Carlos Menjivar, Cal North Competitive Director of Coaching
Born in San Salvador, El Salvador, Carlos Menjivar played professionally for Adler FC from 1966 to 1970, and was part of the 1969 U23 National Team. In May of 1970, Menjivar immigrated to the United States with his parents.
Menjivar’s coaching career began in 1980 in the San Francisco Major Division. There he led the El Salvador Athletic Club to the its first ever championship. He was awarded his U.S.S.F. National “A” license in 1987, and has continued coaching education in Brazil, Argentina, Spain, Portugal, Holland, Scotland, England, France, etc.
Throughout his career, Menjivar has demonstrated the ability to coach and educate regardless of age, ability level, experience and physical challenge.
GoalNation’s Coaches Series: Interview with Carlos Menjivar
Diane Scavuzzo: What do you know now, that you wish you could tell players?
Carlos Menjivar: I always tell players to take advantage of being young and be fully dedicated to the game.
Diane Scavuzzo: What do you know now, after years of coaching that you didn’t know when you started?
Carlos Menjivar: I have a better understanding of players thinking and decision making.
Diane Scavuzzo: What do you wish you could go back and tell your younger self?
Carlos Menjivar: I wish I could go back and tell myself to always be better prepared within the game and academically.
Diane Scavuzzo: Why is talent not enough? What it takes to succeed in pro soccer?
Carlos Menjivar: Because the game requires additional elements: Commitment, effort, sacrifice, planning, etc.
Diane Scavuzzo: What is your favorite trait in a soccer player?
Carlos Menjivar: A player with a burning desire and passion for the game.
Diane Scavuzzo: What is the role of a coach in youth soccer in the USA today?
Carlos Menjivar: One of the role would be to motivate players to love the game.
Diane Scavuzzo: How to build a successful soccer club – What does it take to make it today?
Carlos Menjivar: Hire highly qualified coaches/educators and create a developmental program focusing on the four components of the game. Today, it takes professionalism, organization, planning, dedication, etc.
Diane Scavuzzo: How many A licensed coaches are there in the Cal North Area? How many girls vs boys are there registered?
Carlos Menjivar: There are 20,000 coaches registered in Cal North. There are 154,400 registered players: 56% boys and 44% girls.
Diane Scavuzzo: The importance of confidence in soccer. Believing in your dreams can make the difference.
Carlos Menjivar: Confidence is of great importance in Soccer and in life. A youth player needs to have a high level of confidence to perform.
Diane Scavuzzo: The road to becoming a pro – littered with failure, Tips for success:
Carlos Menjivar: Be ready for full commitment to the game. To become a pro-player, it requires a sacrificed life. Practice 2-3 times per day, 5 days per week. Traveling, injuries, etc.
Diane Scavuzzo: Should elite players take private lessons? What is the value?
Carlos Menjivar: Yes, even at the pro-level, players still have private lessons with a special technical staff. Some players would become better with private lessons and some would not have any positive effect.
Diane Scavuzzo: High School Soccer vs Development Academy – What are your thoughts?
Carlos Menjivar: Developmental academies are dedicated to player development. High School, does not have a developmental program. Everyone plays in High School even players that do not usually play during the year.
Diane Scavuzzo: What does Player Development mean to you? What type of environment is best for developing players?
Carlos Menjivar: Assisting players to move up to the next playing level and be selected to special program. It is required to create a positive environment where players could be successful.
Diane Scavuzzo: What is the biggest problem with youth development in the USA?
Carlos Menjivar: Too much parent involvement – Too political.
Carlos Menjivar: There are too many options for children. Soccer has to compete with other major sports.
Diane Scavuzzo: When did you become involved with soccer?
Carlos Menjivar: I became involved in soccer in 1956. My mother introduced me to the game.
Diane Scavuzzo: What is your favorite soccer team? Who do you root for behind closed doors?
Carlos Menjivar: FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich, Real Madrid