Interviewing the head coach of South’s JV soccer team


Shree Delwadia

An alternative route. Coach Wagner serves as the JV Head Soccer Coach and is a teacher for weight training and health. His approach to learning and teaching is unique and allows students to learn more about themselves as they move along.

Shree Delwadia, Social Media Lead

As spring makes its way closer, the soccer team starts to prepare for the upcoming season. A player kicks the ball around with side to side feet movement, attempting to make a goal. Together, the team works and attempts to beat the other team with good offense and defense. At South, the girls’ and boys’ soccer teams have already begun to make a name for themselves. The players are hard at work every day, training to be the best they can be with the help of their own motivation and the soccer coaches. This year, South has a new junior varsity soccer head coach. Coach Wagner is excited to help the soccer teams be victorious as the season continues. Below is an interview with Coach Wagner about the first game, some basics about soccer, and his view or thoughts on the sport.

Q: Why were you interested in coaching soccer and what do you enjoy about it?

A: I actually don’t have a ton of experience with coaching or playing soccer growing up; however, I grew to love the sport in college and learned a lot about it. Earlier this year, I talked to the head varsity coach to see if they needed any help and there ended up being an opening for JV Head Coach. Before going into the game, I did my research to be prepared; however, I am learning more things as I go too. There are still a lot of technical things I need to learn, but in terms of strategies, spacing, and ball movement, I feel comfortable out there. Even though I am used to coaching football, I love coaching soccer because it’s something different and it takes a different type of approach to coaching. It is fun being out there apart of a different game.

Q: What are some things you do as head coach?

A: As a head coach, I communicate with them (the players) as much as I can out there. One thing I try to focus on is to pick a few central things that they always know is expected of them. Instead of giving them a million things to remember,  I give them a few super important things and when they don’t do follow those expectations, there are consequences. This reminds them that they need to make sure they follow through with what is expected of the team, so the game goes well.

Q: How do you determine what players are best for offense, defense, or the goalie positions?

A: Since I am a new coach, you kind of have to try out different positions and trust them about what they say about what position they want to play. Afterwards, you practice them in different spots to see how they would do with different skills. I gave all my players a survey with different questions to see how comfortable they were playing different positions. The survey helped me to see how they self-assess himself. Throughout the season, based on what I learn about them as a player, I can try them out in different spots.

Q: What are some things you guys do during practice?

A: We really try to focus on the things that we struggled with in our previous games. For example, after the first game, we worked on throw-ins, corner kicks, free kicks, and counterattacks. We make sure to address our weaknesses at practice so we can fix before the next game.

Q: How did the first game of the season turn out?

A: During the first game of the season, we lost 2 to 0. However, in my opinion, I believe it was a good game. In the first half we definitely got outworked, but after speaking with the team, we turned it around and looked great the second half, but just couldn’t put the ball in the net. However, in our second game we […] it looked like we were overmatched, but we were able to win pretty handily our second game. I feel like they are going to improve throughout the season and with that hard work and mentality, we are only going to get better from there.

Q: Based on what you have seen so far, how do you think the season will turn out?

A: I think the season ahead is going to be good. I do not know much about the competition since it is only my first year; I can’t look back and say that this team was pretty good or this team wasn’t so good. Some may see that as a disadvantage of not knowing what we are going up against, but I believe that it is a good thing in the sense that we can prepare our team the best we can no matter what the other team puts out there.

As the soccer season continues, Coach Wagner is excited to dive deep into the sport, as head coach, and lead the team to victory. With the help of new coaching techniques and advice, soccer players at South are working as a team to make this season better than ever.