Coaching mentality

From playing soccer in the U.S. and Mexico, to starting his coaching career at a young age, women’s soccer head coach Adolfo Perez has done it all.

Coach Adolfo Perez was born in Guadalajara, Mexico where he grew up surrounded by soccer. Sports was introduced to him by his brother.

“Because my parents never played sports, it was my older brother,” Perez said.

Perez was born in a country where the sport is played a lot.

“When I was a kid I grew up around the sport. There is a lot of soccer especially where I am from,” Perez said.

Perez would attend soccer games in Mexico as he was a fan of the game and had not just one team to watch in his city.

“All the time. We had four professional division one teams in just one city. So we were lucky we got to see a lot,” Perez said.

He started to play the game of soccer here in the U.S.

“I played for a club and for Birmingham High School. After that I went to CSUN and played for four years. From there I went to Mexico where I played in Primera A. At that time it was the second division in Mexico,” Perez said.

He played different positions throughout his playing career. His favorite position to play was forward.

“In Birmingham I played forward, in college I played defensive midfield and in Mexico I played center back,” Perez said.

While he knew how to play several positions out on the field he did find one of them to be the hardest position to play but it also was his favorite one.

“For me playing forward was the toughest position because everyone is relying on you to score goals. You are in everybody’s eye,” Perez said.

Perez also played in Mexico for a couple of years at a semi-pro level.  

“I played two years from 1992 to 1994. I played for a team called Jalisco. They no longer exist now. They sold their rights and went to another state,” Perez said.

He suffered numerous injuries as a player and those injuries are still with him now.

“I have a dislocated vertebrae and also I’ve had a couple of knee surgeries,” Perez said. “I have to go once a month to a specialist for my vertebrae.”

Coach Perez began coaching at a young age and enjoyed it more than playing.

“I actually began coaching very young like 18 or 19. I did it as a part time job. I didn’t want to have another job. I coached a team called L.A. Force. I had a boys and girls team. Then I coached in high school,” Perez said.

As a player he would have a different mentality than other players because he had a coaching mentality.

“I always saw the game in a different perspective. I was one of those that will always ask questions because I wanted to learn more and more. I enjoy playing but I enjoy coaching more,” Perez said. “You have a bigger part in coaching because when you play it’s just individual. When you coach it’s more collective.”

He admires one of the best coaches in the world, who currently coaches professionally for Bayern Munich in Germany.

“I admire Josep “Pep” Guardiola. His approach to the game is incredible. He is a very offensive coach,” Perez said.

Perez is very passionate and his style and personality show on the sideline.

“I’m very ambitious and I feel that my weakness is that I get involved a little too much. I’m one that always wants to learn as well,” Perez said.

He has a certain coaching philosophy and a specific approach to how he applies it to the team.

“Fitness is one component. Discipline, I’m very big on discipline, it is a very big part of life. Girls that have discipline on the field not only have it on the field, but also in their classrooms,” Perez said.

Midfielder, Yovana Ceja likes the way that Adolfo coaches the team.

“He is clever and smart. Everything he does is for a reason. He thinks ahead. He is a coach that is hungry, ambitious and a coach with incredible vision,” Ceja said.

Sara Hernandez, forward for the Brahmas, enjoys her experience playing under Head Coach Perez.

“He is tough on the team. He focuses on individuality, but he is not like if we don’t have this player we are not going to do a good job. I see him as a hard worker,” Hernandez said.

Adolfo is the head coach for the women’s soccer team but he wants the players to be better in not just the game of soccer but also in life.

“I want them to take hard work and dedication with them in their future. These are full-time students, soccer players and they work as well. I have so much respect for them. For them to sacrifice so much time, and to put into it is awesome,” Perez said.