Winnipeg is home to many soccer clubs and associations, including the Focus9 Soccer Academy. Focus9 has a history of success that unlike other programs attracts a highly talented pool of motivated athletes from all across Winnipeg. What they have in common is a burning desire to boost their chances for athletic success and their coaches help facilitate this experience to fruition. It is but one example of a very special group of athletes that choose not to waste their time flailing around when they can be honing their skills with and among the very best players and coaches in the community. Their participation in the Academy enriches their lives and the fist bumps they receive from the coaches at the end of their training day are an acknowledgement of the players’ tireless efforts and commitment to the program.
EzReklama Blogspot reached out to Patrick Di Stefani, a professional coach and former player from Europe, and founder of the Focus9 Soccer Academy to get a better understanding of what Focus9 is all about and what is planned for the Academy in the upcoming year.
|Photo 1: Focus9 Academy archives|
Patrick Di Stefani: I established Focus9 in August of 2003 upon my return from Belgium. In Belgium I was coaching Professional Football for 5 years in the Belgium Pro League. The move to Canada was for my family. After moving to Canada I quickly realized there was a need for high performance coaching for youth players and felt I could create and establish a European style Soccer (aka Football in Europe) Academy. Our Philosophy is to present junior and senior athletes the opportunity to train with and receive instruction from experienced coaches and trainers within a secure, professional environment of the highest standards designed specifically for the needs of each individual athlete. Since 2003 we’ve been training young players in the Winnipeg, MB community as well as other cities within Canada.
EzReklama Blogspot: What types of programs and services does Focus9 offer and are they only soccer specific?
Patrick Di Stefani: We provide 4 main areas of service to our clients:
i) Club Services:
a. Technical and Tactical Support
b. Strength and Conditioning
c. Coaching Support
d. Establishing a Soccer Academy with Curriculum
e. Club Audit
f. Athlete Testing Protocol.
ii) Soccer Programs:
a. Goalie Academy
b. Outfield Player Academy
c. Striker Academy
iii) Athletic Conditioning Programs:
SAQ, Strength and Conditioning, and
iv) Performance Evaluation Testing:
Optogait and Optojump Analysis System.
|Photo 2: Focus9 Academy archives|
Patrick Di Stefani: We have had many successful athletes compete at the highest level. This includes not only Soccer but also athletes from Hockey, Volleyball, Basketball and Rowing. For soccer specifically, we have and have had players in the Belgium Football League, 1st, 2nd and 3rd Division. Most recently, Federico Pena, a pure product of Focus9 signed a Professional Contract with KAA Gent.
EzReklama Blogspot: What kind of things happen at one of your practices?
Patrick Di Stefani: Focus9 structures its practices and training sessions similarly to a Professional European Club. The intention is to create an environment where the players are challenged in every aspect of the game and are pushed to the highest standard. Our strategy is to immerse the players in the same environment that a young European player would be exposed to in their respective Country and Clubs. The sessions consist of specific technical, tactical and physical skills that players must learn in order to compete at the highest level.
EzReklama Blogspot: What does it take to become a professional soccer player/athlete?
Patrick Di Stefani: To become a professional soccer player or athlete it takes a number of varying elements, from talent, strength to speed… However, the most important aspect is always the players willingness to link all of these elements together which creates a professional player and/or athlete. EzReklama Blogspot: Can you tell us what you have planned for the upcoming year?
Patrick Di Stefani: We continue to build-up and improve our programming while striving to be the leaders in the soccer community. This summer we are delighted to have again with us Joel Crahay for a Professional week-long camp the first week of July.
EzReklama Blogspot: What one word or phrase do you want people to associate with your Academy?
Patrick Di Stefani: “The ULTIMATE GOAL of our GAME is to IMPROVE YOURS“, I always say, and in a way that has also become our motto. Yes, That is what I want people to remember us by.
|Photo 3: Focus9 Academy archives|
Patrick Di Stefani: Yes. Two main sources where you can learn more about the Focus9 Soccer Academy is to visit our website at Focus9.ca or our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/trainingfocus9 . You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or Phone us at (204) 990-4897.
Looks like it’s going to be another excellent year for Focus9. A big thank you goes out to Patrick Di Stefani for providing this interview with EzReklama Blogspot. I wish you and the Academy continued success and prosperity!
About the Author:
Ihor Cap is a Web Author and a Dad.