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 THANK YOUS

Haroot Hakopian
Varsity Soccer Coach – Churchill HS
Director of Girls’ Soccer – Montgomery County Public Schools
President – Maryland Association of Coaches of Soccer
South Region Chair – NSCAA HS Girls’ All America Committee

I have been fortunate enough to be a part of Ali’s transformation from a dedicated high-level soccer player to a professional quality coach. I met Ali in 2002 when she was a junior at Churchill High School. Within the first two weeks of dealing with the team, her love for the game and her ability to expect the best from herself and her teammates was blatantly obvious. Those qualities have become the foundation of her coaching philosophy. 

There are a variety of coaches and trainers that have played the game at extremely high levels. However, a great majority of those people have a difficult time communicating the skills they possess to younger athletes. Ali has the ability to not only develop a player’s technical and tactical ability, but extraordinary communication and interpersonal skills to do so at the appropriate level for ALL of her players. She establishes a unique rapport with players of all ages and removes the stress and anxiety that is usually associated with high level training. Her sessions are highly organized and effective because within the framework of instructing the group, Ali has the ability to give each player individualized attention, constructive criticism, and concise suggestions for improvement. I was lucky to have Ali as a player. I consider myself even luckier to have her as a colleague in order to help my players go above and beyond their potential.

Rob Kurtz
Varsity Girls Soccer Head Coach at B-CC and club coach

Ali is a terrific trainer -- friendly, knowledgeable, professional, and goal-oriented. She listens to her clients/coaches and creates a program that is tailored to each customer. After working with her for 4+ years, I can happily report that my all my players are more technical, creative on the ball, physically stronger, and are even more passionate about this great game. 

Ali has both patience and persistence, which is a perfect combination for a soccer trainer. – She takes the time to explain everything (sometimes more than once) and listens patiently to the players and also to the coaches about what the team is trying to accomplish.

Without her help, our team would not have accomplished all that we have done in the past year.

Coach & Parent of Player
U14 Classic Girls

As a coach and parent, I couldn’t be more pleased to have had you working with our team for the past 2 years. For several years, we had looked for the right trainer for our team. There were plenty of skilled trainers out there, but without making a connection with the players one trains, it ultimately doesn’t work. Your communication and connection with the girls has been outstanding. You are constructive, encouraging and firm when you need to be. Your practices are well thought out, fast paced and full of team tactics and individual instruction. The girls completely respond to you and I know that they all make a point of being there on the days you train us. As a team and individually, all of the girls have shown tremendous improvement and most importantly, you have helped them reach their potential. The girls, coaches and parents all love the fact that you care enough to attend a couple of games during the season to see how they are doing and what we should be working on that next week.

On days that you have brought additional trainers that you were training to work for you, they too were outstanding in their skill, maturity and ability to connect with the girls. I would recommend them as well.

I also know that several of the girls are being trained individually by you and your trainers. The less skilled players have improved by leaps and bounds while the more highly skilled players have developed to a point that we could have never taken them.

Ali, thank you for everything and if anyone ever has any questions, please have them give me a call.
Kenny

Player
After not making my middle school team in seventh grade, I was even more motivated to master my skills and work hard to be the best player I could be. I joined a new team which Ali trains, and liked her so much, we asked to do private classes with her. She worked me hard and pushed me out of my comfort zone, but never failed to encourage me. Not only is she an amazing coach, but she is also understanding and makes it fun. After working with her for a couple of months, I tried out for my school's team in eighth grade and made it! She built up my confidence and I am so thankful that I was able to get individual coaching from her.

 

Parent of player
Dear Coach Ali-Thank YOU for a wonderful season. I could not have asked for a better coach for Toby (or the whole team!). You taught the girls so many valuable lessons, and inspired them to challenge themselves. I especially appreciated your optimism and supportive attitude. Churchill is lucky to have such a dedicated coach, and Toby is lucky to have had such a positive experience playing soccer for her school. You are the "whole package" from you athletic achievements and academic accomplishments-you are a wonderful role model for my daughter! Sincerely 

Sheri Heller

 

Parent of Birthday Kid
Hi Ali,
The party was fantastic! The kids loved it. I was amazed to see absolutely everyone participating, even those for whom soccer is clearly not their first passion.
Thank you for all you did to make this happen - a real success!

Rachel

Parent of Lil' Soccer Star Player


Sy is in your 10:20am class on Sundays and I just wanted to tell you how much he loves class. He chanted all day "we love soccer." It is also a great joy for me to watch him listen and follow directions from the coaches. (Because he sure doesn't do that at home lol). It's amazing how much better he is already doing compared to last springs class. These kids grow up so fast!! We look forward to many more classes with you!
Kim

Parent of Lil' Soccer Star Player

Hi Ali,

My daughter is part of the 4-year-old soccer group that meets Thursday mornings. She is enjoying play soccer quite a bite, and she was very hesitant to try it at the start. We enrolled her in a different soccer program last fall, and she did not enjoy it. I attribute her success this spring to your kind and fun approach to the game. -Anna

 

Parent of Lil' Soccer Star Player
Hi Ali, Thanks so much! Ellie has been LOVING soccer and its all thanks to you :)
Dafna

Parent of Lil' Soccer Star Player
Hi Ali, Hope you are doing well. Ryan is really enjoying soccer thanks to you and Peter!
Kevin

Parent of player
Dear Ali,
I just wanted to tell you "thank you" for the beautiful things you had to say about my daughter Marisa. I want you to know that she really loves you and has a tremendous amount of respect for you. She couldn't have gotten a better and nicer coach than you. Thanks for all your hard work and dedication to the girls this season. Can't wait to see you again next season!
Graciela

Parent of player
Coach Ali,
I am writing to let you know that Lexi was brought up to Varsity by the Coach today. I want to thank you for all of the instruction and encouragement that you gave to Lexi last week and Monday. As a parent of 3 very active girls and, therefore, a participant of many school sponsored and club sponsored coach meetings, I was impressed beyond measure after meeting you on Monday evening. Your presence, professionalism and passion were palpable. I was genuinely excited for Lexi to be inspired by a young woman such as yourself. You will no doubt be a large influence in the lives of your Junior Varsity girls--and they will surely be left with remarkable impressions under your guidance and influence. I wish you, the girls and the parents a successful, winning season. You are a remarkable individual. Thank you.

Janet

Parent of Player


I want to thank you, for all that you've done to help Jessica grow as a soccer player and as a person. I cannot begin to describe how much of a positive impact you have made on her. You are able to generate a tremendous amount of respect from your players, and it reflects back in them, by making them work hard to bring you their best. I respect your skill, your ability to teach a sport with humanity and a focus on the individual. Your coaching style has been tremendous for me to observe over these two years, and I want you to know how glad I am that Jessica was able to work so intensely with you for that time. You have my complete respect and I am glad that you are doing what you love and touching so many lives with what seems to come so naturally to you.
Heather 

Coaches and Parents of player
This is our fourth season with Ali as our trainer and she is the best. She developed a bond with our girls from the very start and they look forward to training with her each week. Ali knows how to get the best out of each player and provides thoughtful guidance to the coaches on strengths and weaknesses. She also makes a point to see the girls play a couple of times a season and the team loves showing off their skills. Thank you Ali for sharing your love of soccer with our team.

Coach John and Coach Michele
U12 Girls

 

Coach and Parent of player
It has been a pleasure having you work with the kids and we would all really like to have you work with them again in the fall. Everyone has been thrilled with you and the progress we've seen.
Lisa

Coach and Parent of player
As you know, I'm a big fan of you and your training and will keep spreading the word about Pivotal Play. 
Thanks, James

Parent of player
Thanks Allie!!! We love you!!! You are the best!!!! Keep a space for Sara..You are going to be very popular and in demand...
Thanks for all your dedication and support and belief and dedication to training Sara and being such an amazing role model. We love you and thank you. Sara has been welcomed to return for another tryout by the three teams she has tried out for. We thank you and hope you have an amazing weekend.

Your friends & fans !! Sara & Barbara

Coach and Parent of player:
Ali,
Thanks for a terrific season and summer program. You did an incredible job with the girls. Their improvement was remarkable. But most important, they got better as they learned to enjoy the game as a team. 

As a coach, I appreciate your professionalism. You are very supportive of us volunteer coaches, easy to communicate with, always on time, prepared with a relevant practice plan, demonstrate your competency to the kids and make a connection with them. This last bit is the toughest. Getting 16 “socially active” 13/14 year old girls focused on a common goal is no easy feat! But you get it done. You are firm when you need to be but loosen the reigns just enough to give the girls space to be themselves. They certainly respect you.

I also appreciate how you handled the diversity of skill on our team. Girls that needed some extra attention got it, yet those with stronger talent had plenty to keep them challenged. Confidence is up across the board. With your wide variety of fast paced drills, I can honestly say there was never a dull moment.

We’re thrilled to have you working with our girls and look forward to having you with us in the upcoming seasons.

Thanks!

Coach Paul

The Tidal Wave
D1 Classic Girls U15