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Head Coach Fred Miley
Coach Fred Miley picked up his early soccer background as a kid in Guadalajara, Mexico and Miami, Florida. He came up in the North Miami youth leagues in the '70s and captained his Miami high school team to a 13-4-2 record as an all-conference central defender. He went on to play outside midfielder for the Rollins College Tars (Central Florida) in the '80s under legendary Coach Gordie Howell's final seasons and the Tars' first playoff years as Sunshine State Conference Champions. He finished his B.A. in Economics and Business at Rollins, and went back for more studies at Colorado State University, for a degree in English with a teaching emphasis. Not long after moving west, he backpacked from Colorado, following the Rockies into Canada. Ironically, despite that long solo trek, his jobs have always led him into team building.
Since that time, he has coached high school and youth soccer in Florida and Montana 16 seasons, and has returned to some refereeing also. While living in the Colorado and Montana Rockies 1985-2002, he started his 19 years teaching mostly high school and middle school English and Journalism, and guided whitewater raft trips sixteen of those summers. When coaching, he aims to help families build a warm and enthusiastic community around the players that he leads. In 2005 he led the Shores Christan Academy Tigers into a national final four finish, and continued coaching up his daughter six seasons through the Ocala YMCA soccer leagues until 2011. That summer-long trek up the Rockies injected a few recurring messages through his teaching, guiding, and coaching.
"We're all on a journey," he says...
"We can only go so far before we cherish the value of connecting with others. We know we wither and die if we don't keep going forward. But sometimes we forget that we also wither and die when we try to go it alone. The important thing is to connect, and to know what we bring when we connect. Team sports will always push us to share a few imperatives: how to get up when we fall down, accept and connect with others of different backgrounds, bounce back from failures to successes, win humbly and lose graciously, and never be defeated by a loss."
"Soccer parallels life in a few constant ways. We need goals, and we have territory to defend. Opportunities require action and not just creativity. There are no time-outs, and our most important decisions are often made under pressure. A goalkeeper is a little like a baseball catcher -- the last man -- or, anyone defending a home or a company or a nation from intruders. A striker is a little like a CEO, with a new marketing plan, who needs a true team to help make it happen. A midfielder is a little like an outside salesperson turning prospects into clients whenever a loose ball is fetched and distributed properly. A defender is a little like a military or security guard, or a pest removal expert, or a software security designer, protecting citizens or clients."
"A cool head will always crown the best soccer players, the best leaders in business and military ventures, and the best leaders in life. However, a cool head has no purpose without clear goals and a passionate heart to reached them with responsible action, and by helping others with responsible action, for worthy results. This is why we train at all ages and sizes and in all nations through all weather (except lightning) for the mad yet logical pursuit of a checkered ball -- because we need goals. We need to reach them within a framework of a field and laws. There will be opposition, fatigue, criticism, flattery, distractions, and injuries. There will be people who get why they are there, and people who don't. The calls are not always fair, we get an elbow to the ear, cleats to a knee, or a ball to the face. Popcorn is for spectators, mud is for players. Sometimes we see more rain than teammates, or more enemies than friends. We need to find whatever style and beauty is necessary to overcome the obstacles and resistance afoot. It is a game of diminishing time and space, like life which is no game, and we must use both responsibly."
Coach Miley is very proud of his 2017 Ocala Hurricanes in the Big Sun Youth Soccer League's U14 division, after being away from soccer for six years.
"We have a dozen fighters who are learning very fast how to connect and grow together as a group," he says. "We're off to a strong start, and I expect our new squad to build some special memories, as they build their life skills with their soccer skills and love of the game. We maintain an emphasis on communication and passing to help us connect and grow as a team. Because we have only ten matches to measure our journey as a group, these players are buying into working hard. I like how fast we are establishing our confidence and identity."
"It's an honor to be part of such an amazing group, and to watch the way our families unite and back our kids. We want to do more than just have fun. We want to make a strong run at excellence with the time we have, and with everyone on board. That requires relationships and hard work. When our kids look back on this season together, I want them to know they did something extraordinary."