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National Staff

Sam Okpodu


Executive Director, South Carolina Youth Soccer Association


How did you first become involved with the NSCAA?
I became involved with the NSCAA through an invitation from the Board to serve as staff coach after completing my Advanced National Diploma.

Why do you continue to stay involved with the NSCAA?
I am able to share my playing and coaching experience through the NSCAA to new coaches across the world.

Why do you like teaching NSCAA courses?
It allows me to share my background and knowledge as a player and coach using the NSCAA Coaching methodology.

What is your favorite NSCAA course to teach and why?
National and Advanced National - the National stresses the methodology of teaching individual technique and functional training while the Advanced National stresses more of the tactical elements.

What is the best thing about the NSCAA Academy?
It provides educational opportunities and services and stimulates interest in the game of soccer through seminars, clinics, symposiums, etc.

Who is your all-time favorite player?
Edson Arantes do Nascimento "Pele", Diego Armando Maradona and Kevin Keegan. Pele played for Brazil and Santo - great technical and tactical knowledge. Maradona played for Argentina and Napoli - great individual dribbling and free kicks

Who are/were your mentors in soccer?
Diego Maradona and Kevin Keegan.

Who are your mentors in the coaching profession?
Jeff Tipping, Anson Dorrance, Barry Gorman, Jimmy Lennox, Ron McEachen, Peter Gooding and Schellas Hyndman.

What advice would you give to young coaches?
To take NSCAA courses, attend conventions, seminars and symposiums. Finally, to have a couple of mentors to discuss important soccer issues.

What is your favorite book and why?
Kevin Keegan - My Autobiography - it talks about his career in football

What is your favorite movie and why?
Pretty Woman - Comedy and Romance

If you could be anyone for a day, who would it be and why?
Nelson Mandela - for his strength and courage to stand up for the truth and his passion for life.