Merritt Black Alan Isham
TECHNICAL DIRECTOR U8-U12
5 years coaching experience with recreational programs
4 years coaching experience with competitive programs
I began playing soccer during recess in the 6th grade. I started playing organized soccer for my school, the Jasper-Troupsburg Wildcats, in the 7th grade. My junior year of high school we were NYS finalists. I attended Keuka College and played division III intercollegiate soccer for four years. I have played on various adult recreational teams through 2014.
I’m a fan of the beautiful game. I love the complexity and simplicity of soccer. I love that success in soccer is about preparation and composure over size and strength. I love that the lessons learned on the soccer pitch are great lessons for life (confidence, teamwork, sportsmanship, decision making, the value of hard work and hard play, etc.).
I have followed several teams over the years. My loyalty is more to the beauty of the game than to a particular team. I began as a fan of Ajax of Amsterdam in the 90’s and as a player patterned much of my play after Clarence Seedorf and Marc Overmars. Most recently I’ve been a fan of Pep Guardiola and try to take some coaching tips from his approach (Tiki Taka at Barcelona, more direct at Bayern Munich, can’t wait to see what he does at Manchester City).
I believe that soccer should be fun and as much as I love it, it is a game, it is a players game. As a coach I feel my job is to create the environment necessary to help my players learn. I create challenges and problems within games for them to solve with the understanding that this is the highest level of learning and gives them the tools to solve novel problems.