In our lives, we all have that one teacher who makes us fall in love with what they teach, simply because they’re brilliant at teaching. Soccer players and fans can also relate to this fact. All of us fancy football’s great teachers like Johan Cruyff or Sir Alex Ferguson. But other names are not quite as popular as these extraordinary coaches. Over the past few years, a boom of soccer trainers have been splashing their skills all over social platforms, and they are doing a marvelous job by teaching and spreading the love of the beautiful game. One of them is Keion Joseph, also known as Coach Cruz, the founder of Cruz Coaching.
We had the pleasure of talking with Cruz, who is an American immigrant with a success story. This article will discuss his incredible journey, his impressive way of teaching players to master the ball, and offers some practical insight into his coaching success.
Keion Joseph was born in Trinidad & Tobago in 1990, along with his four brothers and sister. He mentioned living a modest life growing up of just having just enough. Cruz grasped his love of soccer a bit late. He began taking his game a bit more seriously only when he started high school. Later on, he went on to play in Trinidad’s local professional league in his late teen years. Afterward, Cruz made the trip to the United States and played NJCCA D1 at Kankakee Community College and Aurora University. After college, he spent time as a head trainer and director of coaching at Southland FC Strikers in Illinois. Also, Cruz spent time as an assistant college coach at Kankakee. Over these years, he developed a passion for teaching and developing other soccer players and catalyzing their skills and mastery of the ball to help them in their soccer journey. “Going into coaching felt like a natural fit for me. I just didn’t know it would turn into my life.” Cruz said.
“Growing up, I spent countless hours working on my overall ball control that elevated my game and confidence. I saw ball mastery as something a large majority of US soccer players lacked,” Cruz mentioned. In 2016, Cruz formally started personalized 1on1 soccer coaching, emphasizing ball mastery skills”. Today, his internet presence and website have grown massively. Joseph is now widely known as Coach Cruz! Just as a reference, Cruz Coaching began making waves in Illinois, and now it’s becoming somewhat of a local star in North Texas. His coaching style has prompted players to travel across states and countries as far as Venezuela.
Now. You know Cruz’s story; Now, let’s analyze his teaching methods and details!
It’s often proved that mentality wins you championships in the sports world, and Cruz inspires this factor in his player. In one of his quotes, “Enjoy The Journey,” he explains that this constantly reminded himself to enjoy every aspect of the game, even the hard times. ”Our time to play is not long-lived, so enjoy every chance you get to play, train and watch”.
While Cruz’s training mainly deals with your technical skills on the ball, he provides extensive training on many other foundational elements of soccer like agility, explosiveness, tactical knowledge, etc., to help his players become better. Seeing Cruz’s fast progress in the personalized coaching niche in the last few years demonstrates he is really a master at his work and a great teacher!
At Cruz Coaching, the way of teaching is implemented, where you have fun while you learn and enhance competitiveness in functional areas of the game. I asked Cruz what makes his training sessions so compelling to young players? He laughed, “I really think it’s my personality. I like to believe I’m a good person who knows how to treat everyone respectfully. I also love to make players think, so I build drills around what I think they need”. He also saw it as important to give credit to a few of his past coaches because they all played a part in how his mind shaped coaching.
We have picked some of the examples of his work so you can better understand the training style of Cruz Coaching. These include different drills from diverse areas of soccer. Here they are.
ADVANCE BALL MASTERY DRILL
Here’s the first example of Cruz’s training drills, focusing on ball control and touch. There are cones in a line pattern other equipment in this drill, and the player has to dribble through the cones. It’s evident that this drill improves the ball control in tight spaces and improves the first touch of the ball, which is quite hard to master. As the coach says himself, repetition is the key here, you can view the video example!
It’s just one quick example of a ball mastery drill, as there are loads of other such exercises available with his program.
SPEED DRILL: LATERAL SHUFFLE INTO EXPLOSIVE HURDLE JUMPS
Explosiveness and agility in soccer hold crucial importance in gameplay. Explosiveness helps you exert instant effort in a given situation during a soccer game, whether it’s a quick sprint during a counter-attack or attempting a difficult header to fire the ball behind the net. This is one of the drills to improve both aspects for you. This essential but straightforward drill involves lateral shuffles into explosive jumps using agility rings or hurdles. Here’s a video from the coach.
VIRAL TRAINING VIDEOS
The third and last example from Cruz Coaching is a pretty impressive one. These videos reached over 1 Million views and are still being shared by many other accounts today. Cruz expressed that these videos really pushed him to continue doing more. “The feedback and messages I got were overwhelming as I was actually inspiring and helping people worldwide,” Cruz said. Here is a look: Video 1 – Video 2.
CRUZ COACHING: THE INSTAGRAM SENSATION
As we have shared some of the Instagram posts of Cruz Coaching with you, the compliment is due to how Joseph is utilizing social media platforms to spread his training methods and help players around the world. He has grown an Instagram family of 107 thousand people. Cruz shares news, training methods, analyses game moments from football, and many more, which keeps his following highly engaged, which results in his rapid growth on this platform. He is also on several other platforms, but Instagram seems to be his best friend. Cruz said he learned a lot from other social media coaches like Eddie Johnson, JonerFootball, and many others.
After seeing the growing popularity of Cruz Coaching methods in the US, it’s not hard to assume that this coaching business is quite lucrative for Cruz himself. Vast training programs range from $35 to $325, and various online admirers reflect the financial success of Cruz Coaching.
Since Cruz opted not to disclose his income, we had no exact number on his earnings, but we can assume it is respectable for a unaffiliate youth coach. Cruz has also collaborated with a long list of top brands. The most prominent ones are New Balance, Paco Rabanne, SKLZ, and Joma.
All of this indicates only one thing that Cruz Coaching is earning good returns for the excellent services he provides.
Results speak for themselves. Cruz Coaching has trained over 500 soccer players, including professional and semi-professional athletes like Lauren Sajewich, who just featured in the Women’s Champions League. His portfolio also includes top US youth players like Jaedyn Shaw, Trinity Byars, Taylor Cheatham, and many more ranging from kids to adults.
If you are looking to polish your soccer skills and challenge yourself, you will need a trainer. With the rise of personalized soccer training, it’s proven that specialized trainers are now an asset to youth development. We laid out a clear picture of Cruz Coaching’s details in front of you. Now you are more prepared to make a decision that will shape your soccer journey ahead. Coach Cruz is definitely one of the best options available, and it has been a pleasure giving you some insight into his training.