Bringing a wealth of playing and coaching experience to the youth soccer community. His involvement in collegiate soccer and the San Diego Sockers, our club is very lucky to have an amazing professional that specializes in player development. Crusaders had the opportunity to sit down with Coach Victor and discuss his experience and involvement in soccer.
At Crusaders we have some of the top-level coaching, Who is Victor Melendez? What is your history with the sport and how did you get started?
Coach Victor: I am a soccer fanatic. I was born in Guadalajara, home of the best soccer club in the world, Chivas. I grew up in Tijuana where at the age of eight I started to play organized soccer. I played in-state teams and eventually in high school and college and eventually played semi-pro for two years. I came to the United States first to play and progressed to coach my young children. I’ve been coaching ever since.
Crusaders: Tell us what is Crusaders Soccer Club, and what are the club’s core values, and why are they so important.
Coach Victor: For me, working in this club has been an honor. Aside from developing on the field abilities, we focus on a holistic approach, using soccer to help develop our society’s future leaders.
Crusaders: How did you get started with Crusaders?
Coach Victor: I am very lucky to be able to work with one of my mentors, Rene Miramontes, who invited 10 years ago and it was among the best decisions I have made.
Crusaders: What has been the biggest highlight for you as a player and as a coach?
Coach Victor: As a player my highlights include a national championship in school, reaching the collegiate semi-finals and playing in a professional environment all stand out. As a coach working with both the youth and professional levels. Being able to travel and experience different cultures. Another standout moment is winning the mini futbol World Cup.
Crusaders: How involved are you as a director with the coaches, teams, and players?
Coach Victor: I assist Rene Miramontes in all the projects and functions in the club but my focus is more with the players themselves and their development. I love being on the field and interacting with the players.
Crusaders: Where do you see Crusaders SC in the next five years?
Coach Victor: I sincerely believe that if we continue to follow the curriculum set by Professor Miramontes that we will be in a position to be the best program in East County. We would need the support and buy-in of the administration, coaches, rec. program, parents, and players to achieve this.
Crusaders: What constitutes success for you on a day-to-day/week-to-week/year-to-year basis?
Coach Victor: Winning is obviously important, but I think it comes down to player development. As coaches, we must have a developmental plan that takes into account short term and long term growth. That means planning out the day to day sessions, plans for weeks and months ahead and a plan for the year. Instilling good sportsmanship, great decision-makers and confident players is what constitutes success for me.
Crusaders: What are your thoughts on the current youth soccer landscape in San Diego and Southern California?
Coach Victor: This is a complicated question. I think that the day that the youth programs in Southern California put the player first instead of focusing on their financial and political benefit then Southern California would be a force. It comes down to ethics, professionalism, and respect between clubs for this to happen. We must continue to come together.
Crusaders: What advice would you give any player is trying to either play in the high school, college, or even having a dream to play professionally?
Coach Victor: Nothing just magically happens. First things first, they must set objectives and a plan of action to achieve these objectives.
Generally, people believe being talented means a player will get far in their soccer career but that is just not so. Many players are talented but that is not always enough. A player must stand out. For a player to standout they must:
- Show up on time/ be early consistently
- Always has a great attitude.
- No complaints or looking for excuses.
- Supports and helps out teammates.
- Works extremely hard.
- Respectful and gracious with coaches, opposition and teammates in victory and defeat.
- Being coachable and willing to learn.
- Being an impactful player consistently.