Prevost run the team fitness program.
Memorial to Leigh Banting
On January 28th, Leigh passed away. Leigh was one of the most unselfish and giving coaches in WAGS. Both he and Pride head coach, former pro Mark Brotherton, coached for years and without pay, despite having daughters that chose not to continue playing the sport after they entered high school. Like Mark, Leigh coached the Sterling Pride for eleven years -- since the players were in 2nd grade. Leigh also coached the joint Galaxy - Pride summer team for two summers. Although Mark Brotherton was the head coach, the relationship between Mark and Leigh over the eleven years seemed to me as more like co-coaches. Mark Brotherton often praised Leigh for his help at every part of the coaching task, not just strategy and skills, but the myriad admin duties -- roster size, budget decisions, tournament decisions, and player selections. Mark attributes Leigh's dedication as the key reason that more than a dozen Pride players received athletic scholarship offers. However, I know from the four players that moved to Galaxy last summer that Leigh did far, far more than teach skills and create collegiate opportunities for the players. He taught character. Last year, with several Pride Juniors moving to Galaxy, Leigh agreed to be an assistant coach, and like all the years with the Pride, he agreed to assist without any remuneration. He helped with tryouts and strategy, but after the first game of the season, took a break because of health. He learned he had cancer and thought he would beat and be back coaching. Leigh was always willing to find time to discuss Galaxy strategy and suggest schools for our players. Leigh would suggest places to meet to discuss games, debate the pros and cons of different strategies, but he was always eager to hear how the summer stars played. Over the past few hours I was thinking of many of the compliments that he passed on about our players. My last conversation with Leigh was a repeat of a previous conversation about Jenny and how she should be playing soccer at William & Mary. Leigh praised Jenny as the best dribbler he had ever seen. Leigh also thought Whomp should have been looking to play in college. Over the last three years he has frequently made known how he loved the athletic talent on the Galaxy with fast players like Marika, Gretchen, and Michaeline and the power and strength of Taylor, Julia, Coles, Eleni, Jamie and Angie (for brevity, I cut out much of what I originally wrote here). Leigh always loved Morgan's presence and skill. He thought Morgan had the composure of a select few, such as Michaeline and Michelle; a composure that could make things happen under pressure. He frequently talked about the vision and intensity of Callan and Amy. He always thought Galaxy could take state cup with players who know how to shoot, like Marika, Becca and "Sammie" -- I know you love that nickname Sammie :) and two fantastic keepers, Brittany and Alex who could keep the ball out of the net.