The NSCAA brings the world of soccer together for those smart enough to attend
The Musings of a Soccer Lover – SoccerToday’s founding editor Diane Scavuzzo reflects on the action packed days of the NSCAA Convention which just ended on Sunday.
Soccer News: The NSCAA Convention for 2017 is over — and it is with exuberance and exhaustion that I reflect on the vast array of amazing sessions with incredible speakers and the endless hours of high value networking.
Often described as the World’s Largest Gathering of Soccer Coaches and Administrators, the NSCAA Convention is far more than a party of soccer lovers — it is an extravaganza of opportunities. This year’s Convention was the second largest in the 76-year history of the NSCAA with more than 11,000 coaches and guests in attendance.
Each year, the NSCAA Convention brings thousands of people together and creates an annual epicenter of soccer. This year, LA was where 10,000 plus soccer coaches, administrators and industry leaders descended to share 5 days of jubilant soccer passion.
America’s culture of soccer pales in contrast to Europe’s and for those who desire to live and breathe the beautiful game — or those who just work in the sport — we rarely find ourselves surrounded by soccer talk — except at the NSCAA Convention.
Regardless of your level or experience in the soccer world, the NSCAA Convention welcomes you. At this soccer fest, there is a place for everyone to be immersed in the beautiful game.
The focal point for all things soccer in America for less than one packed week, the NSCAA Convention is where you can see all the decision makers.
For example, you can watch the president of the U.S. Soccer Sunil Gulati walking down the hall to watch a session and pass U.S. Soccer’s Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis laughing with colleagues and then turn the corner to find England’s former Women’s National Team head coach chatting with a young coach seeking advice.
From MLS Commissioner Don Garber’s spotlight to last year’s U.S. Soccer Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann talk to this year’s newly appointed Bruce Arena session on the state of soccer, the NSCAA Convention is where the leaders of the game are — and, it is always the place to be the second week of January.
This is the week where dreams come true at the highest level of the game: The NSCAA Convention hosts the 2017 MLS SuperDraft and the NWSL College Draft which brings in all the pro team owners and coaches who spend their time carefully selecting which players will become professionals when their names are called out and they take center stage for a brief moment in time.
Soccer in America has become more competitive than ever and as the speed of the game increases, coaching education takes on more importance. Today, if you want to coach soccer in this country, you need to be educated — and there is no place easier to enhance your skills.
The NSCAA Convention offered 12 diplomas and held more than 250 educational sessions including live field demonstrations, round table discussions, the US Youth Soccer workshop and gave attendees the unique chance to ask questions.
Want to know if San Diego is gaining an MLS team? What advice on how to inspire youth players? What to know how the game is evolving and what unorthodox methods the best world class coaches are using?
Regardless of what you might want to know, the question was probably asked and answered at the convention.
The change to learn from experts in every aspect of the soccer industry is really an outstanding opportunity not to be missed.
If you are serious about soccer, your need to attend the convention which will be in Philadelphia next year, so pull out your calendar and book your travel.
One Tip: Try to stay at the NSCAA Convention headquarter hotel — just walking across the lobby can be a can’t miss opportunity to meet people. You never know who you might meet — Just waiting for the elevator, I chatted with Anson Dorrance, the University of North Carolina Head Coach who is one of the most successful coaches on the planet.
Now that the convention has come to a close and the exhibit hall, once a flurry of activity with 750 booths filled with soccer products now stands emptied — I can still feel the sense of wanting to be in more than one place at a time, just to take advantage of all the convention offered. The quiet of my normal yet hectic life yearns for one more day of NSCAA Convention activity. I know it is just over 300 days before I get to be back at the epicenter of soccer — with the highest levels of the game all packed in one location waiting for me to learn and discover more about the game I deeply respect.