AROUND THE STATE


Tom Goodman Elected to Connecticut Soccer Hall of Fame

The whole of the Mass Youth Soccer community celebrated earlier this year when former Mass Youth Soccer Director of Training and Evaluation Tom Goodman was honored with induction into the Connecticut Soccer Hall of Fame.

Since his early playing days at Springfield’s Nathan Bill Park and Cathedral High School, Goodman has scaled the heights of youth soccer coaching in the United States, including — among others — time served as a USSF National Staff Coach for Region I, Region I ODP Staff Coach, Director of Coaching for PA West Soccer Association, Connecticut ODP Director and Director of Coaching for World Class Soccer Premier Club, where he won two national championships.

Goodman has coached at the recreation, travel, premier, high school, college, state ODP, regional ODP and professional levels.

He currently holds the USSF "A" License, the USSF National Youth License and is a USSF and US Youth Soccer National Instructor. He has a Masters Degree in Administration of Education and was also a professional educator for over 20 years.

Goodman is also the author of soccer books and articles and is the creator of coaching DVDs. He is a highly respected and sought-after speaker at club events, state and national soccer coaching and player development events and national sports educational symposia.

Rather than credit himself, however, Goodman prefers to pass credit on to the coaches and individuals who helped shape his future career.

Individuals such as Mr. Cazavaland, a Hungarian immigrant who used to play pick-up soccer with the boys in Goodman’s neighborhood. Over the course of these impromptu affairs, Cazavaland would offer the boys encouragement and praise, jumping in to teach a certain skill when needed. Though he received no salary and collected no tournament wins, “Mr. C,” as Goodman calls him, became Goodman’s first coach.

From Kiley Junior High School English teacher Ted Keefe, who also coached the school’s soccer team, Goodman learned the importance of teamwork, effort and sportsmanship — in addition to proper grammar and sentence construction.

From Cathedral High School coach Lee Kenworthy, Goodman learned to think beyond the laps-and-triangles approach to soccer training. Kenworthy, who earned a USSF “A” License in 1970, used training tactics that were years away from gaining widespread acceptance, and took his players to college games to encourage them to become students of the game’s practices and principles.

Goodman learned something different from each of these coaches, but in essence, each taught him the same three principles that have become the foundations of his coaching career:

  • When you play soccer you have fun!
  • When you play soccer you learn new things!
  • When you play soccer you are important to your teammates and coach!

“We must always remind ourselves and others involved in youth soccer that our purpose is to provide an environment conductive to learning and having fun for our players,” Goodman says. “This means that we all must understand what motivates our youngsters to play.”

Goodman proposes that kids play soccer for three basic reasons: to have fun, to develop and to feel important to their coach, parents and teammates.

Essentially, it is an extension of the lessons Goodman learned from the coaches who ultimately shaped his life’s work — Goodman’s way of passing on the lessons that were once impressed upon him.

Mass Youth Soccer extends a wholehearted congratulations to Tom Goodman on this outstanding honor!

For more information about Tom’s coaching philosophy, or to check out his many books and coaching DVDs, visit worldclasssoccer.net.