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National Staff

Lang Wedemeyer

COACHING POSITION:

Head Women's Coach, South Dakota State University

Interview

How did you first become involved with the NSCAA?
I first became involved with the NSCAA when I took my National in Chapel Hill, NC. I continued on to obtain my Advanced National 18 months later. Around 1998 or 99, I was added to the Associate Staff in Virginia. In 2001, I was asked to be the Regional Director for ND, SD, and NE by Mike Parsons.

Why do you continue to stay involved with the NSCAA?
I continue to stay involved with the NSCAA for several reasons:

  • It is a wonderful coaching organization that has benefited me greatly from an educational standpoint and from a developmental perspective as well.
  • The NSCAA represents the “cutting edge" of coaching education. Jeff Tipping along with other past DOCs and other staff are constantly re-examining the changing faces of soccer nationally and internationally to better serve soccer in the US.
  • The people that are associated with the NSCAA are not only some of the greatest soccer minds in our country, but they are also great people too.

Why do you like teaching NSCAA courses?
I enjoy teaching NSCAA courses because of the satisfaction I get knowing that the coaches involved will go back and make the game more enjoyable for the boys and girls that they are coaching.

What is your favorite NSCAA course to teach and why?
My favorite course to teach would be the Special Topics courses. I enjoy these because each one presents a different challenge to the instructor on creating new and innovative ways to provide soccer education to a variety of different levels of coaches.

What is the best thing about the NSCAA Academy?
The best thing about the NSCAA Academy is the people involved. Doing a course, you get to know so much about the coaches taking the course. It is also great to learn from the other instructors every time we are together.

Who is your all-time favorite player?
My all-time favorite player is tough to discern. It would be a tie between Zidane and Ronaldinho. Both have unbelievable touch, vision, creativity, etc. But the thing that I love about Ronaldinho is that he really enjoys the game. He is always smiling when he plays. As for an American player, I would have to say DaMarcus Beasley. He is a very dynamic player. Maybe not the best, but he certainly combines great explosiveness with fierce tenacity. The fact that he has gone into PSV and done so well is a great credit to this.

Who are/were your mentors in soccer?
I have had a lot of mentors in my playing career: Danny Beamer who was my club coach (another RTD) and Ralph Perez who was my collegiate coach were probably my two biggest mentors.

Who are your mentors in the coaching profession?
In my coaching career, I have had a lot of mentors: Ralph Perez, Anson Dorrance, Tom Turner, Doug Williamson, George Perry, and so many more from the NSCAA and ODP Region II Staff.

What advice would you give to young coaches?
The advice I would give to young coaches is to attend as many coaching education courses as possible and to watch as much soccer as possible – both live and on TV.

What is your favorite book and why?
My favorite book is Watership Down by Richard Addams. I read it in 8th grade and read it again every 2 years or so. I enjoy it because it’s a good story, but also because it demonstrates/personifies how a group of individuals with no hope of survival come together using each one’s strengths to overcome adversity and succeed.

What is your favorite movie and why?
My favorite movie is Dead Poet’s Society. The movie is a great inspiration to anyone who teaches.

What is the last book you read?
The last book I read is called The Games Do Count. It is an amalgamation of excerpts written by politicians, movie stars, and leaders (all non-professional athletes) of our society talking about how sports molded them into the people they became later in life.

If you could be anyone for a day, who would it be and why?
If I could be anyone for a day, I would want to be Ronaldinho playing at the Nou Camp in front of tens of thousands of fans that gasp every time I touched the ball.