Coaches of Walnut: Alex Valdez
His interest in coaching kicked off once he began at a local soccer program at 17 years old. Now, Alex Valdez returns to Walnut as the head coach for varsity girls soccer. He retook his role in spring 2020 after meeting with Principal Ryan Maine and the Athletic Director, Jerry Person.
“I knew I wanted to come back. My schedule was fully cleared and I’m happy to be able to be back and be in charge of the girls soccer program,” Valdez said.
Outside of Walnut, Valdez currently coaches club soccer with Liverpool FC International Academy. Prior to coaching girls soccer from 2015 to 2018, he also worked at Arcadia High School as head coach of the boys’ soccer program. Valdez hopes to utilize the knowledge from experiences at other clubs and teams to aid his coaching at Walnut.
“I’m fortunate enough to be part of such a big youth soccer club in Southern California,” Valdez said. “Everything that I’m gaining there—knowledge based on and off the field—has aided me to make sure that I’m providing the best experience and I’m teaching the right topics to the girls here at Walnut.”
Valdez began playing soccer at the age of five after watching how his father played semi-professional soccer in Guatemala. He then went on to play for junior varsity and varsity teams in high school and played for Pasadena City College. Valdez draws inspiration from his coaches and connects the lessons he learned with his current coaching philosophy.
“I always took away the best qualities that my coaches had. The way that I teach my players is a direct example of the great coaches that I’ve been fortunate to be coached by,” Valdez said. “I try to be relatable to the players and be within that fine line of stern and having authority. At the same time, I want to keep the environment friendly, and keep a positive training environment where they look forward to coming to train and have a great time.”
By Sarah Lew, Print-Editor-in-chief
Photo courtesy of Alex Valdez