What geographical area do you serve ?
We are based in San Clemente, California, primarily serving families from San Clemente and neighboring areas (have around 90% residency) and also attract players from as far as Riverside and also military families from Camp Pendleton, Oceanside further south.
What are the ages of your teams ?
We serve boys and girls born 2010-1999. Our u8 teams are part of our skills academy and participate in the league in the fall and Surf scrimmages in smaller sided formats with games primarily on Saturday mornings.
What do you offer for younger players ?
We have a younger skills academy for 6-9 year olds which teach the fundamentals in a fun, positive environment. The academy runs two days a week. Players can sign up at any time during the year. We also have a week long skills camp in August for players aged 7-12.
Do you provide speciality training ?
We have two college coaches who work with the g/ks and also provide skills coaches (former college players) during our practice sessions. These services are available to players outside the club by visiting the camps and clinics section of the web-site. Through personal and small groups training wehave sent numerous players to colleges such as Navy, USF, San Fran State, Cal Poly Obispo and even professional trails with clubs such as Crystal Palace, Fulham and Dundee United.
What is the travelling involved ?
Training year round is in San Clemente. Tierra Grande are our home fields but we also use Shorecliffs Middle School, Liberty Park for games and have access to the soccer complex at Hermosa/La Pata.
Our league involves minimal travel in Orange County and when we choose tournaments, we typically play one in Orange County and another in San Diego so players and families can either stay at a hotel or drive down each day. We tend to play two tournaments in the summer and scrimmage San Diego Surf and their affiliates who provide top competition in the spring.
Older players around high school age will tend to play all over southern California reflecting their age and higher level of play.
What league do you play in ?
We play in Southern California Development Soccer League (SCDSL),
Why play for SC Surf ?
It’s important to note that we follow a professional soccer development model as opposed a business one. A few points which reinforce our model :
- We only have one team at each group (U12)+ to provide attention to detail to each team and player on the program
-We have over 80% player retention rate which is important in a community program which also reinforces the notion that if the players are developing through our program, there is no need to constantly try to replace them. Whilst we are a competitive program and add quality players to our teams each year, we also try to create a positive environment where players want to play, watch soccer, practice on their own, rather than a climate of fear where coaches berate players for making mistakes or cut them if they don’t grow physically etc.. We also take pride in seeing teams grow up together building character through tough times and enjoying the fulfilment success and hard work brings.
-We typically provide more than one coach at each session to provide attention to detail, we have technical coaches, g/k coaches, leadership mentors to cover all aspect of the game.
-We view training as more important than games, just as a piano player prefers to play tunes, he must practice the scales daily before having the confidence to compose his own tunes, this is something we reinforce throughout the year and requires parental support
-We understand that San Clemente is family orientated so only schedule two or three tournaments during the year and give players, families time off around the major holidays
-As a grassroots program which is balanced we have sent numerous players to D1, D2 and D3 schools, several receive academic and soccer scholarships.
-We are affiliated with San Diego Surf Soccer Club and as one of only 11 Nike Premier clubs in the country they provide us resources and support to enable our players the opportunity to play at the highest level possible i.e providing collegiate opportunities through the Surf network.
How do you deal with conflicts, players playing other sports ?
We minimise conflicts by holding a parents meeting after try-outs asking parents to list their conflicts druing spring then we try to set our schedule around those. We also ask for summer vacation plans early so we work our tournament and game schedule around this. We ask for the same courtesy during the fall season when we train twice a week and ask that all players attend the sessions to build momentum in the league season.
We encourage players to play other sports during our secondary season, although also provide guidance that most players must be talented athletes to play multiple sports . We also educate them that in order to be effective, when they reach the high school age or higher level teams, they must starting putting more eggs in one basket to fulfil their potential in one particular sport. We’ve had players from the program play on the PGA Golf Tour Events, receive scholarships through soccer, softball, volleyball, track and field, basketball and also academic scholarships and we encourage players to be well rounded individuals.
What is your relationship with the community ?
We have been in the community for around 15 years and thrive on it’s spirit and support. Almost all our coaches live in SC, several of our coaches help at the high school and understand the unique experience you can have representing where you come from.
We have had a real positive impact on the boys high school program, we joined the coaching staff 2009 and helped transfer the program from a local one to a national powerhouse, constantly ranked in the top 10 nation over the past year after winning State in 2011 and numerous league titles and CIF championships and appearances.
We also initiate community projects to give back to those less fortunate than ourselves, which also promotes team building and leadership as the players age. Projects such as helping at the Special Olympics, spending time at assisted living, cooking and delivering meals at homelessshelters, supporting military families are all projects organized by our players, supervised by Stephanie Gretzema and supported by our parents.
We also try and offer the opportunity to train and play for those who can’t afford it, in the form of financial sponsorship with the help of local businesses and families in the club.