San Jose Express on hiatus...
SJX is doing remote training until at least June 22.
This is a difficult time for all of us, but we will make it and come out even stronger.
I will be blogging frequently during this time.
San Jose Express is more than just a water polo team.
We are a community and family.
Stay safe and strong!
If you've spent much time at the pool, you might have thought you saw someone famous that you recognized...a famous movie star perhaps...
But it wasn't. It was our very own Coach Victor, or Dr. Adler as he is known.
Coach Victor is the director of the San Jose Express. The success and growth of the club is in large part due to his hard work, dedication and love for water polo...and this team.
I got a little bit of time to chat with him and ask him some questions.
Here is my interview with Coach Victor...
Coach Ron: Hi Victor, hope all is well with you and the family. And thanks for taking the time to answer some questions. Let’s get right to it…
Coach Ron: SJX has grown so fast. Can you tell us a little about how the team got started? What were the roots of the team?
Coach Victor: After a number of years of coaching at Harker, we had done about as well as we could with seasonal players. If we wanted to be more successful at the high school level, we had to start building a pipeline of experience at a younger age. A Harker parent encouraged me and Ted to start a youth program. I told her if she brought 12 kids, we would do it. We started with about 25 10u in the summer of 2014. Coaches Ted, Sachi, Peter, I, and some others were the original coaches. The oldest of that original youth movement are now freshmen in high school.
We wanted to be a club based on being “hands on” with the kids. Meaning we wanted to make sure that coaches gave players feedback and that we helped the kids have proper fundamentals in the early going. In order to do that, it meant we had to have a low player-to-coach ratio. That’s what makes us different. And we’re really committed to those low ratios.
Coach Ron: I’m very impressed with the coaches here at SJX. Not only do they like kids and water polo, but they help each other out and are quick to learn. What can you say about your coaching staff?
Coach Victor: Our coaching staff is a team that shares ideas. We all know that we have stuff to learn, and the coaches like to learn.
Coach Ron: Let’s wave a magic wand and have things go back to normal. What are your goals for the team in the next year?
Coach Victor: How about the next three?I would really love to have that magic wand for humanity’s sake.
More narrowly and selfishly, I’m missing the action of water polo and seeing the kids practice and play.
Anyway, we were looking forward to a busy and rewarding spring and summer. For our younger and newer players, it’s always about the continuing mastery of the fundamentals – proper kicks, body position, and body motion. For them, it’s also about getting getting some game experience. For our experienced older kids 14u and 16u, it’s about competing. For them, it would be about cracking the championship division this summer.
The goals for the next three years would be similar for our youth, continue those fundamentals. For our olders, it would be about competing at a very high level (I believe that we will consistently be in the championship group for the next few years). Given all the hard work and focus on fundamentals from the early years, the necessary tactics become the easy part because the hard work was done as little kids.
Coach Ron: I’ve also been impressed with the parents of SJX. They are supportive without being overbearing (not a common commodity these days). Can you go into the role of parents and how they can help their kids…and the club?
Coach Victor: Youth sports, particularly team sports, can be a great learning experience. Parents can help their kids by reinforcing the instructions of the coaches and cheering for their kids and their kids’ teams and teammates.
For the club, they have been incredibly helpful in organizing our travel and making the trips a great experience for the kids. We can always use more hands helping out at Bay Challenge League as well. The referees love our parents because they do a great job at the desk. Parents should not be scared about on-the-job learning at the desk. You’ll learn a lot about the rules and the game! It’s worth it.
Two bits of advice:
Coach Ron: And finally, where do you see the growth of this team? If you had three magic beans and could plant them, what areas of growth would you like to see for SJX?
Coach Victor: The growth has been in the 14u age group, both boys and girls. It’s around that age that kids get bored of swimming or are looking for something different and come upon water polo.
10u is where I’d want the most growth. No offense to the older kids because they’re far easier to work with, but if we can get the kids at a young age, we have the opportunity to work wonders. It’s frustrating but gratifying.
Coach Ron: Well, as the 10/u coach, I'm all for that. I've got some ideas on that as well.
Coach, thanks for taking the time for us. I'm sure you're as eager as all of us to get back into the pool.
Stay safe and see you soon!
What did you think of our interview? Who would you like to have interviewed next? Leave a comment and let me know.