Ten Years of Leadership in Youth Soccer
Leadership in Youth Soccer
In 2010, founder Christian Isquierdo, went undefeated in club (MTA) and high school soccer with the #1 Nationally ranked team (Eden Prairie HS) after finishing 16 years of coaching. He was awarded a trip to the World Cup in South Africa by Coca-Cola for his work with the then two year old, LeftFoot Coaching Academy. The World Cup inspired him with the vision of creating a soccer home™ for players who loved studying technique, fitness and the joy of competition.
LeftFoot was founded in 2008 as a private coaching group (previously known as ‘The Privado’) and was an exclusive group of MTA players dedicated to improving their skills. When the director of the club turned down the business plan for a non-club training program, Christian opened LeftFoot with $40,000 raised from 24 families to open LeftFoot Coaching Academy at its current location for players of all clubs to get the technical skills to succeed at the ECNL and Development Academy level of play.
The Problems of Player Development
The idea of LeftFoot began with an essay in 2008 based on seven years of serving a local Minnesota club as a Board Member and also three years as Coaching Director in the western suburbs. After ten years of being a technical “coach for hire” with several clubs in the area he became frustrated with the status quo regarding how a “team based training” model was the “only way” players were being taught. Camps and private training weren’t cutting it either as he’s known to say, ‘you don’t get better in a one week camp’. The essay, Problems of Youth Soccer , was submitted to MYSA for publication. It was denied publication for its “criticism of the standards of youth development in Minnesota.”
Since 2008, LeftFoot has challenged the models of facility design, scheduling models, training methods, coaching education and player development to the success of hundreds of players reaching the highest levels of excellence that reflect the Core Values of LeftFoot. Individual accolades of LeftFoot players include five Ms. Soccer winners, and three Star Tribune Players of the Year who as former students accumulated over 5 years of attendance. LeftFoot has also directly been involved in training over 40 high school state champions, and over 30 collegiate players through eight years of having our own space. Proudly, three game winning goals in the State Championship High School finals have been scored by “Lefties” in the past six years.
Great Players Make Others Around Them Better
The pinnacle of success for LeftFoot is that the Great Player Model of Development which is our guiding methodology of coaching is all about the players who didn’t play in college but found the value of hard work, studied their body, focused their mind and became “the greatest player” no matter the playing field. Because as Christian is known to say, ‘greatness isn’t of value to just yourself, greatness is known by those who made others around them better’.