SCU’s Cal Dixon selected to serve as goalkeeper coach at ECNLRL showcase event
Space Coast United’s Cal Dixon, who is head coach for SCU’s U16 2007 and U15 2008 Girls ECNLRL teams, earned the honor of serving as goalkeeper coach at an ECNLRL regional showcase event in Sanford in January.
“It was a great honor,” Dixon said. “It was a really fantastic experience for the players themselves and then for me to go and see basically the best players in the RL league play against each other.”
The event featured an age range of players from U15-U18/U19, Dixon noted.
“It was basically the best players from the east and the best players from the west that play against each other in an all-star game,” Dixon said. “They call it the national selection game for the actual showcase itself.”
Each team had two goalkeepers each, Dixon said.
“I was responsible for coaching all four goalkeepers so I was there doing a warm-up for them before the game and just chatting with them about the experience and then warmed up again at halftime and then just gave them a breakdown at the end of the game,” Dixon said.
Dixon explained where his love of coaching goalkeepers is derived from, including his own impressive playing career.
“I used to play as a goalkeeper,” Dixon said. I was as professional back in England. I played for Stoke City before I came over to America so I’ve always loved the position and I never intended necessarily to get into coaching at the time that I was playing but it kind of just happened….it was a great way to stay involved in something that I obviously loved playing when I was a player and then being able to pass on those experiences and to see kids grow, because now I do it from U9 or real young kids all the way through.
Dixon has been with Space Coast United for over six years and indicated that he’s enjoyed working with players on many different levels during his time with the club.
“It’s love to know that you are assisting and helping these kids and then watching them grow into not just good soccer players but then also good members of community and they don’t always go on to necessarily be professional soccer players or even want to be when they get to that point but they become great teammates and all the things that you learn and help you in different aspect of jobs and that’s the best thing for me is to see all that happen as they go through from young to adults and become good members of the community really. Obviously those….that do make it in professional and go on to play and that’s amazing as well for those guys that you’ve helped in some help way for them to live their dream and go on and play.”
He also serves as head coach of the Viera girls soccer team and goalkeeper coach for Eastern Florida State College’s men’s soccer team.
“I get the oldest up to the college level and then obviously all the youth players as well so it’s just a good experience to see them grow, pass on my experience….it is (goalkeeper) a very specialized position and I like to do that,” Dixon said.