Ken Sweda got his first taste of coaching in 2007-2008 when he took charge of his daughters recreational team. From there, Ken has been on a path of discovery, seeking out multiple opportunities to learn and grow as a coach. He has spent time working as an instructor for the official FC Barcelona Escola camps in Chicago, as well as owning and operating his own private skills training company.
I chose to interview Ken because he offers a very unique perspective. Ken specializes in working with young players at the grassroots level- fancy talk for he's a rec coach. A damn good one though! Shaped by his childhood memories of the Dutch national team of 1974, and it's component parts (Ajax) and descendants (Barcelona), Ken believes teams, and clubs, should have a well-defined philosophy and clear cut style.
Ken has successfully implemented the 'gold standard' methods of training at the recreational level. How did he do it? His approach is to build a team in phases, just as a team would play in phases during a game- from the back with an involved goalkeeper, playing through the midfield, looking to be incisive in the final third, by manipulating the opposition through ball and player movement, recognizing when to proceed forward and when to recycle.
And he did all of this at the lowest levels of U.S. Soccer.
Listen to Ken and I talk about his coaching journey.
Find Ken on Twitter: @Zone_14