This Premier Soccer Club is the newest 13GEM Program that is being developed. It is designed for players who have developed the physical skills of soccer, and now need to focus on tactical and strategic awareness. While fundamental skills are reinforced, the primary mission is to teach players how to read the game and see beyond the ball. The program is designed to get players to an advanced level of skill and understanding. Inaugural season starts April 3rd.
13GEM and Illume Pro have partnered to provide a new youth soccer program to the Redmond, Kirkland, Eastside area. This program is perfect for children who are learning soccer for the first time or still in the beginner stages of their developmental process.
13GEM provides a full Physical Education program for schools with gym/activity space, but lacking teachers and/or equipment. This program focuses on teaching students a variety of sports and exercise modalities rather than focusing on a single sport or activity. This is a robust, curriculum driven program with differentiated learning across grades and across skill levels within grades.
My personality and skill set caused me to gravitate towards the field of Education and more specifically Physical Education. First and foremost I am a leader and function best in leadership roles. I enjoy the responsibility and accountability of being a leader. There is no greater responsibility or area of accountability than teaching children how to become healthy contributors to society. The reason I chose Physical Education is because my favorite activity to participate in is playing sports. I always wanted a job that afforded me the opportunity to do what I love every day and teaching Physical Education affords me that opportunity. The combination of helping others improve themselves while engaging in sports and exercise makes being a PE Teacher the ideal job. My enjoyment and enthusiasm for this profession combined with a natural talent for teaching creates an enjoyable class atmosphere that empowers all students to reach new levels of achievement. It is important that students have positive exercise experiences early in Life to increase the likelihood of engaging in a health enhancing level of exercise into adulthood.
My primary mission is to help students cultivate the skills, knowledge, and intrinsic motivation to maintain a health-enhancing level of physical activity for a Lifetime by engaging in sports and exercise.
I graduated from the University of Georgia in May 2007 with a Bachelor’s in P-12 Health and Physical Education. I have 13 years teaching experience in a wide variety of teaching situations: public, private, special needs school, urban, suburban, in the classroom, in the gym, contracted teacher, substitute teacher, literally all grades PK3-12, academic classes, and an after-school program to name a few.
Soccer has exponentially increased in popularity since my childhood in the 90s. I grew up playing every sport except Soccer until I was introduced to it at UGA during my PE Teaching Curriculum. I instantly fell in love with the game and realized I grew up playing the wrong sports... I was made to play Soccer. It instantly became my favorite sport, and all my personal athletic time was spent learning how to play and read the game. Through teaching PE and coaching other Soccer programs, I have coached many children of all skill levels: from beginners touching a ball for the first time to advanced players on other youth Premier teams. Now after 20 years of learning how to play, read, and coach the game through real Life experiences, I feel prepared and excited to launch 13GEM Premier, and starting in 2026, 13GEM Elite.
My objective is to create a program culture that emphasizes sharing the ball, playing simple football, and playing team ball over solo ball. I want to get players away from thinking that every play needs to be a YouTube highlight or result in a goal. Understanding tactics such as build-up play, stringing together passing sequences, using a drop pass to relieve pressure, and playing off-ball by reading the game are lacking in many of today's young players. I want players focusing on strengthening their weak foot dribbling and passing over learning how to do a Rainbow, Elastico, Step Over, or some other flashy, nonessential trick.
Receive, pass, offer.
Share the ball.
Score goals as a unit.
Pressure the ball to regain possession.
Cover for teammates as needed.
Play simple football.
Simple football is beautiful. I want to train players in these philosophies because it is my favorite style of play and I believe it will create the best footballers/soccer players.
This is the literal origin story of 13GEM. I always wanted to open a gym and teach PE on my own, but there was no social mission behind what I wanted to do. When I tore my ACL in August 2015 and had to move back to Georgia to heal I had lots of free time on my hands and decided to go into Atlanta and help those who needed it. Unbeknownst to me, I was uncovering my Life's Mission. This is the street corner I vow to return to and build a 13GEM facility.
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