For a youth soccer club to be complete, they need to have solid, established programs ranging from the recreational player through the elite of the club.
This is something that cannot happen without high quality coaches at each level of the club.
Ballistic United is a club that places equal importance of its coaching directors. With that in mind, BUSC has announced the hiring of Randy James as the Director of Recreational Programs as of June 1.
James has spent extensive time with BUSC since 1997 in a variety of roles, as well as coaching at the youth regional level throughout the years.
He has also coached at the high school and collegiate levels since his playing days at Cal State East Bay.
Now he has the reigns of the Ballistic Rec program, the program arguably hurt the most by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is one of the club’s priorities,” said James of bringing the Rec program back to life post-pandemic. “The recreational program was, is, and will continue to be the foundation of Ballistic United. We – the board, executive staff, and I – are striving to recreate the safe and fun environment that has been the pinnacle of recreational programs in Northern California. The club is working daily to provide a safe return to play for all levels of players and I am looking forward to seeing the players back on the field in August.”
Under the direction of Technical Director Kevin Crow and General Manager Tim Ryerson, Ballistic has always strived for and achieved a balance between the various programs the club offers. Be it MLS Next, Elite, Comp, or Rec, the message is the same as is the consistency of the coaching.
“There is very little difference in terms of development theory, between the levels of play,” said James. “First and foremost is the player. Ballistic has been honored by US Club Soccer as a players first club. The development priority is to enhance a player centric environment where the players are the problem solvers.”
The reality is the Rec program is the foundation of the club. It provides the largest number of players in the club, as well as providing the launching spot for a players’ career.
At one point, even the most advanced players in the club started at the Rec level before advancing up the ranks.
It starts with the development of the mind of a player.
“The first thing that comes to mind is education, meaning an all-encompassing approach of player education, coach education and parent education,” said James of the approach to Rec program. “
What sets BUSC apart is that the development on the field is only one part of the equation that is stressed at the Rec level. It is the development of the player as a person that is of equal importance.
“I have always looked at coaching soccer as teaching, specifically teaching life skills through the sport of soccer,” explained James. “Statistics indicate only a few players will go on to play soccer beyond high school or college, therefore it is more important to assist all players to develop a lifelong love of the game.”
James also added: “The players of today will be our future referees, coaches and parents. It is vital that we create a fun atmosphere, regardless of level of play. Within BUSC there is a place for everyone to play from 5 years old through adulthood and helping to create a lifelong passion for the sport is the primary goal.”