On Monday and Tuesday of this week Rush Pikes Peak had the pleasure of hosting two professional coaches from the French Football Federation that are coaches with UNECATEF (French Coaches Association). Pascal Grosbois and Frederic Lipka arrived in Colorado Springs on Monday afternoon to help with the education and coaching of both the players and the coaches within Rush Pikes Peak. Pascal and Frederic both played professionally in France and have coached at the highest level including Pascal in Qatar and Dubai and Frederic as the Head Coach of the French Academy in Le Havre. The new partnership between Rush and the FFF is unique in the nation and blows away any coaching education available anywhere else in Southern Colorado. This is truly an unbelievable advantage of being part of the Rush coaching staff. Coaches including Directors, competitive and developmental coaches were in attendance as Pascal and Frederic ran sessions for the U9G, U11G, U14B and U17B. Our guests spoke reasonably good English and did a wonderful job of instructing and educating the players on the field and briefing the coaches on their themes and thoughts. Their overriding theme was to remind the players and the coaches that it is our job as coaches to “form” (develop) the players and not get hung up on winning every game they play. We are to prepare the players for the future and not be too concerned about the present wins and losses. On the field they were very demanding when ensuring that the players stay mentally engaged all of the time, not just when the ball is around your area of the field, but all the time when they are on the field. There was also a stress on the transition aspect of the game, and the recognition of what to do as a team when you lose or gain possession of the ball. The youngest group worked technically for the majority of the time, and as the age level grew so did the emphasis on more tactical aspects. Outside of the soccer field Fred and Pascal visited the Olympic Training Center and spent time enjoying Colorado Springs, always asking questions and debating the good, the bad and the ugly of US Soccer. Rush Pikes Peak Soccer Club is very grateful to Fred, Pascal and the FFF for allowing us this wonderful opportunity. Stay tuned for news on the second half of the coaching exchange, when Rush coaches go to France to work with Fred and Pascal again!