Get to know our newest Blaine Soccer Club staff coach, Ben Fast! Ben joins the staff from Eagan, MN and has worked with several other clubs in the state.
Q: How did you find yourself at Blaine Soccer?
Ben: Mr. Charlie Zubal referred me to the position and here I am!
Q: What are you most excited to bring to Blaine Soccer Club?
Ben: I am very excited to help individual players develop character and discipline and their passion for the game. I would like to see young players learn to love the game and the process of getting better as I learned when I was a player. I am passionate about spreading that joy in the game. I have a lot of team related ideas as far as tactics that I am interested in trying to implement with different groups and different ages. I would like to see what the capacity the players have to learn complex concepts and learn to play well together as a team because I think soccer is the ultimate team sport.
Q: What about Blaine Soccer Club excites you?
Ben: I like the model - you are freeing coaches up to put more time into the soccer side of things and the management of the team and the individual relationships with parents and players. I think that gives the full time staff model each person the chance to put in the passion that they have for the game. A lot of coaches in MN are pretty passionate about the game, and I think this is a great fit for me. IN the past I was doing the part time model, and that doesn't really serve well or connect with the passion that people have for the game. I think that this model allows coaches to give back - I really like that Blaine allows us as coaches to pass that passion along to the next generation.
Q: What gets you the most excited during coaching?
Ben: Seeing what you envision, watching your players execute the picture in your head of what the players can do. Seeing that come to life makes me really excited. Also in general, I really like possession based soccer and passing, as a player, that kind of gave me the most joy: playing well together rather than scoring or winning. Seeing the team game come to life makes me really excited in practices and games.
Q: What are your hopes for the summer with your teams?
Ben: I would like to see our teams have a clear identity. Whether it's parents or people watching them for the first time or other teams, I would like them to have a strong identity in possession based soccer, playing the ball on the ground as much as possible and working well together as a team. I think having a clear style of play is my goal for the summer and developing the players within that style of play. Winning is also important, but I think the development piece is the most important part of youth sports.
Q: When did your passion for soccer begin?
Ben: Probably when I was first starting to watch European soccer when I was about 10 or 11, when I had access to watch it, I began to understand that soccer is so much more than a game. There are tons of social, economic, political, and cultural factors that go into it - it is such an open and accessible game. I think all of those factors kind of contributed into me understanding that soccer was different than other sports. I believe as you improve as a player, you have more fun in turn. As I continued to improve, I realized that you get out what you put in. So the more and more I put in, the more and more joy I was getting out of it because I was able to do more on the field.
Q: If you are not on the field coaching, where can we find you?
Ben: I am either playing soccer or working out, or I like being active. When the weather is nice I like being by the river or by the lakes around town. My favorite spot to be is probably around the Mississippi River, or around the Chain Lakes or Lake Como. I also really like shopping for clothes or shoes. I don't mind grocery shopping or any type of shopping - I definitely like the retail therapy.