The United States Association of Blind Athletes seeks to hire a dynamic individual contributor to serve as the
Blind Soccer Manager. This position will be responsible for growing and managing the expanding blind soccer
community in the US from grassroots to elite-level play. From establishing local programs to organizing
national team identification camps, this role will take on the task of building an athlete and coaching pipeline
connecting grassroot levels to the Paralympic Games.
Title: Blind Soccer Manager Position
Type: Exempt Full-Time Employee
Reports to: Programs and Finance Director
Apply to: Kevin Brousard (email@example.com) and Molly Quinn (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Apply deadline: June 30, 2021
The United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) is a Colorado-based 501(c) (3) organization that provides life-enriching sports opportunities for individuals with visual impairments. USABA is a member of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee and serves as the National Governing Body for the Paralympic sport of goalball, a sport developed specifically for the blind and visually impaired. The association provides athletic opportunities in various sports, including goalball, blind soccer, track and field, Nordic and alpine skiing, biathlon, judo, swimming, tandem cycling and powerlifting. Through grant funding from the Department of Veterans Affairs, USABA also provides adaptive sport activities for blinded military Veterans across the country.
Mission and Vision
The United States Association of Blind Athletes empowers Americans who are blind and visually impaired to experience life-changing opportunities in sports, recreation, and physical activities, thereby educating and inspiring the nation. Every American who is blind or visually impaired will lead a healthy lifestyle by actively participating in sports, recreation, and physical activity.
Founded in 1976, USABA is celebrating its 45th anniversary in 2021. Over that time, the organization has impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands of blind and visually impaired individuals and become a vocal champion of the abilities for America’s legally blind residents. USABA has emerged as a world-class trainer of blind athletes, particularly in the sport of goalball where USABA-trained teams have won 11 Paralympic Games medals and 11 World Championship medals. Most recently, USABA has applied for two (2) certifications to become the Paralympic Sport Organization for goalball and blind soccer (also known as 5-a-side football).
The United States Association of Blind Athletes seeks to hire a dynamic individual contributor to serve as the Blind Soccer Manager. This position will be responsible for growing and managing the expanding blind soccer community in the US from grassroots to elite-level play. From establishing local programs to organizing national team identification camps, this role will take on the task of building an athlete and coaching pipeline connecting grassroot levels to the Paralympic Games.
Historically, the United States has not been a part of the development of the sport of 5-a-side Football. USABA held the first development camp in the United States for coaches and players in Baltimore, Md., in June 2018. This one-week camp provided training for coaches led by Ulrich Pfisterer, the current coach of the German National Team and chairman of the IBSA 5-a-side Football Committee.
Developed from that event, several local teams were started across the U.S. The creation of local programs is pivotal to grow the sport domestically as it provides youth and adults who are blind and visually impaired with a unique activity for developing physical strength and stamina, teamwork, enhanced communication skills, heightened spatial awareness, improved orientation and mobility, as well as social opportunities.
As of 2020, 10 club teams exist in the United States. Approximately 105 athletes, 18 coaches and 18 volunteers participate. Key accomplishments in the development of grassroots blind soccer:
• Hosted three talent identification and development camps in Columbus, Ohio; Salt Lake City, Utah; and San Diego, Calif.
• Awarded an Innovate to Grow grant from the U.S. Soccer Federation to build sustainable local programs in 6 cities over a three-year period.
• Since 2018, we have secured more than $250,000 in grassroots development funds. Our goal is to secure $300,000 in grassroots development through 2022 and beyond.
The USABA Blind Soccer Executive Strategy and High-Performance Plan document outlines the organization’s plan to grow the game. This position will work closely with programming and development staff to collaborate on execution of this plan. Successful execution of this plan will be vital in USABA’s attempt to be certified as a USOPC Paralympic Sport Organization (PSO) in the sport.
Major Duties & Responsibilities
Some key responsibilities of the Blind Soccer Manager include the four pillars outlined in the Blind Soccer Executive Strategy and High-Performance Plan; recruitment and development; camps, clinics and competitions; identify regional coaches and leaders; and grants, funding and sponsorships.
The Blind Soccer Manager reports to the Programs and Finance Director, and the position is fully supported by the CEO, Fundraising & Marketing Manager, Communications Manager, Programs and Safesport Coordinator and Program Intern.
Major duties include:
• Cultivate strong partnerships with key constituent groups such as schools for the blind, blindness centers, Paralympic/USABA Sports Clubs, and US Soccer contacts.
• Establish and execute a development model to grow the game on a local, regional and national basis.
• Identify and mentor key coaches and leaders in local communities.
• Organize and coordinate regional coaching, athlete and official's development camps.
• Organize and coordinate regional and national tournaments and competition.
• Meet or exceed annual deliverables for local program/team growth as set for in the Strategic Plan.
• Meet or exceed annual deliverables for camps, clinics and competitions as set forth in Strategic Plan.
• Focus on blind soccer growth efforts through the consolidation of the following contacts & resources; USSF grant cities; Target grant cities; MLS teams, MLS team foundations; collegiate/ blind soccer partners; state schools for the blind contact lists; compiling contact for local blindness organizations; Paralympic/ MoveUnited Sports Clubs; master blind soccer coaches & athletes; TOPSoccer (US Youth Soccer) & United Soccer Coaches and other blind sports programs/ events.
• Develop and maintain tracking system for elite-level athlete growth and progression.
• Organize and coordinate National Team identification camps and competitions, including international competition.
• Secure funding sources to create and sustain viable domestic programs.
• Create annual High Performance Plan and budget to be submitted to the USOPC.
• Develop comprehensive training program (cardiovascular fitness, strength and conditioning, skill development, mental aspect of game, nutrition, etc.).
• Develop coaching certification program.
• Develop referee certification program.
• Develop a US 5-a-side Football National Team to compete at the Los Angeles 2028 Paralympic Games. Background Knowledge, Skills & Experience
• Minimum of 3-5 years of experience in sport management, adaptive sports or soccer.
• Bachelor’s degree preferred in sports management, or related field Experience
• Previous work in adaptive sports and soccer preferred.
• Knowledge of the domestic and international Paralympic and adaptive sport landscape.
• Working knowledge of the fundamentals of blind soccer.
• Personal skills to connect, cultivate and mentor local groups, coaches and leaders.
• Experience in working directly with grassroot and elite-level athletes.
• Progressive events planning and management experience.
• Willing and motivated to actively fundraise.
• Demonstrated ability to work in teams. Competencies
• Strong communication skills (in-person, oral, and written)
• Project Management
• Self-driven, proactive, entrepreneurial
• Holds self and others accountable
• Proven leader
• Strategic and critical thinking
• Analytical skills and attention to detail
• Strong decision-making skills with the ability to make decisions independently Tools, Equipment & Conditions
• Standard office equipment
• Traditional and Non-traditional work hours and weekends
• Travel is expected to be about 25%-50%
• Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite (i.e., Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel)
• Proficient in in peer-to peer-fundraising technology and CRM database