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Neil Hull

COACHING POSITION:

Director, Players Academy of Soccer Skills (PASS)

NSCAA State Director, Texas

Neil Hull is the NSCAA State Director in Texas and has coached a variety of NSCAA courses, including the National Diploma and Goalkeeping courses. In 2010, he was the NSCAA Associate Staff Coach of the Year.

He is currently the director of Players Academy of Soccer Skills (PASS) and is on the COERVER national staff. Neil has been coaching in the United States for more than 12 years of his 23 coaching years. Hull has educated players at the club, college and Olympic Development levels.

He is a graduate of the University of Texas- San Antonio and has separate degrees in kinesiology and sports science.

Follow Neil on Twitter: @VerbalVitamins

Interview

How did you first get involved with the NSCAA?

I took the NSCAA National Diploma course at Penn State.

Tell us about your favorite (or pivotal) NSCAA memory.

Being awarded the NSCAA Coach of the Year in 2010.

What is your favorite NSCAA course to teach and why?

The NSCAA Level 4 diploma. It really supports the grassroots education and development of the technical coach. It allows coaches to start their philosophy and personal self-expression. Coaches are exposed to a large diversity of teaching activities and often leave squeezing the sponge dry of the instructors knowledge. You know from many of the evaluations, just how much they have leant, to take away and not only challenge their players, but advance experiment ready to return for their next course.

What was your favorite NSCAA course to take and why?

The DOC Diploma. The instructors expressed themselves and their content in a very professional and informative manner. It was the right time in my personal development to hear and listen to club and business development. The ability to network and meet similar coaches advancing through the same environments throughout the USA and the world. The course aloud a coach to overview his or her management experiences with out being judged, but at the same time offering real life experiences.

What is your favorite part about working as an NSCAA Academy Staff coach?

The family. The ability to know I can contact and communicate with a vast depth of experience and knowledge at any time. One minute I might be communicating with a parent coach asking about details on their team. The next, I might be eating breakfast with three World Cup winning coaches listening to the same problem and understanding it's all the same game!

Knowing that we are teachers, not ideological or judgmental. Having a small role in the advancement of the players, through the coaches we teach. For every coach we support, they may have contact with 10-20 players. We really do have the ability to make a difference.

What does the NSCAA mean to you?

It give me a sense of association, belonging. It’s my team when I am not on the field playing. It professionally allows me to support and assist in the development, success and goals of all those around me.

Why is it important for a coach to advance their education?

The end product is the player and their environment: the team. It should be a coaches philosophy to do all he or she can do to support the development of these entities. Education does not just mean qualifications. It’s also an investment of time through clinics, conventions, reading, self-evaluation, mentorship, etc.

Why is it important for a coach to get involved with the NSCAA?

I really believe we care. We care about the coach, the player, the game and our investment their advancement. Being a part of the NSCAA offers an environment where as a coach is part of the team. It has far more "amigo than ego."

In your opinion, what are 3-5 key characteristics of a “good coach?”

  1. He /she cares. Cares for both the players and the game and all that surround it.
  2. He/she focuses on the positives and thus pulls out the positives in his team or player
  3. He/she is a role model / mentor, for not just the game, but for its ‘life skills’ also
  4. Being able to transfer the game from the training field to the match field
  5. A coach who is always will to learn and understand, there is not just one way, but many to achieve goals and attainments

Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your younger coach self?

All actions and decisions have consequences. Consequences that affect the player, coach, team and parents.

Take time to listen.

Place my house and all that I own on Chelsea to win the Champions League in 2012!