INDIANAPOLIS (Jan. 18, 2013) — The recipients of the 2012 US Youth Soccer Recreation Coach of the Year award for Boys and Girls were announced tonight at the US Youth Soccer Awards Gala, held in conjunction with the 2013 US Youth Soccer Workshop at the NSCAA Convention in Indianapolis. The national US Youth Soccer Recreation Coaches of the Year award winners are Chris Thomas of Lawrenceville, N.J., (Girls) and Thomas Velek of Columbus, Miss., (Boys).
Chris Thomas emphasizes that soccer should be fun and does his best to work with individual players to increase their enjoyment. He manages to find a way to get each player touches on the ball, despite a wide range of skill levels in recreational play, which allows everyone a chance to improve. Thomas holds a "C" License and runs training sessions each week for players and coaches, in addition to his current efforts to obtain indoor space for recreational players to train.
Ensuring each of his players improve is the main goal for Thomas Velek. He encourages higher levels of competition but will not leave any player behind. Velek has started a summer pick-up game program, coordinated two USSF "D" License courses in Columbus and initiated and directed the Columbus TOPSoccer program. While constantly promoting the game, he makes sure to stress sportsmanship and respectful behavior to players, coaches and parents.
Recipients of the Recreation Coach of the Year awards are selected by the US Youth Soccer Board of Directors on the basis of sportsmanship, player development, personal coaching development and community involvement (citizenship).
For bios on each of the regional award winners, click here
These coaches have committed to continued education and self-sacrifice to give back to the sport they love with the hope that they might enhance one of their players abilities and quality of life. US Youth Soccer is proud to highlight these Recreation Coaches of the Year for their time and efforts in contributing to America's youth through the great game of soccer. By promoting teamwork, discipline, fitness and fair play these coaches are making a difference.