As part of our new website, we will be starting a series of interviews with soccer superstars to bring you the inside scoop. Throughout the series, we will interview players, coaches, referees, and administrators from all levels of the sport. Each interview will consist of 11 questions/answers and will be published on the 11th of each month.
To kick-off the “Eleven on Eleven” series, we chatted with Joe Bush, Elk Grove High School Varsity Boys Soccer Coach
Intro: Tell me about yourself…How did you get your start with soccer?
When I was in second grade, my best friends had been playing soccer for a year and convinced me to join. I played house and travel for most of my life. In high school I made the varsity team as a sophomore and I played for 1 year in college at Benedictine University. After getting a teaching job at EGHS, I became the freshman boys coach. The following year I was moved up to JV and the following year the former head coach moved to Colorado and I applied for the job and got it.
Question #1: How is playing at the Varsity level different than the other levels?
Answer: The speed and physicality of the game is so much faster and more difficult. You need speed and endurance along with a good soccer mind to be successful.
Question #2: As a young player looking to play in your program, what aspects of the game should I concentrate on?
Answer: They need to be physically fit. In addition, they need to be able to see the game two or three steps ahead.
Question #3: What are you looking for in potential players?
Answer: I want someone who is an athlete and can compete. They need to be adaptable to different formations and positions. If you have only ever played one position, you are less likely to be seen.
Question #4: What is the best way to be seen/get exposure to your program?
Answer: Come to summer camp and work hard.
Question #5: What is an average day like in your program?
Answer: We practice for about 1.5 hours each day focusing the first 20-30 mins on individual skills before moving into team strategy.
Question #6: What type of opportunities do your players participate in during the off-season?
Answer: A lot of the players play club soccer, although we encourage them to participate in other high school sports. This year we will make a concerted effort to get in the weight room.
Question #7: What do I have to do to make it the next level after going through your program?
Answer: The college game is even more physical, just because you can dribble through three players at the high school level does not indicate success at the next level. You need to be able to adapt, For instance, sometimes the team’s leading scorer needs to play defense at the college level.
Question #8: What in your opinion separates the good from the great players?
Answer: Great players try to get better everyday and work harder than good players. If your best player is your hardest worker your time should be good.
Question #9: What is your favorite part of the game? Why?
Answer: I love watching the team play. Nothing is better than watching a plan together.
Question #10: What is your best soccer memory?
Answer: Winning the MSL East title in 2010 and then the Regional Title beating Conant in PK’s during the 2010 season. That group of seniors worked really hard over four years and it was nice to see their hard work pay off.
Question #11: What is your favorite place to play? Why?
Answer: Anywhere where the grass is shortly cut and the weather is about 80 degrees. Although playing on a beach in Brazil would probably be great as well.