We started our soccer workshops about 17 years ago in Calabasas when AC Stelle middle school opened in 2004 with two big soccer fields. We saw there was a need for young kids who would like play soccer and compete, but didn’t necessarily want to join a league. Or parents didn’t like the favoritism they found in some leagues, not allowing each student to participate, or sometimes they’d have unqualified if well-meaning parents as coaches. (one parent actually hired Coach Zacharatos as their secret weapon, to coach their team the Cheeta’s to first place in their league!) And some students just wanted to improve their skills before joining a league. Whatever the reason, the flexibility of our soccer workshops filled a void.
After some of our students repeated our soccer workshops a few times, we saw the next step was to have our own inner school soccer tournaments after completing each 8 week soccer workshop, with soccer trophies for first or second place awarded at the end of the match. In this highlight video from one of our soccer tournaments, we had Coach Zacharatos as head coach, and a parent (that was highly qualified), as assistant coach, so each team had their own coach during the competition.
Many of our karate students, who otherwise wouldn’t have had time or the inclination to play soccer in a league, were able to participate in our soccer workshops. It was a great experience for the kids, without any politics involved, as sports should be, especially for developing youths.